Choosing Outdoor Surfaces

When it comes to landscaping the outside of your home something you will need to decide on is what type of surface you will have for your outside entertainment area and paths around your home.  Outdoor spaces have truly become an extension of our living areas, where we relax and entertain, therefore outdoor  surfaces need to be selected with the same care and attention as we do for the inside of our home.


Concrete has recently been reborn with architects pushing it in new directions with great new colour choices and finishes available. While grey was standard years ago, you can now practically get any shade to suit the colour palate of your building. The old rough exposed stone has now been replaced with better smother pebble and also lightly exposed instead of the old school heavy exposing of the stone beneath. Sandblasting, polished, sponge finish and also special designs with saw cuts through the slabs now let you make your slab unique. Polished concrete is definitely something that is extremely popular with the latest designs at the moment especially  around pools which creates  very clean lines and a sophisticated feel as opposed to tiling.


Paving has come a long way since the use of the old brick style pavers, now there is an abundance of pavers available on the market and cost is dropping with different sizes and finishes available. These  include polished or sand blasted finishes in different materials such as stone, clay or concrete.  .

Paving does require quite a bit of preparation and due to this things are leaning more to either concrete or tiling these days. Although pavers definitely do have an advantage in that they are a flexible surface. By this I mean they can be lifted, added onto or replaced easily without a noticeable change, unlike other surfaces used. They are a popular choice for stepping stones throughout the garden.


With imports flooding the market and choice and variety increasing, prices are dropping giving you a much better selection to choose from.  Stone is becoming a very popular and economical choice here with the range ever increasing including Granite, Marble, Travertine, Bluestone, Sandstone and more.

Tiling has the advantage that you can match the tiling that is  inside your home to the outside area giving a seamless flow from one to the other.


Whether it’s used for a patio, veranda or around a pool, timber is a great choice for versatility. It’s also a fantastic choice for steep sites as a way to create a useable flat space.

Basically there are two different ways to go with timber decking and that would be to use either a pine or a hardwood decking timber.  Hardwood is definitely our choice as it is- one more durable and two looks far superior to pine decking. A popular choice with decking at the moment is to use a wider board which has a much nicer finish than the narrower boards.

It is also now becoming common for people to let the boards weather naturally to a grey colour rather than painting with a stain or vanish. Staining definitely creates a more polished look but the boards will need regular maintenance to keep the desired effect .

This is very much a personal choice and  its best to evaluate what would look better with the finish of your home.

Whatever the choice,  laying a solid foundation for the outside of your home is an important one and a few considerations will need to be looked at before you make your decision. Expert advice is definitely worth it because it can be a timely and expensive exercise if you get it wrong!