You have decided to improve your quality of life by adding an outdoor living area. Congratulations! Chances are you won’t be able to stop thinking about it until you’re lounging under your patio cover or pergola, sipping your beverage of choice. While it’s great to fantasize about your backyard nirvana, some practical thought will go a long way toward making your dream a reality. Having guided thousands of homeowners through the process of building their patio covers, pergolas, sunrooms, screen rooms, patio roofs, and gazebos, Renaissance Patio can help you navigate the pre-construction phase to pave the way for a fast, efficient, surprise-free installation.
While our qualified local installers can build your patio cover in just a few days, the process starts long before the crew starts erecting posts and rafters. Do your homework now, start the ball rolling several months before you will be ready for construction to begin, and keep track of your progress. You will be grilling out, luxuriating in the sunset, and inhaling garden bouquets from beneath your outdoor structure before you know it.
Weather and Outdoor Construction
Start by deciding when you want to have your patio, pergola, or gazebo built. You may be tempted to answer, “As soon as possible.” There are, however, advantages to scheduling outdoor construction during certain parts of the year. If you live in a temperate area that does not receive a lot of snow, slating the build for late winter makes sense. Your contractor probably will not be engaged in many other projects during early January, so the work likely can commence as soon as the paperwork is approved and the building materials arrive. Similarly, with fewer construction projects getting underway, your local building department can expedite your building permit and you won’t have to wait for final inspection when the job is done. Finishing construction in January will have your patio cover or screen room ready to host your family game nights and neighborhood get-togethers throughout the coming spring, summer, and fall.
The weather where you live also should influence the type of materials you want to use in building your patio. Wood that is not properly sealed every year can absorb moisture that leads to rot and harboring of mold that disintegrates the structure’s integrity. Vinyl can fade, the available colors and styles may be limited, and they often convey a “cheap look” compared to other materials. Steel corrodes and rusts when exposed to precipitation or salty air. Rolled aluminum crumples high winds or under heavy snow loads.
The extruded aluminum components Renaissance Patio manufactures are rated to withstand 175-mph winds. Aluminum doesn’t rust, and termites don’t eat it. The tough powder-coat we bake onto every visible surface resists fading and cracking and never needs painting.
Freestanding Patio or Freestanding Pergola?
Like real estate, maximizing the enjoyment and usefulness of your covered patio will depend heavily on where it is located. All three of Renaissance Patio’s insulated patio roof styles can be installed as attachments to and extensions of your home or as freestanding structures placed near your pool, garden, woodlot, or anywhere you interact with nature while protected from its less-endearing elements. Either option brings its own benefits. Both give your family a dedicated space for working, playing, entertaining, studying, and relaxing.
Check your local zoning and building codes and your homeowner association regulations to see if there are any restrictions for patio construction Your builder can advise you and is responsible for following the patio code and obtaining a building permit.
Attached patio covers can not only deflect the sun’s heat and ultraviolet light from your patio but also block them from entering through the doors that access and the windows that overlook the space from inside. The extra shade makes a real difference and helps reduce cooling costs. Attached patio roofs can save money in other ways. If you have a pre-existing slab adjacent to your home, you won’t have the additional cost of pouring a new one. Using the home for support of one long side of your new structure reduces the number of posts required, so material costs can be lower (your contractor may, however, need to install a horizontal ledger to the house’s exterior wall, where the patio connects.)
Installing your structure away from the house adds to design flexibility. You could choose a gazebo, pergola, translucent cover, or any of the roof configurations Renaissance offers. They can be built on a newly laid foundation or pillars. Without the limitations imposed by the home’s structure, you can incorporate additional shapes, larger sizes, other design elements.
Whichever location you choose, there should be little disruption to your daily routine. Renaissance Patio can put you in touch with a local installation contractor who can build your patio roof in just a few days. You can continue to live, work, and sleep in your home during the installation. In fact, we recommend you stick around during installation so you can oversee the work and receive updates from the contractor.
Working with Your Contractor
If you want to find your own contractor to install a Renaissance Patio product, start with your state, county, or city’s contractors’ board. Here you will find a list of contractors who are licensed for this kind of work. Pick at least three and ask them to provide you an estimate for the work you want to be performed. Make sure they base their bids on the same scope of work you specify. Pick the most responsive bid – not necessarily the lowest. You will want to select a contractor you can trust and feel comfortable working with.
In most jurisdictions, licensure requires insurance and bonding, but be sure to ask for documentation before signing a contract. And do insist on a written contract that spells out the final cost, start day, completion date, payment schedule, and materials to be used.
Before the work begins and periodically throughout the process, make time to communicate with the installation foreman or project manager. There’s no need to hover over workers’ shoulders, but take a few minutes at the end of the day to inspect the day’s progress. Jot down some notes, and take cell phone pictures of any perceived material defects or workmanship issues you see. Address them and ask questions the next morning before the crew starts work.
Contact Renaissance Patio when you are ready to start planning your backyard paradise. We will walk you through the options and help you design the outdoors space sure to bring a lifetime of enjoyment and recreation.