Get on board decking trend
A really good way to add value and make your garden more useable is to create an eating, relaxing and entertaining area in the form of a patio or deck.
Do it now and it'll be ready to use as soon as the weather warms up next spring.
Getting the location right is key.
Do you want the patio or deck in full or partial sun, or in the shade?
Where the sun falls in the garden at different times of the day could make a big difference to how much you'll use your new area.
Decking is a brilliant way to make sloping gardens usable – simply extend the deck out from the house to cover the whole garden and you've solved the problem of an awkward, hard-to-use and even dangerous (if you have small children) space.
When deciding on the location, you also need to think about things such as drainage (manhole covers will still need to be accessed), where the doors to the garden are (you may want to fit new ones), where the bedrooms are (especially with a bungalow or flat) and if the patio or deck will be overlooked (one spot may be better than another).
Also consider the prevailing winds, traffic noise and what you'll be looking out on when you sit and relax.
It's important to have a deck or patio that's in proportion to the size of the house and to use colours and materials that work well with the building's style.