Rae Lewis. Patio. October 18th , 2017.
Classic pergolas and arches are very effective objects to use if you want to add an inviting feel to your garden and preserve the shade. Pergolas are made with a flatted top with a shape that is vertical to straight sides and can be small to cover up a walkway or large enough to cover a patio or deck area. On the other hand, the arches are generally used as fence gate or over walkways.
Bluestone Patio Paving! Bluestone paving is a wonderful choice for a patio. I am partial to natural stone as paving materials, and bluestone certainly is that.
An alternative to a complete awning is a shade sail. Shade sails can be custom made to any size you require, or you can combine a number of smaller ones to cover a larger area (the solution you choose will depend partly on your site, and partly on your budget). Shade sails work by a tension system - the sails, often triangular in shape, are anchored to tension points which may be attached to the walls of the dwelling or to the tops of poles sunk into the ground. They have the advantage of being portable: if you sell your home, you can move the sail to your new home and reinstall it for the price of new tension points.
Most of the time, they are not square. Look at a bluestone patio, and stand at one end and look at the lines of the joints. They should be straight and even. Yet because bluestone is not always cut properly at the quarry, the pieces are not exactly straight. If used as is, your joint lines will not be straight either.
Perhaps the concrete is basically sound, but has a few hairline cracks. In that case you can lay porcelain or stone tiles over the top, to give an elegant finish to your patio. It's a good idea to use tiles with a textured finish, to reduce the risk of slipping when the tiles are wet. You can use other materials such as sandstone, limestone, granite or slate, as long as they are properly sealed. If you often have freezing conditions over winter, then ensure the tiles don't absorb high levels of water, or they might crack. Be aware, too, that existing cracks in the concrete may expand and cause the tiles on top to crack as well.
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