Decide on the budget : Installing a patio is expensive but it is worth spending as much as you can afford as the patio is such an important part of the garden. The garden should be viewed as an outdoor room and if you are prepared to spend a little extra on getting it right it will be useable for most of the year. Allow around £120 per square metre as an all-in cost to get a contractor to lay your patio.
Nowadays, there are ample patio materials to choose from for your patio surface. Some of the more popular are available at landscaping centers or home improvement depot. They can be used for the simple and complex projects alike and are not confined just to the patio. These new types of patio materials can also be used for driveways, walkways and retaining walls along with permanent fixtures such as, plants, flowerpots and patio furniture.
Intended use of the patio : Decide how you want to use the patio. Is the patio mainly for alfresco dining or sunbathing or relaxing with a book or all three? The intended use will dictate the size and location of the patio. A patio mainly for dining is best placed where there is some shade so that diners can keep cool on warmer days and seek the sun when the weather is cooler. A patio intended mainly for sunbathing needs to be in a spot where it's sunny all day. If you want young children to safely use the patio, it needs to be somewhere you can see them from the house.
In addition, you may also want to choose the material colors that you can match with your favorite patio furniture and combining different materials is also possible as long as they are properly matched. In any case, it is best to seek professional assistance and advise when using any of the patio material discussed above.