5 Things to Consider When Building a Verandah or Pergola

Having access to a verandah or pergola can be a lifesaver during the hot, summer months. These structures allow you to entertain guests in style without the fear of getting burnt by the scorching sun. A verandah or pergola can also boost your home’s value, so it’s a great investment that brings both short-term and long-term benefits. 

If you’re in the process of building a verandah or pergola in your backyard, here are some of the key things to consider before breaking ground on the project. 

Permits 

Imagine spending hours of your time and thousands of dollars on your DIY project only to be told that you have to tear down the structure. Unfortunately, that’s a scenario that many homeowners find themselves in after failing to obtain the necessary permits for their backyard projects. 

Before you even begin thinking about design possibilities for your outdoor verandah or pergola, you must be sure to obtain approval from your local council or governing body. You should never assume that your project doesn’t require a permit, as it could result in some hefty fines or even worse, an order to demolish the entire structure and start over from scratch. 

Most councils will have some sort of regulatory guideline that regulates decks, pergolas, verandahs, and other backyard structures. These regulations often cover considerations such as structural integrity, the types of materials that can be used, and construction standards that must be met. They’re ultimately put in place to maintain the safety of your property and to ensure that all structures are fit for use. 

 

Location

Taking the time to consider the location of your pergola or verandah will help to ensure that you don’t regret building the structure later down the track. When deciding on where to position your new outdoor structure, you should always put the purpose of the structure front and centre in all your discussions. What’s the primary purpose of your pergola or verandah? Will it be used mainly for parties? Will it be used for rest and relaxation? Will it be used for dining? 

Answering these questions will help you determine the best spot to position your structure. For example, if the structure is intended to be used as an outdoor dining spot, then having it connected to the house would make sense as it would allow for easy access to and from the kitchen. 

Building your pergola or verandah in the most optimal location will make all the difference when it comes to getting the most out of your structure once it’s been completed. Ensuring that your pergola or verandah has been built for purpose will help to maximise its use over the years, so make sure you think carefully about its location. 

 

Orientation

Orientation is one of the most important elements to consider when designing any outdoor structure. Simply put, orientation refers to the position of your home and property in relation to the path of the sun and the wind patterns of your region. Structures that have good orientation help to make your space more comfortable to live in, as well as more energy efficient. 

In the context of an outdoor structure such as a pergola or verandah, good orientation involves taking advantage of the winter sun as well as the cooling summer breezes. A pergola or verandah with good orientation is one that maximises shade during the warmer months and maximises warmth during the winter months. Every region is different, so speak to your local handyman in Australia or New Zealand to learn more about your climate zone and local weather patterns. 

Material

When it comes to designing a verandah or pergola, you’ll find a multitude of different materials that you can use. Timber, steel, polycarbonate, and aluminium are all popular choices for outdoor structures due to their durability. If you can’t decide on a single one, then using a combination of these materials is also a great way to achieve a unique finish. 

Some materials will require more maintenance than others, so it’s important that you take into account your lifestyle. For example, timber structures require regular maintenance in order to protect them from hazards such as moisture and termites. If that’s something you’re not willing to do, or if you happen to live in an area that’s very humid and wet, then using another material might be the better option. 

Your local handyman will be able to recommend the best materials for your lifestyle, local climate, and budget, so don’t hesitate to contact them for some advice and guidance. 

 

Budget 

Like all home improvement projects, keeping to a budget is crucial when building a verandah or pergola. Setting the budget at the very beginning of your project will help to keep the project on track. When determining costs, be sure to include all aspects of the project including materials, labour, and unexpected expenses. 

Costs can quickly escalate when you begin working with different companies and tradies during a project. That’s why we always recommend working with a single specialist for smaller jobs such as pergola and verandah installations. At Jim’s Handyman, our experts are able to manage your project from conception to completion, which will help to keep costs down without compromising quality.

Pergolas and verandahs are a great way to add value to your home and to maximise your property’s outdoor spaces. At Jim’s Handyman, our specialists have years of experience in building outdoor structures that are both fit for purpose and aligned with local building laws and regulations. If you want to speak to someone about your backyard design ideas, get in touch with us today. Call 131 546 (AU), 0800 454 654 (NZ), or enquire online to receive an obligation-free quote in Australia or New Zealand.