Note that before building any outdoor structure, you must visit your local council website for regulations and permits information, and before digging call the digging hotline for advice.
Verandahs – higher budget, specialist verandah builders
If you’re living in one of those famous Wynnum Queenslanders, enjoying those famous Brisbane bayside breezes, you know how simply divine a roomy verandah can be. Extending your home’s living space with a verandah adds spectacular resale value (the option to enclose a verandah to create a sunroom is also very value-adding) but of all the extensions, it’s probably the most expensive, the most difficult and also the most heavily regulated by Council. Do your research first!
As a verandah may impact on your home’s structural integrity, it’s not a job to be taken on by a DIY-er, in fact, attempting a DIY job could land you in hot water with the local council.
What to do before building a verandah in Brisbane or Redlands
- Visit Brisbane City Council or Redlands City Council (see above) to learn about the permits and regulations you’ll need if you live in Brisbane
• Consider getting a professional, independent valuation done on your home and ask if a verandah will increase its value by more than its cost
• Speak to reputable deck and verandah builders about the viability of a verandah on your site (contact Additions Building for an obligation-free assessment and quote)
Pergolas – affordable option, professional builder, kit or DIY options
Pergolas (also known as arbors) can be anything from a small archway over a path in your garden, to a large undercover patio area. Pergolas are generally designed so that climbing plants can be trained to cover them, creating a colourful, fragrant feature in your garden. For this reason, they’re popular in older style, classic homes and as a feature for plain homes such as 80s brick design. You can purchase pre-made building plans and pergola kits if you plan to DIY your pergola but for larger or complex pergolas, it’s best to call in professional builders.
What to do before building a pergola in Brisbane or Redlands
- Visit the Brisbane City Council or Redlands City Council websites (see above) for regulations and permits.
- If you’re building your pergola with plans to grow a particular vine, check that the structure you choose will support it. Bougainvillea for example is surprisingly tough and can do real damage to a poorly built pergola.
- Consider pergola roofing options. If you’re building your pergola as part of a new patio or deck, consider the pros and cons of roofing with clear plastic, single or double skin insulated metal.
- Light, air and space. If you’re planning to grow vines on your pergola close to your home, remember that they’ll block light and breezes. Vines can also take up a little headroom so consider this when choosing the height of your pergola. If you choose a clear plastic roof for your pergola, leaf litter and other debris will need to be cleared away regularly to maintain light and clarity.
- Gribblies! If you’re growing vines over your pergola and choose not to have a roof, remember that vines provide a perfect space for creepies, crawlies and leaf litter. Be prepared to either embrace the ecosystem or spend some time on maintenance.
Patios – affordable option, professional builder, kit or DIY options
A patio differs from a deck in that it’s not always attached to the house and is usually at ground level. Rotundas, gazebos, pavilions and courtyards could all be considered types of patios. A patio can be as simple as laying a few pavers or putting down some timber flooring or as complex as a covered outdoor kitchen area with full water and power access.
Patios add value particularly to small homes as they add an outdoor dining or recreation area while usually costing less than a deck or verandah. Patios can be fully roofed, roofed by a pergola, include a canvas style roof (with café blinds, currently extremely hip and cool) or be open air, depending on your needs and budget.
What to do before building a patio in Brisbane or Redlands
- Visit Brisbane City Council or Redlands City Council (see above) to learn about the permits and regulations you’ll need if you live in Brisbane or Redlands.
- Consider getting a professional, independent valuation done on your home to determine which kind of patio will give you the best return on your investment.
- Consider good neighbourly space and privacy.
- Consider how and when you’ll use the patio most (e.g. if you plan to eat dinner on your patio in summer, you may need to consider mosquito screens, in winter you may need to allow space for an outdoor heater).
- If you’re really on a tight budget you can get DIY Patio Kits for delivery to most of Australia.
Decks – higher budget, professional builder
As a deck would usually attach to the structure of your home, so it is best to hire a professional deck builder for your project. Decks are generally (but not always) raised and are built from sturdy F14 hardwood. They’re usually attached to the top story of a high set home and are ideal if you’re lucky enough to have some of those famous Moreton Bay views! A well-built deck will give you more space and a quality recreation area, and increase the value of your home substantially. Timber decks require a little love and care (see our section on Deck Maintenance) but really enhance our Aussie lifestyle.
What to do before building a deck in Brisbane or Redlands
- Visit Brisbane City Council or Redlands City Council (see above) to learn about the permits and regulations you’ll need if you live in Brisbane or Redlands
- Consider the space you’ll need and how to best utilize the space below the deck (an outdoor laundry and storage area or covered children’s play space can mean getting double the benefit from your new deck)
- Consider getting a professional, independent valuation done on your home to determine how to get the best return on your investment
- Again, be sure to consider your neighbors when planning where to place your deck.
- Assess the position of your house on your land and its elevation. A smaller space with better views may offer better resale value than a large deck that renders parts of the back yard unusable.
- Consider when and why you’ll mostly be using your new deck, and plan you design around it (will it require mosquito screening, extra childproofing, non-slip floor finishing etc)
As professional outdoor living space builders, we can answer all your deck, patio, pergola, sunroom and verandah questions. Simply get in touch with Additions Building for a chat and a free quote.