Creating an outdoor patio is one of the best investments you can make in your family’s lifestyle. Building a patio is a job you can make as simple or as complex as you like, depending on what type of materials you use and how ornate you want it to be.
Here are 10 of the top time-saving tips and tricks you can use to build a patio.
- What’s your plan
Without careful planning, your perfect patio could turn into a nightmare. Consider exactly where the patio is going to be located and the dimensions, and then measure it out using builder’s chalk or a small stake and tape at each of the boundaries. Add an extra metre to allow for roof overhang.
Is the ground level? And what lies beneath? Remember that you may have to dig down at least a metre (3 foot) to secure the corner posts. Make sure there are no obstructions that can’t easily be dealt with.
- Choose your material
You may find that the relatively inexpensive holiday or weekend project you had planned is going to go way over budget. Think outside the square. If you’ve got your mind set on granite pavers that you believe will offset the colours you’ve used indoors, then opt for recycled wood from old constructions as support beams. A cheerful coat of paint or render can make all the difference.
- Design and plan as efficiently as possible
This is an area for relaxation, so you don’t need to spend every weekend battling to keep it clean.
- Think about placement
If your outdoor pergola is going to be attached to the house, work out how you are going to do that. You may need to consult a builder or patio specialist before you do any damage to your home’s exterior.
- Research, research, research.
Visit your local library for as many DIY building manuals as you can lay your hands on, or look for magazines that specialise in outdoor patios and pergolas. The more you know, the easier your job will be. For top quality samples, you can always visit Sunscreen patios Penrith as an inspiration & guidance.
- Think about what type of furniture you want
Consider carefully what furniture you intend to use and measure the dimensions, and then add least one metre to allow enough space to move around. For example, a sofa that measures 250 cm x 120 cm needs at least another 150 cm to 200 cm around it so you can sit in comfort.
- Will you need electricity?
Decide if your outdoor patio room is going to include electrical equipment. If you intend adding a TV or stereo unit, plan where these items will be placed and have a qualified electrician install the wiring.
- How much lighting do you need?
Lighting is another major consideration if you want a covered pergola. How much lighting does the area need and what type of lighting is appropriate? Once again, you will need to call on the services of an electrician to install the wiring.
- What about drainage?
Ensure that you have sufficient drainage, most builders usually recommend a site slope measuring 0.5 cm per 30 cm away from your home. If the roof is flat, you should think about guttering so that water drains away from your patio.
- Consider calling a contractor
When all else fails, call in a contractor. Sure, we all start with the best of intentions, but sometimes the best-laid plans come unstuck for reasons beyond our control.
Don’t persist when you know you’re in trouble –- although a qualified builder is going to cost you more than you may have initially budgeted for, trying to overcome an issue that is beyond your capabilities and knowledge can cost you a heck of a lot more. And when your carefully considered and brilliantly executed outdoor pergola is built, take the time to congratulate yourself on a job well done!