You have decided to build a patio. There are many things to consider when building a patio or pergola so it is a good idea to have check list at hand to ensure you are tackling the right things at the right time.
1) First on the check list is to make sure you have secured all of the approvals and permissions to build your pergola or patio. Each council has different rules and regulations, and heritage listed houses will be even further limited as to scope. So be sure to get the paperwork in order before you do anything else.
2) Next on the list of things to do is the choice of whether to self build or hire a contractor. There are a number of factors that will influence this decision.
- Do you have the skills to build your own structure? Or perhaps do you have mates that can you ask to help?
- Do you have the right tools to build or if not, can they be hired easily and cost effectively?
- Can you afford to hire a contractor, as this is another option to consider?
3) After you know that you are allowed to build a patio, and who is going to build it, the next step is to establish a budget. What can you afford? Can you afford to hire a company to come and do all the work for you or do you have build it yourself?
A tighter budget might mean buying a kit or going on readily available plans from a library or hardware store, where as a larger budget will mean selective the best option from a catalogue. Your budget will not only influence design, it will also influence material selection. Make sure you keep your budget in mind when making these important decisions.
4) Design, style and layout are the next on the list. How the patio functions and looks is your step when building a patio.
- Will it be attached to house or free standing?
- Will it be covered and how? A shade cloth, PVC or a retractable roof cover?
- Does the style complement your house in the context of your property?
- Will the patio be appropriate to your lifestyle? Large, small, wrapping around the house?
- Do you need any special considerations such as ramps, railings or built in cooking equipment?
- Will you require windows, sliding doors, planter boxes or lattice work?
5) The final stage on your road to patio completion is to decide on the materials you would like to use.
The materials you select will depend greatly on your budget and also the style of your patio. A modern, custom designed affair would most likely suit the more modern materials such as powder coated metals and new plastics and composites. Where as a more traditional structure aside an older house will most likely suit timber and more natural materials. Your budget will also have to be considered when choosing materials for the structure and the roof cover. However, do keep in mind that investing in good quality, durable materials will save you time and money in repairs and maintenance in the long run.
With this basic patio check list, you can be sure that you have covered all the major concerns before you begin building your patio or pergola.