Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Patio furniture surfaces

By Bill Richards

Patio surfaces can be constructed from different materials.

Obviously, the easiest of surfaces has to be a lawn. This is often already established when buying a home, unless of course you purchased a new home whereby the builder doesn't usually offer landscaping as part of the price. For the purposes of this article, assume that the garden is established.

If you have a lawn, you merely have to place the patio furniture on the grass, in the desired location. The most natural of surfaces.

Wooden decks are a great choice for a base, and compliment most types of patio furniture. Decks also give a feeling of warmth, and offer a very natural way to enjoy outdoor patio life. A deck structure will be suspended off the ground, and each project will determine the height required, as the landscaping varies from house to house. As with most surfaces that are built, the requirement of drainage is needed. A deck will avoid the need for this.

Wood bark and stone chippings can prove to be very appealing, and the beauty of this surface is that its relatively cheap, and easy to create. You simply need to produce a leveled surface on the soil, which in most cases will provide natural drainage. Once level & compact, cover with wood bark, or stone chippings. The irregularities of these coverings will allow rainwater to escape.

The most common of patio bases is a concrete slab, which is poured to a custom shape, and is maintenance free.

The desired location is leveled and compacted either by hand or hired machinery. A trench is dug to allow for drainage. The point of exit for your drainage needs to run into your household storm drain. Generally a single drain should suffice in the middle of the patio, but every drainage project will vary according to your plot.

The whole area will now be covered with loose stone or rock. This can be any old brickwork you may have lying around. This is then compacted down to a thickness of 2. This will be your sub base, remembering to incorporate a gradient for rainwater to escape into your drain positions.

This area is being prepared to pour a 4 concrete base directly over the rubble. Again depending on the size, really determines whether or not you should incorporate re-enforcing rod, also known as re-bar. This is simply " steel rod interwoven, and positioned on top before the concrete is poured. For an area of less than 6 its not really necessary.

This process is the same for any type of stone material. For pouring concrete, and for containing the perimeter, you would make a former around the perimeter to contain the concrete as it sets. You will also have to allow for expansion joints every 6 feet to avoid the slab from cracking

When making a base that will have paving stones as the finished surface, you will still need to provide a sub base of rubble, but this will then be covered with 2 of building sand, compacted and flattened, and incorporating a fall for drainage, you simply place the paving stones in the pattern required, until covered. Once complete, with a soft brush, brush a dry mix of sand & cement into the joints. The weather will eventually cure the mix.

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1 comment:

neilina said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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