A patio is an excellent addition to your home, providing you with a multi-use, adaptable and secure area for living or leisure. Being able to design the space yourself means you can create a unique area to suit your lifestyle and preferences. When deciding on your build and, hence, your builder, it is important to consider their experience, reputation, and expertise in patio construction. The following eight questions are a great starting point to help you decide whether the patio builders you are speaking with are right for you.
1. How much experience does the patio builder have?
Knowing what experience your builder has, both in general as well as in the particular style of patio you want, is essential. Whether you want an all-weather patio, open patio, alfresco screen, pergola or deck, your builder should have built your chosen patio before. Ideally, you want a patio builder with an abundance of experience in numerous styles of patios as this will give them the expertise required to advise you on the best possible solution for your home. It is also important that your builder has experience in your area, as a local contractor will be more familiar with the building codes and permit requirements for your suburb as well as the styles, materials and designs that are best suited to your local climate.
2. Is the patio builder licensed?
While it may go without saying, checking your patio builder’s qualification is essential. Having untrained or unlicensed people building your patio can result in a myriad of issues, from leaks to cracks to unstable and dangerous structures. If your patio contractor is unlicensed, you could be left with a sub-par patio that doesn’t have industry license protection, guarantees or warranties. You may also not be able to claim future damages on your home insurance, leaving you with no peace of mind and no guaranteed safety for your family.
3. Will the patio builder inform you of the costs upfront?
Avoid the headache of snowballing costs by ensuring that the total amount of the build is disclosed to you before you agree to proceed. Only sign off on an industry standard building contract that includes a building plan and a materials list fully outlining every aspect of the project. A fixed price contract means that there will be no unwanted surprises, hidden costs or budget blow-outs.
4. What materials does the patio builder recommend?
There are three major patio design components: the roof type, the flooring type, and the sides or walls (if you decide to enclose the space in any way). The builder needs to be able to guide you through what materials best suit your vision and the design of your home. The function of the roof of your patio is most to provide shade and protection from rain, while managing light and temperature. Your builder should advise you about flat or pitched roofs, for function and use, as well as your personal look and feel preferences. There are endless options for the flooring of your patio, but the main examples are timber, concrete or modern outdoor flooring, all of which have their benefits and drawbacks that should be explained to you by your contractor. If the weather is unpredictable, cooler or windy in your area, adding screens, doors or walls to your patio can be an ideal solution to provide year-round comfort.
5. Does the patio builder offer a free design meeting?
Having a professional design meeting before you commit to anything is an important part of deciding on your design and your builder. This process provides your builder with an opportunity to learn exactly what you’re looking for and how you’ll use the space as well as valuable insight into the space you have to work and your house design. It also provides you with the opportunity to get to know your builder and whether you feel they are the right team for the job. How the design will work with your existing home and how it will contribute to property value should be discussed in this meeting, as well as how the design will achieve your long-term goals and current needs.
6. What is the proposed timeline of the build?
Knowing how long the contractor believes your build will take is essential, as you need to be able to adjust your schedule to the build. Ideally, the build should be completed within a reasonable timeframe to minimise the disruption to your home. Some builders may have a longer wait time until they can commence construction and that’s okay. What’s important is that you feel confident they will deliver the patio you’re looking for and are upfront with you about any waiting periods.
7. What would the daily work schedule be?
You want to know the days and times you can expect the construction team to arrive and leave your house. Knowing the working times allows you to gauge the level of professionalism with which the company operates. If the hours aren’t logical or consistent, it could be a warning sign. Asking these kinds of questions can give you an indication of the builder’s communication style. Look for a builder who is responsive and communicative, and who will keep you informed throughout the process. This can help to ensure that any issues or concerns are addressed promptly and that the project stays on track.
8. What references and reviews does the patio builder have?
Knowing the customer feedback of your potential contractor is very important. Ask your contractor to show both customer testimonials and photos or footage of projects they have completed in the past. This will enable you to gauge the professionalism and quality of the work as well as whether you like their styles and designs. If your potential contractor does not show any customer feedback, it could signify that the feedback is not positive or that they are less experienced than you would like.
At Apollo Patios, we’ve been manufacturing patios since 1995. We partner with local licensed family builders in the regions we service so that our customers are getting the best possible tailor-made outcomes. Our experienced and skilled team can help you design and build a patio that perfectly suits your lifestyle and budget. Contact us today to learn more about our patio solutions and how we can help you create an outdoor living space you and your family can enjoy for years to come.