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What to do with your garden after fitting patio doors

Fitting patio doors can open up a social world of possibilities for your garden. Here are some tips to help you decide what to do next.

Many people fit patio doors not only to bring more light into their homes but also to bring the indoors that much closer to the out, essentially turning the garden into an extra living space. This is usually the trigger point for a whole re think and re vamp of the garden area - not to mention more barbecues and garden parties. Fitting hundreds of thousands of homes a year with new doors and windows, replacement window companies like Safestyle UK see so many new garden ideas that they are always full of useful hints and tips to help you finish off "the look".

Firstly you need to sit back and consider what type of external doors you have had fitted to the rear (or side) of your house. Believe it or not there is a vast range of options available: bi fold doors, sliding patio doors, folding sliding patio doors, concertina doors, French windows, French doors... it's a big list and you can check out the sorts of options available here.

Once you understand the styling of your patio doors you can use that to help you understand if you want to keep close to the style of the new doors (and the architectural period of your house) or whether you are going to completely re invent your outdoor living area. Here is a check list to consider when getting started:

a. What is the size of your garden?
b. Is it overlooked?
c. Is it all on the same level or sloped/terraced?
d. Where is the natural sun trap?
e. What is your personal taste? Do you favour traditional, contemporary or something a bit way out?
f. Are you wanting a patio/decked area?
g. Will you need any steps?
h. If you are having elevated areas what types of handrails and spindles will you want?
i. Don't forget to measure up the garden furniture!
j. Where will the barbecue go?
k. Do you get high rainfall? Consider non slip surfaces.
l. What about the shape of your decking/patio area? Square? Round? Decagonal?
m. Will you want to plant new trees?
n. Are you going to go all "Tom and Barbara" with chickens and a vegetable patch?
o. What sort of stone will you choose?
p. Will you want a Zen garden area? (Water features with stones, sand and geometric shaped ornaments.)
q. What about a small gazebo or archway for climbing plants?
r. Do you like things a bit "zen"? Where will the water feature go?
s. Fire pits are popular. Make sure you plan this safely.
t. Will you want mood lighting? Will it be electric, solar or flame?
u. Let's not forget the hot tub!
v. What will the garden look like when viewed from inside the house?

There are a ton of things to think about when planning your new garden and patio areas and this can be one of the most enjoyable projects you've ever embarked upon so get a pad and paper, a nice cool gin and tonic and let your imagination drift away. Remember that how you currently use the garden and how you intend to use it may not necessarily be the same thing and so, understanding how many people your garden needs to accommodate both on a daily basis and also for special social occasions will help you achieve a garden that is both functional and a delight to visit. If you are yet to fit new French doors then you also need to take into account the size requirements, there's no point in buying a new hostess trolley if it won't fit through your new doors.