Ideas for extremely small uncovered patio?

jaxoOctober 25, 2013

I'm just finishing up a newly installed flagstone patio.
I'm getting some of the plants rearranged and replaced, the a/c enclosure painted, flagstone sealed and then I should get the furniture and some new lighting.

Since the patio is very, very small (approx 10 wide by 30 feet long and the area near the a/c and fountain is only 6 feed wide) and I plan to just order an aluminum bistro set and a chaise lounge. Maybe a compact grill too.

The temps in summer are very hot and dry (90-100+ degrees and 10 to 20% humidity), so I have misters installed on the eaves that work pretty well. I have planted two trees that will probably begin to provide some shade in 3 years in addition to the shade I will get from a patio umbrella or two in the meantime.

I'm getting Juniper Skyrocket and emerald green arborvitae planted along the fence to provide privacy when they mature.
In the meantime, I'm looking for ideas for what I can put on the fence to fill in the gaps between the slats so I can have more privacy from people walking and driving by. Maybe 2 inch strips of wood nailed over each gap and painted to match the fence or is there a product designed for this purpose?
The gaps between the wood slats are wider than they appear in the photo, so you have little privacy when on the patio..

The next thing I'm looking for ideas on is the best way to add winter heat so I can use the patio comfortably in cooler weather. I'd like to use the patio to read, browse the web or eat outside when it is probably about as cold as 50 degrees. Much below that, I'll likely just stay inside when at home.
What's best heater for this layout? A tall propane patio heater tower or a small fire pit where I can just drop in a Duraflame type log?
Let me know what kind of ideas you have.

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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

One winter afternoon in Pasadena, a group sat outdoors on a hotel/restaurant patio that was warmed by some very vertical pyramid-shaped heaters that were really attractive and seemed quite effective. The closest example I can find is in the link below. It came to mind because of your space limitations.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vertical patio heater

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 1:12AM
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jaxo

I wonder if fire pit tables are effective for heat?
It would allow me to have one thing that could be left out all year long (assuming it it is fully sun, rain and rust proof) and do double duty as a year round table.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 1:45AM
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jaxo

I just rearranged some of the pants. Here is another picture showing the ground space available.

I read some reviews that said the pyramid shaped heaters give a really nice-looking light show at night, but are poor at providing useful heat.
Maybe it depends on the specific model of heater and maybe the the people complaining had a larger area to heat than I do.
However, even though my patio is so small, it is still wide open and uncovered, so there is nothing to contain the heat and I would probably need to situate the heater quite close to where I would be sitting unless it really "throws" out a lot of heat without a fan assist.

Another option I thought of would be a table top heater. I would need to get a table larger than a bistro set to accommodate it or else there would be not be enough space to even set down a tray or laptop with the heater on top.
I could also set it on the floor or on a low side table next to the chaise lounge I get and it would be small and light enough that I could easily pick it up and store it inside when not needed.
Anyone try those table top heaters or else the pyramid heaters described earlier?.
The ones by Lava Heat Italia look good, but pricey. They do have a tabletop version that's only $150 at Costco though.

See the link below the photo.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lava Heat Italia

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 2:37PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

I like the easy movability of these heat lamps.
They even look good when not in use.
easy to move around, lots of heat.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:06AM
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marti8a

I like the look of that heater. How close to it can you put lawn furniture, and does it make much noise?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 7:13PM
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jaxo

Can a propane BBQ do double duty as a heater so I don't need 2 objects?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 10:29PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

How close to it can you put lawn furniture, - pretty close but use reasonable caution.
and does it make much noise? - no.

Can a propane BBQ do double duty as a heater so I don't need 2 objects? - never tried it - doesn't sound too attractive though.

You might like the smaller table top heaters (miniature versions of the traditional stand type) or perhaps one of the propane operated coffee tables. - no a lot of heat - more ambiance than warmth.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 4:50PM
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jaxo

I decided to get a patio heater in a different style. I like the looks of it and the fact that it came 95% pre assembled in the box.
The only disappointment is that, if it is that you really need to be right on top of it (within 1 ft away) for it to feel warm since 90% of the heat just goes away into the sky in an open uncovered patio.
I'm thinking that I may eventually get a small covered gazebo just large enough to hold a bistro set.plus the heater so I can sit outside on colder days and not lose 99% of the heat output from the heater.
Otherwise, I find this heater mostly decorative. It adds nice atmosphere on nights when it is not cold outside.
I have to sit so close to it that my shoulders are almost touching it to get real heating benefit.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 6:50PM
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