Not everyone starts from scratch when it comes to adding a home patio onto their property. If you have moved into a property which already has a patio in place, it can sometimes be easier to add another section onto it, rather than ripping up what is already there.
But before you do anything you should take some time to work out what you would like to do. Make a start by sketching out a rough plan of your entire garden to scale, and mark in any features that you would like to keep in place, or that are permanent anyway.
Lightly sketch out your existing patio and then work out what you would do if you added a section onto it. Would you need to extend it in a certain direction? Would that affect any features you already have, such as flowerbeds and perhaps part of the lawn?
It’s also a good idea to think about how you will use your garden, mainly because you will have to work out how much bigger the patio will be once the addition is in place. If you need lots of room to entertain people, a barbecue area might be a good idea. Conversely you may not be prepared to lose a lot of your lawn if you have young children, so bear this in mind too.
Once you have an idea of where you want the extension to be, mark it out in your garden using some string to indicate roughly where the edge will be. This will give you a much better idea of the size of your whole patio once it is finished.
Regardless of the size that you want your outdoor patio to be when it is complete, you will want the new addition to match the existing patio as closely as possible. Obviously the shade will not match exactly, since a certain amount of weathering will have affected the original patio, but a close match will provide you with a good finish once the elements have done their job in the ensuing few weeks and months.
Another point to bear in mind is whether there will be a difference in height between the existing structure and what you intend to add to it. If there is you may want to think about building a step or a slope into the design, depending on your needs. If there is a reasonable difference between the two levels you could take the opportunity to build a raised bed into the design, softening the join between the old patio and the new one with some good planting and foliage.
If the difference between the old and the new is still quite visible, try blasting your old patio with a proper cleaner to get all the grime and dirt out of the floor. It’s amazing how much difference this alone will make, and it’s worth spending a couple of hours doing this as it will improve your brand new larger patio no end.