Planning a new garden patio or driveway can feel like a minefield at first – there is so much choice when it comes to paving, but don’t despair! In this article we share five steps to choosing patio or driveway paving – most of which can be done from the comfort of your own sofa using technology such as augmented reality and 3D garden design.
1. Create a digital mood board
The best way to start any home project is to create a vision of what you want to achieve. Consider the space you want to pave and the styles you like and then get googling for inspiration. If you’re short on space for example, start by searching ‘small patio design ideas’ and looking at the images that come up. If you’re looking for a garden which is great for the family, look at ‘family friendly garden ideas’ or ‘low maintenance patio ideas’. Bookmark the pictures you like or use a tool like Pinterest to save all the photos in one place. You could start by browsing the images in our other articles, including small garden design ideas and large driveway designs.
Expert Tip: The colour and style of your patio should reflect the style of your home – take inspiration from the brickwork and period of your property (more on this later).
2. Choose your preferred paving type
Next, decide which type of paving material you favour – porcelain, concrete or natural stone are the some of the most popular choices. When you’re making your decision, consider performance and maintenance as well the colour and style of the slabs. Search paving by material type and by colour, for example grey paving, and make a note of the ones that best suit your style.
Of course, whilst you’re browsing you will need to start thinking about budget. We’re often asked how much does a new patio cost, and it’s a great question. Start by measuring the area you are paving and have the figures to hand whilst you’re looking at options. If you’re using the Marshalls website, you can roughly calculate how much your favourite materials will cost you. Each product has a price per square metre and you can see how much surface area each pack will cover.
Expert Tip: If you want to spend minimal time on patio maintenance, then make sure you have porcelain paving on your research list.
3. See how your favourite paving choices look your garden – virtually!
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices it’s time to see how they look in your space. But no need to order physical samples just yet! Thanks to technology that’s already available on your phone we’ve made it possible for you to ‘place’ paving in your garden to test for colour and texture against the house and rest of the garden. You can even download the pictures to compare options and get feedback from friends and family. Marshalls Virtual Samples is an eco-friendly way to sample several paving types in your garden and narrow down your choices even further and it’s instant too.
Watch the video below to see how our pave tool works and look out for the 3D icon on the top left of the pictures of our products on site.
4. Order paving samples through the post
New advances in technology means that virtual paving samples can now be even more of an accurate reflection of the real paving than a small sample section, but if you’re still struggling to choose between options you might want to order physical samples too. The majority of the bigger paving suppliers will offer samples, at Marshalls you can order free paving samples via our website (postage and packaging costs apply) or through a Marshalls Registered Installer.
5. Work with a professional on a 3D garden design
If you’re enlisting the help of a professional, they’ll work with you to understand what you want to achieve with your space and discuss what is possible within your budget. It’s always a good idea to have an idea of the paving you would like to use before you book the work, but they can also offer advice too. We create 3D digital designs for Marshalls Registered Installers on behalf of their customers and it can be a great way to help determine the right shade and type of paving for your garden.
Bear in mind that the best installers get booked up far in advance, so it’s worth making a few calls and booking visits in long before you would like the work to be done.
So there you have it, our 5 expert tips to help you choose garden paving from the comfort of your sofa! We hope you make the most of the augmented reality and pave planner tools to help you get started, and find products you love for your dream garden.