You’ve decided that now is the time to finally construct your dream deck & patio cover. 

You’ve started to piece together a number of your favourite photos from the glossy magazines or Pinterest & there is the one big ‘prefect photo’ pinned to the notice board & on the fridge. 

So, you’ve had a few people out to talk ideas…the tape measure comes out & it all seems to be coming to life. But then you start talking about the $$ dollars & cents – that’s where the anxiety and/or disappointment comes in. 

You had X set in your head but it came out as Y. If it’s only a matter of $10 or may be $20,000 the conversation can be a little bit easier to have. 

However, sometimes it can be the opposite – where the difference between reality & your bank balance can be tens of thousands. 

So what can you do? What are your options? Here are a couple of areas to review…

  • Work out what you REALLY want
    Start at the top & then work backwards or work from your ‘ideal scenario’ & work out what are the MUST HAVES. At the beginning, most people want everything but the kitchen sink included into the design. In fact, even the kitchen sink in the outdoor kitchen gets in.  Clean your list down to your top 3 must inclusions.
  • Materials
    You might like the lined ceiling look, but it could mean an extra $10k compared to the insulated roofing sheets, which would then mean you could get the new outdoor table & chairs. See where I’m going here.
    Sometimes you might not be so lucky & you might be forced to effectively upgrade your material selections due to your bushfire zone. For instance if you are in BAL 29 or even higher in BAL-FZ you will have to rule out timber for your deck & look at more expensive options such as aluminium boards or tiling. 

  • Design
    This can change things dramatically & can work well with changing the materials where applicable.

    For instance, as a rough rule of thumb a gabled patio cover is generally double the cost of a flat roof. So another way to get natural light & air flow into the area is to still have a flat roof but attach it over your existing roof line (more commonly known as a flyover).

    Or could you look at the louvers as a material option which will let you open up the roof & thus get the light & air flow, which will then mean you can keep the outdoor roofing in a flat roof design. 

  • Stage the construction
    Is there multiple components to your outdoor living area?
    Maybe a deck AND a patio cover. Could you get the approval for the whole area & then do components each year & this way spread out your costs?

    You could leave the bi-fold doors until later or do the deck now & come back fo the roofing.

    Just make sure that your builder is on the same page & ensures that you don’t have to pull down half of what’s bene built just to put in the next stage. In other words plan correctly. 

 

  • Size
    You can naturally make the area smaller. However, I often try to leave this one to last, as I think that more often than not you can achieve significant wins in one or some of the alternatives listed above compared to decreasing your size.

    Why? As I think this is where you can get your biggest ROI (return on investment).

    This might help you HERE in relation to how big your deck &/or pergola should be. 

Takeaways:

  • Understand your options, especially around materials
  • Do your homework early, don’t rush

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