Planning and creating a terrace is a real big project. The possibilities are almost limitless. Therefore, there is a great risk of not taking into account important points when arranging it. And once the terrace is in place, it’s hard to go back. Whether you want a lot of space for barbecues in the summer or for games, whether you want to extend your living room or your kitchen to the outside, it is all possible. Provided, of course, that you think about it correctly and plan it.
Therefore, you need to think in advance what your terrace is going to be used for and how you will mainly use it. What is the surface to be considered? What material do you want to make your patio out of? Ultimately, these questions also determine the price you want to put on it. Also for this reason, the terrace should be carefully planned and the costs involved calculated.
1 – Over- or underestimating the size of your terrace
In general, depending on the number of seats you want, there are about ten square meters for a table and four chairs, while double that for a large living room with a table and twelve chairs. The terrace is the link between your possible garden and your apartment or house, so it must be of an appropriate size. If it is too small, the seating area may not quite fit in it. Conversely, surfaces that are too large can quickly feel uncomfortable – not to mention higher costs.
2 – Choosing the wrong location for your terrace
The location of the patio is just as important as its size. Most terraces are on the south or west side of the house, as this is where there are the most hours of sunshine. This is the place where you can sunbathe or spend a mild summer evening. A terrace on the north side is to be avoided.
3 – Do not provide a slope for rainwater
Rainwater must always be able to drain from your house, otherwise damage may occur. When planning and, above all, during construction, you should therefore consider a slope of 2% to your home, regardless of the type of surface you have chosen for your terrace.
4 – Using the wrong material for your deck surface
Even if the flooring of your terrace is a matter of personal taste, each material has its advantages and disadvantages. And of course its price, which can vary considerably. In general, it is preferable that the surface is easy to clean, the material should be suitable for home and garden and should be as flat as possible. What are the most common materials used for decking?
- Wood: it’s a classic, it reflects heat, it’s easy to install. However, a wooden deck requires regular maintenance and can turn gray over time, depending on the type of wood. As a rule, it is softwood, hardwood or tropical wood. In addition, a concrete foundation or a load-bearing substructure is necessary for this type of terrace.
- The mixture of wood and plastic: it is therefore a much more robust material than wood. But it can quickly become very hot in direct sunlight and particularly slippery in rainy weather.
- Concrete: a wide variety of shapes and colors are available at a relatively affordable price.
- Stone: it is a robust, durable and natural coating. You must ensure that the side of your paving is flat, otherwise your table and chairs may oscillate severely.
5 – Do not provide any electrical outlet on your terrace
Whether it’s for an electric grill, a plancha, lighting for your late evening or even for the charging cable for your laptop, tablet or smartphone, you must think about equipping your terrace with an electrical outlet or a a double socket if you want to connect several devices in parallel. It’s always more convenient to have an electrical outlet close at hand rather than dragging an extension cord into your home.
6 – Not considering the importance of plants on your terrace
The orientation of the terrace and therefore the number of hours of sunshine play an important role in the choice of your plants. Each has specific requirements. Annuals, for example, must be – as their name suggests – replanted every year. You can provide espaliers, trellises or pergolas because this way your flowering plants receive more sun than on the ground and are also more visible.
7 – Do not think about protecting yourself from the sun on your terrace
A parasol is the easiest way to protect yourself from the sun on a terrace, even more so if your terrace faces south or west. Your parasol must rest on a stable base to withstand wind and weather. Count on a good square meter of floor space for an open parasol. If you turn to an awning or a pergola, you will increase your shadow zone, and in case of rain your protection zone. And why not opt for a “hard” roof, in aluminum or wood? You also have the option of installing a veranda or a simple glass roof – which protects you against bad weather, but not against solar radiation (on the contrary: glass can even have a greenhouse effect.)
8 – Skip the face-to-face
Have you thought of a screen for when you plan your sunbathing? Something that gives you privacy but also shouldn’t obstruct the view of your own garden. Hedges and other trellises or climbing plants are particularly suitable. Panels made of wood or other materials also prevent unwanted views.
9 – Install too little or too much furniture on your terrace
Your furniture must correspond to the atmosphere you want to give to your terrace. You have an infinite choice of garden furniture, whether in wood, plastic or fabric. How about a metal and glass table on a natural stone terrace? The important thing is to plan the overall size of your terrace and choose your furniture accordingly. For example, a comfortable lounge chair can take up a lot of space on your patio.
10 – Neglecting the lighting on your terrace
Even if your terrace faces west, there comes a time when it is more difficult for you to read or play games. Quite simply because the darkness is on your terrace and you find yourself in the dark. Hence the importance of properly planning the lighting of your terrace. Although candles create a warm atmosphere, they often do not provide sufficient light. Opt for LED wall sconces or recessed spotlights: it is both an efficient and energy-saving light source. Also look at what is being done in connected equipment: there are many so-called smart solutions.