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How to calculate the right patio size

Your patio is the social hub and focal point of your garden and so you’ll want to get its design just right before you spend your cash! The fun bit is, of course, choosing your garden paving, deciding whether to keep to gorgeous traditional riven natural stone flags or to go for new generation vitrified paving slabs in exciting colours and finishes. But before you start looking, here are a few tips we think you’ll find useful:

Successful patio planning tips & advice





Garden designers always advise that your patio should be in proportion to your house. You don’t want it to dominate your garden, or to look mean and measly!   A good rule of thumb is to make sure  the patio as wide as the house and as deep as the house's height.  Another helpful way to get the size right, is to measure your living room and use similar dimensions for your patio.

emphasise the width and depth of your patio

How to position your patio is something to consider.  Of course, the sun might decide that for you!  Traditionally garden patios are laid square and parallel to the house, but you could choose to lay your paving at a slight angle. This creates a contemporary look and is a clever way to emphasise width or depth of your patio. Incorporating a paving circle gives a patio a more organic feel and a visual focal point. Make the most of a feature like this by placing it further away from the house to draw the eye.

So how big does your patio need to be? It’s worth spending some time thinking about how you will use this lovely new outdoor space. There’s nothing more useful than marking out your planned area, getting out your garden furniture and barbecue, and trying it all out for size.

patio perfect for four

If you just want room for a bistro set, you’ll only need paving of about 2 metres².  An outdoor living room or family patio should be approximately 5m by 6m.  Remember to allow about a metre clearance around furniture so there’s easy traffic flow when everyone’s at home. A squashed entertaining space isn’t ideal, so for a patio perfect for four, you'll need about 3mx3m or a patio circle with a diameter of at least 3m. For six to eight, make it at least 4mx4m. Don’t forget your barbecue, which will need an extra space about 2m².

include paving required for paths

Finally paths to and from a patio should be about 1.5m wide at all points. Narrow garden paths look awkward and can be unsafe if you’ve got lots of people going to and fro. When ordering your patio paving, make sure you include any paving required for paths - it’s important you get the same batch to ensure colour consistency.  High quality natural stone garden paving from leading suppliers like Marshalls and Stonemarket meets British Stone Standards for technical strength and is hand selected for colour and surface appearance. Cutting costs at this point can affect the success of your project, so check out whether your chosen slabs meet or exceed the Stone Standard!

For more tips on how big does your patio need to be, and for a huge range of paving & walling products, visit