Have you lived in your home for a while? Maybe added a couple of kids? Started working from home? As life progresses you may have any number of reasons for wanting more room to telecommute, spread out, and enjoy what little quiet family time we can muster from our busy lives.
Moving to a larger house is often infeasible and building a traditional room addition to serve as a home office or extra bedroom is expensive and time-consuming. An outdoor living area, on the other hand, provides additional space, takes little time to install, and is affordable on almost any budget. Renaissance Patio’s full selection of patio covers, pergolas, sunrooms, screen rooms, patio roofs, and gazebos has the added benefit of bringing your family closer to nature – not a small consideration in our multi-screen environment.
This timeline and process guide will help you plan for adding a covered patio or other outdoor structure to your home.
Rules and Regulations
Owning your home and property to install your patio:
To get the most out of your investment, you should own the home or property on which you want to have a patio roof or pergola installed.
With your deed in hand, you can investigate the laws and regulations governing residential improvements in your jurisdiction. Patio covers and freestanding sun-and-rain shelters are among the most common home improvement projects and standard construction projects face few hurdles in most areas of the country. The only building codes and zoning laws typically only restrict the addition’s height, though you may have to limit the size and location of your structure if you want to build near public roads, easements, utility accesses, or public property.
You probably will need a building permit, which in most jurisdictions, is available only to licensed contractors and owners/builders. So, if you hire a local authorized Renaissance Patio installation company, it will know whether you need one, and if so, will obtain the permit for you.
Your homeowner association’s covenants, conditions, and regulations (CC&Rs) may impose more stringent rules. They are mostly concerned with preserving the neighborhood’s look and feel. As long as you don’t stretch the boundaries of “normal” in terms of design, color, and building material, your HOA will have no objection. Their standards committee may move slowly, however, so be sure to submit your plans and drawings well in advance of your projected project initiation date.
Preference and Placement of your Covered Patio
Research the Best Patio for your home
Scope out homes in your area that have similar architectural styles to your own castle. What colors, styles, and design elements have their owners incorporated into their patios? Which do you like and would consider for your own addition? Renaissance Patio, for instance, has engineered three distinct insulated patio roof designs with individual flourishes to reflect diverse lifestyles and attitudes toward design. One is sure to match your home’s construction, whether it’s classic, contemporary, or modern.
How will you use your new patio?
Once you know what’s possible, turn your attention to what’s attainable and desirable. Consider how and when you will use your new addition – outdoor kitchen: home office? Man cave or she-shed? Game room? Art studio? Cocktail lounge? Use your imagination! Decide if you want an attached pergola, patio cover or insulated roof or a freestanding structure adjacent to your pool, garden, or other cozy spots. Your location and local weather patterns will come into play, as well. Think about whether you want to use your patio during the rainy, muggy, freezing, and mosquito seasons.
Location Location Location
Perhaps your biggest decision is where to place your patio cover. Attaching it to your home creates a natural transition to the outdoors and can provide shade inside the home to cut down on cooling bills. A freestanding covered outdoor area or gazebo, on the other hand, establishes a separate space, away from the hubbub of everyday life. It can become a welcome retreat for reading, yoga, and intimate conversations.
Builders, Contractors, and Patio Installers
Your contractor can help you decide what design and type of patio cover or shade structure will give you the most pleasure. But how do you pick a contractor? As we mentioned, if you opt for the rugged beauty of a Renaissance Patio product, we will put you in touch with a local installation expert. If you want to go it alone, start by picking several contractors with strong reputations. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. Then, visit your state contractors’ board website to make sure all your candidates are licensed. Ask three or more finalists for estimates. Be sure they’re all bidding on the same scope of work. Choose a builder who submits a reasonable – not necessarily the lowest – bid with whom you believe you can establish a comfortable working relationship.
Insist on a written contract that contains a start date, expected completion date, and the total cost of the project. It’s OK to make a small down payment so your builder can buy your patio components, but make other payments in line with the work’s progress. Renaissance Patio’s builders can finish a patio roof in a couple of days. Screen rooms and pergolas take a little longer, and sunrooms require a few weeks.
Funding and Paying for your patio’s new roof
At this stage, you should also decide how you will pay for your backyard paradise. Start putting aside a portion of each paycheck, investigate a personal or home equity loan, or make sure you have room on a credit card. Even if you have the cash on hand to cover the cost of your new space, don’t pay your contractor in cash. Use checks or credit cards to create a paper trail of payments just in case a dispute arises. Hold onto all correspondence – including emails to and from you – your builder. Put all work in writing. If you and the builder agree on an upgrade or extra work, put the scope of work and the cost in writing.
Renaissance Patio has helped thousands of homeowners enhance and expand their living spaces with covered patios, screen rooms, gazebos, and sunrooms. These projects require some coordination, but with a little planning and our guidance, you can be living the good life in your outdoor living space in no time. Let us show you how easy it can be. Contact us today.