If you’re thinking about covering your patio or building a freestanding outdoor recreational structure on your property, you’re not alone. Patio roofs, gazebos, pergolas, and enclosed patios are some of the most popular and cost-effective ways to customize and expand your home’s living space. A professionally installed outdoor living space constructed of quality materials can last decades, create lasting memories, and add to our home’s resale value.
While patio covers and backyard shade structures have become ubiquitous in the United States, there are some things you need to know about selecting, building, and enjoying your new addition. Your local regulations, geography, climate, neighborhood, and personal taste all will contribute to your decisions regarding what type of structure you choose, where and when you build it, and how you use and care for it.
There are four distinct phases to a backyard building project.
Research the Possibilities (DESIGNING and Planning YOUR PATIO)
Your local building codes and zoning laws may restrict the kind and size of home improvement project you can undertake. While you might want to familiarize yourself with these requirements, your licensed patio installation contractor will understand the laws, regulations, and codes. They can advise you as to what’s allowed and will obtain the necessary building permits. Homeowner association plan review and permission, however, will be up to you. Be sure to allow plenty of time for your HOA to give its blessing.
You will want to trust your patio installation to the experts, but how do you determine who is truly qualified to perform the work? You could do all the work yourself – read Better Business Bureau complaints, obtain several estimates, make sure the candidates are licensed, review bids, etc. A better option, Renaissance Patio contracts with experienced local installers who not only are experts in building patios but also can help you customize the outdoor living space of your dreams.
If you’re like most homeowners, the cost and time required to build your patio also will influence your decision. There is no denying that wood patio covers are beautiful. They also cost two to three times the price of extruded aluminum structures. Wood beams and cross members also are heavy and can take a week or more to install. Renaissance Patio’s professional installers can erect your durable, lightweight aluminum patio cover in a couple of days.
Plan to Build (REGULATIONS, BUILDERS, LOCATION)
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. Pick a location. Attaching your patio cover to your home offers convenience and energy savings, while freestanding structures can lend an air of seclusion and spectacular views of your pool, garden, or other cozy spots. Your local weather patterns will come into play, as well. Think about whether you only need shade or prefer protection from rain, sun, wind, extreme temperatures, and mosquitos. Will you want to wire your patio cover for lighting or a ceiling fan? Do you need plumbing for a wet bar or a gas stub for a full kitchen? Use your builder’s schematics and elevations to choose the best locations and for sketching in the placement of furniture, grills, storage, and decorations.
Take steps to ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible. Timing the build to the contractor’s off-season may save you a few dollars and/or prevent damage from workers treading on your delicate lawn. Whatever timeframe you choose, the installation should not cause much disruption. You won’t have to vacate your home during the project, You can monitor the progress from your living room, and the contractor can provide regular updates.
Build to Plan (WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE BUILD – timelines)
Like any home improvement project, you want to keep open the lines of communication with your contractor and monitor the project’s progress. If you’ve made the right choice and selected a pergola, gazebo, patio cover, or room enclosure from Renaissance Patio, our installation contractor will provide you with a written contract outlining the final cost, payment schedule, materials to be used, and construction schedule (subject to unavoidable delays).
After you consult with our installer to finalize the size, design, location, and other details, the project will begin with site preparation. The builder will inspect your existing concrete slab to ensure it can provide the proper foundation for your patio cover. Of course, if no slab exists, the contractor will have to remove grass, plants, bushes, and rocks before leveling the ground and pouring the concrete. This site prep and concrete-curing time will add to the timeline.
The installer will have ordered your patio materials from Renaissance Patio to ensure their arrival before construction is scheduled. Our extruded aluminum posts and components are easy to transport and maneuver, so the contractor likely will simply bring them with him or her when they arrive for the job.
As described, the actual construction takes two days, on average. Renaissance Patio’s modular components, tight tolerances, and precision connectors ease the installation process, saving you labor costs.
As the installation moves along, check with your contractor to ensure there are no obstacles to a complete and successful job. Judge the workmanship, timing, and materials. You don’t want to hover over the workers, so check the work after they have left for the day. Make note of any questions or problems to bring up with the foreman when the crew arrives the next morning. If the contractor runs into difficulty and suggests a change or workaround, put the change order in writing and include any alteration in the project cost it will entail.
Enjoy! (DECORATING YOUR PATIO)
Your beautiful, resilient Renaissance Patio is complete! Take some time to enjoy it. Invite friends over for a barbecue. Schedule a family game or movie night. Host a neighborhood pool party or badminton tournament. But be sure to take care to make your patio last. If you’ve chosen a Renaissance outdoor structure, you won’t have to worry about rust, corrosion, or fading, so repainting is not in your future. To keep your aluminum patio looking its best, simply wash it with soap and water and hose it off every few months. If you have selected Renaissance’s translucent patio cover, you will want to clear off any fallen leaves. Leaving them to decay on the cover can cause discoloration. Other than that, try not to ding the aluminum components with lawnmowers or projectiles, and your roof will most likely outlive you.
Before the contractor leaves, go over what is covered in your warranty. Renaissance Patio stands behind its products with a lifetime materials warranty. If you covered your patio in one of Renaissance’s distinctive insulated covers, enjoy the freedom and flexibility it provides. You’ll no longer have to scurry inside and cancel outdoor plans when the clouds build or the sun won’t relent. After a year of longer falls and earlier springs, you might want to explore transforming your roofed patio into a true three- or four-season room by enclosing it in screen mesh or impact-resistant glass. No problem! Simply call your installer for an estimate. All our patio roofs are compatible with our screen room panels and sunroom glass options.