A patio built with high quality composite decking can instantly transform a backyard, from an expansive garden to a small residential plot, adding definition, function, and style to the space. If you plan on using your patio as an extra living space; choosing the right materials and designing and constructing it well becomes essential.
As summer approaches, you may be anxious to start your new outdoor project or addition to get out of your stuffy dining room and into the fresh air. However, with so many options for deck ideas, outdoor designs, products to choose from and features to include, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, leading you to shut the back door and put the air-con on. And that’s before you’ve even added the information to the calculator!
Before you chalk up your new BBQ to a wasted investment or cancel your plans to host Christmas lunch, read on for inspiration on how to begin and get the most from your outdoor patio design.
What’s the difference between a deck design and a patio?
A patio can be attached to or detached from the main dwelling and is generally situated on the ground. A deck, however, is an open platform that extends from the house and can be built to height.
12 ways to create a patio oasis with composite decking
Perhaps you’ve just bought a home, and the outdoor area leaves much to be desired. Or, your original deck boards are showing their age and it’s time for an upgrade. Check out these seven ways to instantly upgrade your outdoor deck, or read on to discover how composite decking can turn your patio into an instant oasis.
1. Build a composite deck over a concrete patio
Before composite materials made their Australian debut, home builders and savvy DIY’ers often had nowhere else to turn but concrete when they wanted to avoid using timber or wood in their exposed outdoor areas. Good for durability but not much else – it doesn’t take long before concrete floors find their way back to the top of the projects list.
An old, broken, stained, or cracked slab can become an unsightly focal point, a nightmare for maintenance and uncomfortable when the mercury dips too high or low. Installing composite decking as a floating deck over the slab with the aid of battens can add instant safety, warmth, style, and comfort to the space, allowing you to make the most of your outdoor areas all year round. Click here to learn more about building a deck over concrete.
2. Extend your patio to your pool area
Thanks to composite decking, your pool deck no longer needs to be burn-inducing, unsightly and slippery. With slip resistance, heat reflective properties, a range of designs to suit any pool and affordability, why not extend the design and composite materials of your patio to incorporate your pool area? Composite decking is a perfect option for pools, with concealed fastening preventing nails sticking out and injuring bare feet, and a lack of splintering taking foot protection a step further.
Suddenly, your turn to watch the kids swim will be a breeze, and the functionality of your pool will encourage longer, more frequent, and more enjoyable stints spent using your investment.
3. Match your patio furniture to your composite decking
Outdoor spaces can be hard to beautify for even the most experienced home decorator. Composite boards provide the perfect way to tie areas together, along with plenty of inspiration to develop your furniture’s colours, facade, and layout.
Our completed project in Sylvania, NSW, provides a great example. Composite boards offer a sense of cohesion when paired with a view of the water, stone facades, and vibrant green gardens. Composite decking, in this instance, allowed antique home features to blend seamlessly with modern furnishings, bringing a sense of paradise overall.
4. Create the perfect outdoor BBQ area
Composite decking is built tough to handle the weight of your BBQ and all your guests. Options such as our Titanium Range features fire retardant properties to reduce the flammability from wayward ash, so you can feel confident during your next BBQ that your composite decking can handle the heat. Our capped boards are easy to clean and can handle any accidental spills. Learn more about cleaning and maintenance tips for your composite patio.
5. Design a dedicated space for your patio heater
You may have heard a lot about the ability of composite decking to handle the hot Australian sun, but be wondering, “can you use a patio heater on composite decking?” After all, you won’t want to neglect your outdoor space in the chilly months. The good news is – when properly installed and monitored, it is perfectly safe to put a heater on your composite decking.
6. Incorporate plants into your decking design
Plants can add instant comfort and appeal to your composite decking, linking it to nature and adding diversity to your space. Add flower beds, raised planters or hanging vines for an instantly stunning space. If this option excites you, check out our post on how to make raised garden beds from composite boards.
7. Add a contemporary fence or railings
A railing can have a wonderful effect on your space’s look, providing essential functionality for family and friends. Replace old wooden rails or erect new composite ones for a well-defined and contoured outdoor space.
8. Consider a chevron pattern
Outdoor spaces no longer need to be wooden or concrete, nor do floorboards need to be straight up and down. Consider laying your composite boards in a chevron pattern for a contemporary, refined look that will bring a powerful point of difference to your space.
9. Opt for lighter composite board tones
The beauty of composite decking is the number of colours and styles you can choose from. No matter what exterior size you have to work with, lighter-toned decking materials will create a spacious feel while avoiding the hot feel underfoot that many darker colours can produce.
10. Add lighting to highlight your patio’s beautiful construction
To create a homely environment, the right lighting is essential. Once you’ve installed your roof or shades, gotten on the right page regarding the layout and design, and chosen the best materials for your patio, consider adding lighting under the composite boards, in the steps or even draped around the roofing to create the most welcoming space.
11. Create different levels
Composite decking boards are not only for flat spaces. Create a step, posts, different levels, or borders around your deck to develop a uniform appearance and connection between different areas within the garden. This can be a perfect solution for those on split-level blocks or who wish to frame the focal point of their gardens, such as a swimming pool or veggie patch.
12. Make room for activities
Houses serve many purposes these days, from being a work-from-home zone to a fitness facility or space to keep the kids entertained. Optimising the use of your outdoor area by adding shade and using composite materials to refine dedicated areas for work, play and entertaining, can make your family more functional and balanced than ever.
Things to consider before redesigning your patio
What is the shape of your patio?
Patio designs are not limited by walls or roofs and don’t often need to conform to a simple box shape. This can allow for creative freedom when deciding what shape to create your patio, from a traditional square or rectangle to a circle or even a collection of different shapes. When deciding on your patio shape, consider the layout and size of your property, how you plan to use the patio and the style of your main dwelling and landscaping.
What is the size of your patio?
This is another patio design aspect that allows you creative freedom. Plan your patio size to ensure it will grow with your needs, considering whether you plan to add elements such as a fire pit, long benches, or extra seating. Without the need to worry about fitting everything into four walls, you can truly create your patio to fit the parameters of your lifestyle.
What is the surface of your patio?
Traditionally, patios would have a stone or pebbled floor with defined edges made from whatever natural materials were on hand. Nowadays, however, the surfaces and materials of your patio can come with various benefits, such as composite decking boards and a colorbond roof, making the space comfortable for Australian weather year-round.
What is your style?
A patio that matches the main dwelling will most likely get the most interest from potential buyers and nosy visitors. This can include adding splashes of colour, the same flooring as your decks or balconies, or even similar furnishing to your living spaces. On the other hand, you may be itching for the opportunity to branch out from your style, in which case your patio provides the perfect canvas to get creative and bring your unique vision to life.
What is your budget?
As with any significant work, your budget is an important consideration. Determine your cost estimate based on materials and labour costs and refine your design to include what really matters. This may mean saving your string lights or planters for another time to ensure that your flooring and steps are of the highest quality.
What is the best patio composite decking material?
Covering a concrete patio with composite decking is one of the quickest, simplest, and most affordable ways to breathe new life and function into your patio. Our NextGen Titanium decking range is the most weather resistant in the world, made to stand up to Australia’s toughest conditions.
Click here for your deck board sample to make the best choice for your pergola or patio.
More creative ways to create a beautiful outdoor patio with composite boards
Looking for more patio design inspiration? Check out our previously completed composite decking jobs to get inspired or develop the rest of your idea. Our company is committed to bringing the best composite materials to your home so you can make the most of Australian weather year-round.