All I want for Christmas is – a new patio? Somewhere to sit in comfort within my own garden next summer? Replace the fencing that is falling down? So why not make it your New Year’s resolution to do something about it?

A New Year and a new start is the perfect time for creating plans, working out what can be done to achieve your dreams. With time away from work and more the opportunity to relax at home, it helps focus attention on your surroundings. Often you can see things in the garden which you might otherwise have missed.  Take a close look at the garden, and think about what you really would like to do to improve it, and make it the perfect summer spot.

What type of materials would you prefer to use? What is your budget? Where would you like the new seating area, or patio expansion to be placed?  Consider designs and spacing.

Think about colours and styles. What suits you and your garden? Are you looking for bright, vibrant colours or do you prefer something more neutral and natural? Do you favour contemporary, modernistic lines or something which is more rustic?  What materials are preferable – wood, metal, brick, stone?  Measure up fencing if you are planning to replace any sections.  If a bigger transformation is planned, then creating some rough sketches of the garden highlighting where that extended patio or new seating area might be will help crystallize your ideas.

Seek advice from a landscape contractor. This is a very valuable exercise because a landscape contractor can advise on any potential problems such as pipes, wiring or ground surfaces. Their skill and knowledge is invaluable and because they possess all the required manpower and machinery, they can ensure the job is undertaken and fulfilled quickly and efficiently. They can also make recommendations on products and suggest innovative ways of achieving a desired look.

Taking action at this time of the year can save you money and time. There may be good deals to be had on some materials, which may be cheaper because they are being acquired outside the main gardening season. It may well be that your new garden facilities cost you less than you might expect. At the start of the year, popular landscape contractors are often able to start work on a new project quickly and get it completed ready for use as soon as the weather improves.