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Kitchen Patio Project


Possibilities are exciting! I cannot claim to have had many original ideas but I do pay attention to the ideas of others, (often much more skilled and experienced than me), and try to find ways to make their ideas work in our garden.

The back of our house and garden have a sunny aspect and, in the years we have lived here, one question was how best to use this to our advantage. Built in the 1930’s the house was designed with one door at the side. This meant that access the garden was less than convenient, by exiting the side door – possibly bumping into the neighbours coming out of theirs – and then traversing the garden gate.

Inspiration came when our floor-standing boiler shuffled off its mortal coil (blew a gasket or something!), and had to be replaced. Once a new combi boiler had been wall mounted to the right of the kitchen window, we found ourselves with a gaping hole under the work surface, adjacent to the back wall of the house…..

As luck would have it, our neighbours had a couple of sales persons round from a local company well known for their conservatories and windows etc. I beckoned the salesmen in and explained what I wanted. There was much stroking of chins and measurement-taking but the pronouncement was, “Yes!”, it could be done – we would shortly have our back door!

In no time at all, it seemed, there were men in the house weilding large still saws, (and propping up the ceiling in the kitchen, which was a bit worrying), and in a flurry of noise, some dust, and with a new uPVC door/window unit in their van, we had our door!

The kitchen was transformed. Light flooded in, changing the entire feeling in the place and, best of all, we could simply step out into the sunshine!

Outside, the ground had been covered, to a length of about 8 feet, with gash concrete, badly laid, when the house was built. I stood outside looking down on it and knew it had to go.

It always takes me a while to feel I have explored all the options when making changes to an area, but I finally decided on an enclosed patio, incorporating an archway – we already had an archway further up the garden, so it seemed to reflect a theme here – and also to use Bradstone old town grey/green weathered flags, again a material I had already used in the garden.

Goodness, but breaking up and lifting concrete is hard work! Still, it was good exercise and when it was finally transferred up to the soil/rubble skip at the local public refuse site, it was certainly not missed! Next, I had to level the ground. Compacted by the concrete and untouched for 70 years, its amazing how many rubble bags it takes for an area just 8 feet by 10!

Now the tricky bit began. To lay flags either side of the new back doorstep and bring them round the site so that they met up without one side being six inches higher than the other! But I got there, and was very pleased with the result. Part of the process of all this meant that there was now a difference in height between the new patio and the drying green. However, I guessed that so long as it was not more than the height of an average step, and with the archway framing the step up, this new feature would actually lend character and interest. I am pleased to say this has been exactly the case and helps to lend to the feel of the patio being a separate part of, but connected to, the rest of the garden.

I contacted my favourite joiner to explain I wanted some railings to ‘frame’ the patio, either side of the arch and he obliged by carrying out an excellent job, once I had laid a wooden base rail complete with brackets cemented into the ground to anchor it.

I then framed off an area within in the flagstones of the patio and made a concrete plinth, slightly lower that the surrounding ground, to take the weight of a small garden table and chairs. After laying membrane down on the rest of the ground, I covered it with 14mm Cumbrian Red stone chips and contrasting white 21mm stone chips.

Voila, we had our kitchen patio and can now just step outside and sit in the sun, (when we get it in Aberdeenshire!).

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What an amazing transformation! Well done!! I can see you now have some climbers around your arch too. What have you found most successful for going over arches? I ask because I have 5 newish arches in my garden, I've got roses on them but they are not very big yet. Any recommendations?

18 Jun, 2008


This looks so Private & Pretty u did a Fab Job :)

18 Jun, 2008


it looks great,, looks like the perfect spot for a morning cupa

18 Jun, 2008


you must be thrilled , it looks fantastic , and that extra light really does make you feel brighter and ready to start the day off in a good mood

19 Jun, 2008


that looks lovely well done

19 Jun, 2008

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