Natural Stone and Timber

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Choosing Between a Patio and Garden Decking

Rob Byrne - Friday, December 28, 2012

There are few things more pleasurable than sitting out in your garden when the weather is fine. Certainly, spending a nice Sunday afternoon or weekday evening relaxing in your garden is a sure-fire way of forgetting all about the trials and tribulations of modern life.Naturally, you will need to have a designated area in your garden where you and your family can comfortably sit for prolonged periods of time. Indeed, having your garden furniture on the lawn is far from ideal as this will only serve to damage the grass and leave it looking worn and tatty.

No, to really enjoy your time in the garden you need to have an area where you can place your garden tables, chairs and barbeque without fear of them doing any harm. In short you need to have either a patio or a garden deck.

But which option is best?

Well the best way to determine whether a patio or garden deck will best suit your needs is to look at them both in a little more detail.

Patios

Patio is a Spanish word, which when literally translated means a courtyard of a house or building. As you will know, a courtyard is traditionally an open space surrounded by walls or buildings, or is an area of ground adjacent to a building. Naturally, modern patios differ from this in the fact they do not have to be surrounded by walls. Indeed, garden patios in the UK can either be attached to a house or detached, although they are normally designed and oriented with the surrounding landscape in mind.

The great thing about patios is that they are very versatile - they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, including concrete, Indian sandstone paving, tile, brick, pebbles, rock or pea gravel. Most patios are set on a concrete slab or a sand and pebble base to achieve the best results. Another good thing about patios is that, since they are built at or around ground level, they do not require any safety railings.

Garden decking

Garden decks are primarily made of wood, although composite wood materials and vinyl can also be used. Some of the most popular woods for decking include redwood, cedar and pressure-treated pine, all of which can provide a beauty and warmth which other materials struggle to match. As well as being beautiful, wood is also one of the more forgiving materials to use for a designated garden area. Indeed, you can lie down without a cushion or sit and play on timber decking without feeling in any way uncomfortable.

Unlike patios however, decks can be different levels and as such they will sometimes require safety railings.

So, it is clear to see that each option has its own particular pros and cons. However, it is fair to say that either choice will definitely make your garden look good and provide you with a highly functional area to relax in.