Checking Your Builders Price

I’m excited $$ price is what I want, they told me everything will be great BUT IS IT?

This week I’ve had two examples of Verandah builders essentially cheating or deceiving their clients of their rights and government of tax. Quotes are written to reduce quote price, normal building conditions and contractual rights under the Victorian Building Act 1993. Their offers one over $16,000 one under were both deceptive and unlawful.

Victorian Building Code is for projects above $10K specifically are non-negotiable in terms of minimum contractual terms and conditions for BOTH parties so buyer beware when your builder omits items others offer naturally.

Example One: Project Cost Above $16k – Value of quote was $45K plus extras

This quote severely reduced client’s rights plus had such lack of detail except for a price that whilst cheaper to their competitors but there were some costly omissions plus adding items in as extras but not included in contract price, therefore, evading tax and consumer laws and conditions. Just some of the issues that a consumer may consider unusual plus unfair.

  • No Insurance offered in quote – Home Owners Warranty mandatory if project above $16K – a cost reduction to competitors quotes of $1.2K or more plus gst.
  • No Registration Noted – check your quote as only registered builders and building companies can enter into a contract above $10K, this ensures public liability insurance will be applicable and their registration is applicable for the project type.
  • Deposit 50% required – only max of 5% is allowed for projects above $20K (10% for project below $20K) with split stage payment ‘s normally requested
  • No detail of works – no specification of materials or concept plan or warranties noted.
  • No details of terms and conditions by which quote may rely upon if a dispute arose.
  • Interest @ 5% monthly (or x 12= 60% annually) – seems a tad over the extreme and clearly non compliant

Example Project Two: Cost Below $16K – Value of Quote was $15.9K plus extras

Rough Plan was provided – not real specification and handwritten statements appear to be overstated and unsubstantiated. No business address, relatively few project details, no declared terms or conditions just simply a range of poorly worded commitments plus some. strong buy now pressure.

What I did realize that a significant range of Items was noted as additional but not included in the project’s main price. These items formed part of client brief, so required by the client, were added to base price but not to be included the main permit price. This was curious as they had done a formal quote below $16K (just below the mandatory insurance requirement level saying $1.2K plus to competitors) but had another almost $10 plus of other work specific to completion of the project. This method was I can only assume to avoid permit tax and insurance cost. Very tricky indeed. If they misleading as a quote wonder what they like when building. Client faith will be needed to accept this quote.

  • Plumbing – really an extra but as needed for roof so must be included in the building cost, not an extra? Very weird omission.
  • Electrical – again compliance needed. If done during the permit stage must be included unless client total role to arrange, complete and cost from tradesman direct to client. But as builder doing must be included it’s that simple.
  • Plans and Permits – owners do have the right to arrange and provide this segment again only if the builder not gaining financially from this segment and it’s not forming part of their works. But they are undertaking this process so should be included.
  • No Home Owners Warranty Insurance – this cost of over $1.2K with builders margin and GST is a significant omission in cost but also warranty. Clearly omitted to deceive clients and get a break on competitors. This the reason price just under $16K with all the extras added outside permit price to escape insurance cost.
  • No Business Address – certainly do not enter into a building agreement if no place of business with only a mobile number and a business name. Hard to get something solved if no place of business.
  • No mention of specific products or manufacturers warranties. Yes, they provide their statement of a Builders warranty by that’s for workmanship, not products.

The reason Consumer’ Affairs and Victorian Building Commission provide regulations is to help all parties in ultimately having successful building outcomes that a fair to both parties. Those builders that try to break rules by deceptive practices certainly distort the vast majority of satisfactory outcomes. Reducing price to avoid insurance and tax costs doesn’t should be a warning sign.

What to do?

  1. So check out your builder don’t just believe the salesman.
  2. Are they really what they say they are. Check their history longevity, offices, displays all add to providing assurance and peace of mind.
  3. Review and compare quotes noting differences, Your council or the Victorian Building Commission (VBA) can provide insight into what should be included.
  4. Go to your builder’s offices, check out their product displays, review their manufacturer’s warranty and commitments. There far more to a price that just the number. No offices might indicate a lack of substance.
  5. Businesses with a proven track record strong with supplier support provide greater reasons to believe they can deliver the outcome you need.
  6. Odd requirements, clients tasks, added extras or omissions should raise warning signs. This includes pressure sales commitments, bagging competitors and discounts to buy might not really be the bargain you think.

