Finding the right design to suit your home
If, like most Australians, you love spending time outdoors, there are several ways that you can opt to enjoy your outdoor spaces. One such way is through the addition of a pergola, patio or verandah to your home.
These covered outdoor areas are a popular and inexpensive way to maximise your outdoor space. You can create the perfect outdoor entertainment area for that family BBQ, poolside party, or just a quiet area to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounds outside your house, sheltered from the harsh Australian weather.
Imagine having a patio or verandah installed in Melbourne and being outside not having to worry about getting wet from rain one moment and the next moment covering your eyes from the piercing rays of the sun.
Pergolas, patios or verandahs even have the benefit of potentially adding significant value to your home.
That’s why it is also important to make sure you choose a design that fits the look and feel of your home. There are many factors you need to take into consideration, such as the location, shape, size, and which material and colours to use.
Which materials are best for Pergolas, patios or verandahs?
The three most common materials used in the construction of pergolas, patios and verandahs are timber, metal (steel and aluminium), and polycarbonate.
Timber has the advantage of being a natural product with a natural look, feel and texture that many people are attracted to. Hardwoods or treated pine are the most commonly used types of timber. The downside to timber is that it does require regular maintenance in order to protect it from the elements.
Polycarbonate is a lightweight material that can be designed to allow light exposure (up to 85% of all available light). It is also less prone to colour fading. In many cases, polycarbonate is used together with steel panels to provide a balance of heat and sun protection whilst still providing lighting in to the outdoor space.
Metal (steel and aluminium) structures won’t rust and can be constructed quickly if bought or modified from kit form. They can cover a wider area and require less structural support than timber, with little to no maintenance required over time. Colorbond steel for example has the benefits of blocking out heat, being lightweight, durable and long lasting. It is also available in a variety of colours and shades to match the existing roof colour (or otherwise) to suit your taste.
What range of products are available?
Steel structures are a popular choice for those looking for a modern product that provides structural strength and design flexibility. Well known companies such as Stratco offer a range of flexible patio, pergola, and verandah designs to suit your needs using steel as the primary material.
For example the Stratco Outback range consists of verandahs and patios with different shaped roofs. You can also customise the design to your liking by choosing from a large range of colours, as well as a variety of different sizes and layouts. Note: it is recommended to use an authorised Stratco dealer and specialist when using their products for your installation.
The installation process – from start to finish
A good company that sells would want to make sure you get the best and most hassle-free experience when you choose to build with them. So with this in mind, the following is a step by step guide to the whole process you should expect, from the initial quote to enjoying your newly completed patio, pergola, or verandah:
- Measure & Quote – Many places offer free quotes. Simply call up the installer and set up a time for them to do a measure and quote (make sure they aren’t late!). In this part of the process, they should be talking to you about what your needs are for the location you wish to build, and showing you what they have to offer (eg. Stratco Outback range) to best suit those needs, based on their experience and expertise. In most cases they should be able to provide a price for both the supply and install on the spot, as well as discussing things like any permits you may require.
- Sign me up – If you decide to go ahead with the quote, the installer should make arrangements with you to confirm and finalise the design and colours of your patio, pergola or verandah. They should also be discussing with you the time frame of installation and collect any documents required for permits e.g., site plan, certificate of title and rates notice.
- Permits – Permits are required for many structures. But knowing which ones are needed and how to apply for them can be a headache for the average person to even think about – which a good installer can help relieve by doing it all for you! This means organising and taking care of all required permits: whether it be a Planning Permit, Building Permit or Warranty Insurance.
- Material ordered – Once the permits have all been finalised by the installer, they will then proceed to order your materials from the manufacturer.
- Choose a date – After receiving a confirmation of delivery date for your materials from the manufacturer (which depending on design materials, can take up to a few weeks), the installer should then be in contact with you to set up a date to do the installation. At this stage, they should also be informing you how long it would take for the job to be done.
- Final step, installation – Wait for the installers to turn up on the booked date and start installing. The material should be delivered before the day of installation so they can get straight to work on the day. If you cross your fingers and the weather plays nice, your job may even be completed ahead of time!