We’ve all seen the basic patio roof with the BBQ and table and chairs. But contemporary outdoor construction has moved forward enormously. Building an outdoor entertainment area is now about adding an extra living area to your home and is now is an integrated focal point of your home – not an afterthought.
Properly designed and built you can create a unique atmosphere of comfort and liveability outdoors. After all, in our beautiful weather who wants to be indoors?
The following is a checklist to get you thinking about the best possible outcome for your new outdoor room.
1. Consider how your new area will be used.
Think about who will use it and the mood you want to create. Are you looking for a sophisticated dining and entertaining area, a casual area for BBQs with family and friends or even a sheltered play area for children and pets. Maybe, like many, your patio will be used for a variety of options.
2. Determine where your patio will be situated.
Generally, a patio will be situated next to a living, dining or kitchen area that allows direct access. However, maybe you have a part of your property with a view or a desirable outlook or a special part of your garden where a covered area would enhance the usability. Poolside lanais and covered areas are also a popular option and create a beautiful atmosphere. You will also need to consider the direction of the sun during the day and the direction of any prevailing breezes.
3. Determine the size of your desired patio roof.
You will want to ensure that there is room for your chosen table, chairs, outdoor lounges and cooking areas. You also need to ensure that you allow good traffic flow between the furniture. A little extra roof will also give extra weather protection to your outdoor furniture. However, even small areas, if designed properly and with the right elements can be amazing living areas.
Whether it is a cozy courtyard or an expansive entertaining zone, a well thought out patio is an important addition to your home.
4. Compliment Your Homes Architectural Style.
An outdoor room should be a true integrated extension of your home and look like it belongs on your house. Use complementing features from your home, whether it be colours , materials or decorative elements to tie the overall look together.
The installation of bifold or stacker doors from the house will open up your home to the patio area and create the indoor / outdoor look which is so popular.
5. Consider Your Privacy (and that of your neighbours).
A well located and designed patio will minimise any privacy or noise issues. This can be done through the use of screening or fencing or the planting of tall landscaping plants.
6. Consider The Elements You Want To Incorporate.
The roof is only a part of designing an outdoor room. You will also need to consider flooring options – popular choices include concrete, tiles and timber decking.
Concrete has progressed markedly from the boring grey concrete of past, it is now being incorporated as a focus point of the outdoor room. Tiles are always popular and the range of outdoor tiles which will stand up to the environment is huge. Timber decks provide a unique warmness to area.
Lighting is another element which can greatly enhance the usability of your patio and creative lighting can produce a beautiful atmosphere at night. Sound systems, TVs and fans can all be included in the outdoor room design.
Integrated outdoor kitchens are becoming more popular as outdoor living and dining becomes more sophisticated.
7. Consider The Maintenance Required.
You want to enjoy your new patio area on weekends not spend hours maintaining it. You need to consider cleaning, painting, oiling of timber etc in your decision.
8. Your Budget.
Stunning areas can be created on small budgets, it just takes a little creative thinking. However don’t skimp on any structural aspects of the design – it is not worth it from a safety and longevity point of view.
9. If Necessary Take It in Stages.
Even though it would be lovely sometimes the budget won’t allow you to complete your dream outdoor room in one go. If the initial design is done right you can do stages as you can afford it. A superbly designed and equipped outdoor room with all the bells and whistles can be a costly exercise. Break it down into affordable stages.
For example, an outdoor kitchen is on wish lists but may not be affordable at the present time. If allowance was made for electrical and plumbing this could very easily be incorporated at a later date with a minimum of fuss.
10. Choose Your Builder.
Good design and expert construction are vital to success when creating your outdoor room. Quality always wins and you should buy the best quality materials, products and finishes you can afford if you want an outdoor room that will last the distance.
You need to ensure your builder is licensed. In Queensland you can quickly check this online at www.bsa.qld.gov.au. Check that they have a comprehensive insurance policy to cover any unforeseen issues. Also ensure that they are taking out BSA insurance (Qld) or Home Warranty Insurance (NSW) on your particular project. This is a legal requirement and protects you.
Your patio builder should also be able to provide referrals, photos of previous jobs and addresses of previous jobs.
If you take into account all of the above steps you will have a patio area and outdoor room which will give extra lifestyle options and a fantastic new living area.
This blog was by Pacific Patios designers and builders of Patios on the Gold Coast and surrounds.