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It all seems so simple. Pick a contractor. Select a color and style of E. P. Henry paving stone, and continue enjoying your summer while the works begins on your patio. However, to make sure there are no surprises and that you will love your new outdoor space forever, follow these tips to designing a well-thought-out paving stone patio.
1.) Do your research. Find the best hardscaping manufacturer with the best warranty and reputation in your region. For the Northeast, that is E. P. Henry. EP Henry provides a Lifetime Warranty on the structural integrity of our paving stones and wall systems for residential use. At no cost to you, EP Henry will replace paving stones and wall system products whose structural integrity is found to be defective under normal use, only if properly installed according to EP Henry standards and guidelines.* Terms and conditions apply.
2.) Purchase through a reputable, long-standing company that you can depend on – for their service and their knowledge. Angersteins, family-owned and operated since 1924, is the most experienced and respected hardscaping supplier in the area.
3.) Visualize your outdoor space and collect pictures. Not everyone is good at visulaization, so here are several things you can do to …………
a) Write your ideas on paper. It does not have to be pretty, but making it two-dimensional helps you see the big picture.
b) Cut out pictures from magazines.
c) Print pictures for websites specializing in patio design such as www.ephenry.com, www.houzz.com
d) Visit displays at the store from which you are purchasing your materials. Many have the colors, styles and features – walls, stairs, firepits, kitchens, water fountains and more – so you can see it before you buy it.EP Henry _ Wilmington, DE
e) Ask your contractor if he or she has a previous customer that will allow you to look at their completed project. If the homeowner is there, it will be the perfect time to ask about the contractor’s work and professionalism.
f) Check out what your neighbors have done in their back yards. Call them and ask if they don’t mind if you stop by for ideas. Please don’t sneak around and peak through the trees without their permission.
g) Contractor’s brag books can show numerous layouts and creative ideas
h) If you don’t have the time or inclination to go it on your own, hire a designer. They can visualize!
4.) Select the “floor” pattern for your patio. To select a pattern, again, work with your style. Refer to the patterns available such as herringbone, modified herringbone, 45 degree herringbone, I-pattern, random, soldiered, running bond and more. The EP Henry catalog has all of these styles pictured. You can find even more on their website. Consider scale when selecting your pattern too. For most patios, from 10ft by 12ft up to 20ft by 30ft, you can successfully use any brick-sized, 6×6, 6×9, or similarly sized paver. For really large patios, the homeown needs to consider using paving stones with larger stones in the mix, such as Coventry and Devonstone.
5.) Pick an aesthetic or style. This can be another tough thing to do. When we cut out all those pictures we love, they might not work for our style home. Make sure to pick an element from your home and repeat in the patio. Most of us do this with color. If the home is red brick, often we use Autumn Blend pavers because there is a beautiful red in the paver, as well as browns and beiges. Or for cream stucco homes, many homeowners select Dakota Blend, a neutral blend of khakis and brown. But what about the style of the pavers. Today there is a bountiful selection. Here a few from EP Henry and some direction towards home style:
- French Country – use a paver that looks as old and beautifully worn as the streets of Paris, like Coventry II. Distressed on the edges as well as the surface, this gives the appearance of age and gracious living.
- Modern – many modern homes are of sleek and simple design, which lends itself well to a more vibrant pattern for the patio. For a modern, retro vibe, consider using Symmetry pavers that have a parquet-like pattern.
- Cape Cod – for the traditional American home, try the traditional paver, Coventry I, with a little distressing on the edges.
- Ecclectic – the sky is the limit, try mixing different paver styles. However, staying with the same color-family will keep your patio style harmonious.
- Arts & Crafts – this type of home would look wonderful with the large, Devonstone pavers, which mimic the look of slate and bluestone, but they are less maintanence and more affordable.
6.) Measure your space. This way you will begin to prioritize your needs versus your wants. Using graph paper is great, if you have the time and the patience. Also, a trick of the trade is to purchase a can of orange spray paint, and actually mark (on the grass) the shape and size of your patio.
7.) Select the features you need.
Here’s a list to work from:
- a.) Consider privacy when locating the patio
- b.) How does the traffic flow to the other areas outdoor – pathways, steps, entrances to your home, to the shed with your gardening tools, where the kids play so you can keep an eye on them, etc.
- c.) How many people do you need to accommodate
- d.) Place to dine
- e.) Place to sit or lounge
- f.) Will you be entertaining
- g.) Will you be cooking outside
- h.) Do you need shade
- i.) Do you want all spaces on one level or more
- j.) Lighting – traditional, low-voltage landscape or LED
- k.) Walls
- l.) Planter Boxes
7.) Features You Want:
Here’s a list to work from:
- a.) Patio furniture that’s fun, functional cool. Instead of all stationary chairs, add swivel and/or gliding chairs at the head of the table, or for all of them
- -A fun round sofa or loveseat that encourages coversation and coziness
- -Sectionals are really popular right now, and seat more people then a traditional sofa
- -Check out the Orbit Lounger, a round chaise with two head rests that raise and meet in the middle
- – Ottomans that act as storage
- -Several small ottomans – instead of one large one – look really cool, and are more flexible
- -Look for an outdoor console table to hold plates, napkins, utensils, etc.
- -Add a bar – the one at Angerstein’s is made of recycled milk jugs (good for environment), comes in a rainbow of colors (fun) and is as sturdy as an ox (practical)
- -A cabana with sun shade, Skyline has some of the most creative ones we’ve seen! Available through Angersteins, www.skylinedesign.com.
- -A beverage cooler allows you to have drinks handy for your guests, no more back-and-forth trips to the refrigerator inside
- b.) Fireplace
- c.) Firepit, gas or wood
- d.) Water feature
- e.) Outdoor kitchen with refrigerators, ice makers, kegerators, sinks, bar caddies, blenders, doors, cabinets and more
- f.) Pizza oven
- g.) Pergolas & Arbors – We have a great selection in store!
The sky is the limit when it comes to Outdoor Living. So the one rule you should always abide by is do what you love. Enjoy being outside!
Patio is complete!