Planning You New Patio
Picture this. You stand on your newly built patio and look around the space. Perhaps it’s perfect already, with beautiful timber furniture and a brand new barbecue. Or, maybe there’s something not quite right. Maybe the table is too big, or your hammock awkwardly positioned. In our years of experience designing outdoor spaces, we have learnt the importance of prior planning and decision-making in getting the best from your patio.
But Where Can You Start?
Before rushing down to your nearest outdoor kitchen specialist, there are a few things to consider. The design of your outdoor space is just as important as the plan for the patio itself. By carefully planning the look, feel and function of your newest addition, it will help to mitigate wasted time and money. What will your outdoor space be used for? Do you have enough room to fit in your dream furniture? Are your design ideas safe? These are a few of the key questions you should ask yourself before proceeding.
What Is The Purpose Of Your Patio?
Is it your private sanctuary where you prefer to share an intimate meal with your partner? Maybe your family prefers casual alfresco, often cooking and eating outside. Maybe you love to entertain, or intend to use the space for quiet relaxation. It could be a combination of any or all of these or include other uses we’ve missed.
Size, Movement, Arrangement
With the purpose of your outdoor space in mind, think about how you’d like the movement of people and placement of objects to be. Barbecues and tables are a popular choice, so we’ve put together some information detailing their sizing and likely use.
What Size BBQ Do You Actually Need And How Big Are They?
The size of a BBQ varies enormously. The most popular option in Australia is a 4 burner, which can feed 4 – 6 people comfortably. Dimensions would depend on the shelves on either side of the BBQ, but can be around 830mm in height, 920mm in width and 520mm in depth.
What size table would you need and can it fit into the space and maintain its functionality?
When considering your outdoor setting, it is important to think about how everyone will be seated at the table, how they will get in and out of their seats and how they will walk around the table. As a rule of thumb, if the seats are placed in a low traffic area allow for about 800mm for people to comfortably get in and out. For a high traffic area it would be wise to allow more than that. When choosing furniture for your outdoor space, take the time to research dimensions. Most retailers have a website on which you are able to find them. You can even use electrical tape to mark out each piece to better visualise the finished product.
- Position and arrangement of the furniture and appliances are also important:
- If this is a social area make sure it’s open and communal, with space for visitors to enjoy each other’s company.
- Keep the BBQ and table away from the main traffic areas. It could pose a safety hazard to children, pets and clumsy adults.
- Place the BBQ in a well-ventilated area at least 2m away from the house and any significant structures or low hanging trees.
Barbecues are a popular choice for an outdoor space, but they do come with some associated safety risks that need to be carefully monitored. In order for your new patio space to be as safe as possible, there a few things that must be considered.
Grill Matts are hugely valuable. Fire and weather-proof, you place them underneath your barbecue. They protect the deck from both rogue embers and fat spatters.
Avoid ‘Flare-Ups’. By keeping the fat drip tray and grill clean, you will lessen the chance of a flare-up. Another tip is to have both a hot and cool zone on the grill. One side where you cook and the another side where you can move the meat to if it starts causing flare-ups.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case of an emergency.
Keep the BBQ clear of low-hanging trees and other structures.
If using gas, make sure you check both the bottle and lines for leaks regularly.
Questions To Remember:
What will I use my outdoor space for?
How many people do I intend to cater for?
What are the best positions for my furniture and appliances?
Do all my ideas work safely?
If your dream patio is still in the planning stage, what better time to take these design aspects into consideration! Contact us (07 5535 6660), and we can help walk you through the process.