The first thing we did to transform the pebbled area outside was to put a table in the space to claim it as a patio.A few months later, we were able to pave the area. Although this is officially communal property, it is rarely used by anyone else than us, and sometimes the neighbours below. But even then, they generally use it when we aren’t in, or if they’re joining us for a braai.
As we have paid for its full development, most other residents treat it as if it belongs to us exclusively.
The only problem was that it often felt like an extension of the car park (which is what it used to be). We have been wanting to cordon it off a little to make it a little more secure and to define it as a proper patio area.