Planning a verandah or pergola outdoor area can be perceived as a difficult process. To get the best out of your outdoor renovation, you need to make sure you have a good vision of completed project outcome and the budget to achieve your goals.

Totally Outdoors have shared the following six tips to make sure you have considered and decided the main factors prior to beginning constructions.

1. Usage – deciding what you propose the outdoor area to deliver to your lifestyle. things to consider include dining, sitting, privacy, cooking (BBQ location), traffic flows, light and shade, location and connection to dwelling exits, garden integration. These are just to name a few of the components to achieving a successful outdoor entertainment area. So tick off the items most important in line with budget.

2. Design – checking out design options including materials will set the direction of outcome and cost. Once you have decided your preferred options have a concept plan prepared to visualise and develop your outdoor area will ensure the finish result matches your concept.

3. Plans – no different to any building getting plans prepared that you or your builder can provide realistic quote and then build to will ensure outcome planned will be achieved.

4. Budget – have a realistic budget to complete your full project. If the above plan process is followed this will ensure invited Builders are all quoting the same project outcome including materials. So ensuring your budget is reasonable to otherwise you will find yourself cutting corners in design, materials, finish and builder.

5. Builder – certainly undertaking a project as a “do it yourself builder” is an option if you have the knowledge, time, supply and builder contacts to pull together all the components of your project. If this not an option, which for many find themselves unable to ensure all components are achieved, selecting an experienced builder with a proven record may be the best option for you. Select a builder with experience in your type of  project’s is a sensible decision to ensure best outcome. Do not make selection on price alone if it seems too good it probably isn’t.

6. Timeframe – provide ample time to plan – select builder – achieve permit approval and finally build time including material procurement, delivery and construction. Minimum lead-time to achieve above process will be 3 – 4 months if no council planning or approvals required from start to finish. Permits – the building permit is normally not a long process (10 – 14 days once lodged) once other approvals received. Council approval can take minimum 2 months and are need prior to obtaining a building permit. So start your project planning early to avoid any disappointment.

Visit Totally Outdoors on stand H24 at the Build & Renovating Expo from 4 – 6 July, 2014 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

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