Check your Builders Details

Check your Builders Details

When considering your project there are many important tasks to consider. When your plans or concepts are ready you must select and decide on a Builder. Having the right builder for your project is based on experince and performance then price. Having selected the right builder will assist in ensuring your build is successful.

Certainly, having a builder recommended can help so ask friends, colleagues and family. Ensuring you know that the builder is experinced in the type of build your proposing will assist in getting the right outcome. If the products your proposing to use are specilalised then selecting an authorised distributor may ensure a better outcome.

Who is your Builder

  1. Are they good at this say New Homes, or are they a more into extensions, or small projects like Verandah’s and Deck’s. This is important that your project fits their skill set.
  2. Are they Registered as a Builder and therefiore able to insure their performance and carry appropriate public liability insurance. (Are they asking you to be the buider and therefore removing the cost and risk from their shoulders might indicate they don’t have correct registration and approved skill set).
  3. Are the products they proposing carrying the warranty that your expectations are considering or do they seems confused or uncertaint or just assuring you without real qualification.
  4. Does there estimate include all items required and discussed. Was is writtern and detailed as per the law. Projects in Victoria over $10,000 required a major building contract. Buiilder and there comaomy should both be registered by VBA. (see link below)
  5. Have you viewed any products details and manufacturers warranties and confirmed details provided.
  6. What is the timeframe. Start leadtime and Completion Estimate.
Check your Bulders details here https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/tools/find-practitioner

What do you Check about your Builder

  1. Is the Builder Registered as a registered building company
  2. Do they have a registered office and products to view such as a display centre.
  3. Are they just a mobile phone number
  4. Are their products and warranties or guarrantees visible and backed by the manufacturer
  5. Do they have a real prior trading history or recent block testimonies all saying same. They say 10 years 20 years but simply not backed up.
  6. Does their product manufacturer list them as an authorised distributor and are actually providing any preceived warranty.

While we only prepare plans for our clients but we like to encourage our clients that they begin research on selecting their builder options early. Thoroughly research that segment as their performance will be the differentce between and good or poor performance to your project.

A successfull project will require a good understanding builder who’s intent is to achieve a qaulity result

Town Planning – Review overlooking for your project

Town Planning – Review overlooking for your project.

When embarking on a new home, extension or even a deck you need to consider if you might trigger an “overlooking: issue. Hilly sites, incorrect fence coverage or heights, proximity to adjoining homes (windows) and private open space are all factors when a floor level rises above 800mm from ground level.

What rule: Under the planning standard A15 and B22 Overlooking is designed to protect existing windows and private open space from overlooking.

What does it cover: A habitable room window, balcony, terrace, deck or patio should be located and designed to avoid direct views into the secluded private open space and habitable room windows of an existing dwelling within a horizontal distance of 9 metres (measured at ground level) of the window, balcony, terrace, deck or patio. Views should be measured within a 45 degree angle from the plane of the window or perimeter of the balcony, terrace, deck or patio, and from a height of 1.7 metres above floor level.

Reasons for Review: This to provide some protections (up to 9 meters from proposed development to adjoining owners private space and habitual windows. So essentially this and many other regulations are designed to review for adjoining owners any implication from an adjoining development. This is fundamental to your design development and is carried out by The Project for each project brief.

To help you visualise what “overlooking” means the following diagrams from planning authority.

  1. This diagram sets up the basis for review. If an area is affected (is within hatched area ie: a window, major entertainment area etc.) this this triggers the need to provide a solution. Please follow this link for PDF here

The following diagrams provide some idea of how to calculate any impact

 

 

 

Why Us: The Project Centre with over 20 years experience provides our client’s with helpful feedback on impacts & solutions when we are undertaking their new building design. By commissioning a professional design company ensure your design is compliant or applications undertaken to seek council approval when applicable.

Owner-Builder New Rules

Owner-Builder New Rules

From 1st September 2016 significant changes to owner builder requirements when domestic building work is carried out on your own land. The new owner builder rules for when project values exceed $16,000 have been tightened. In fact there is no change to concept that as an owner builder you must adhere to the same rules, regulations as an employed contractor more so government is now trying to pick up “their lack of enforcement and effort” by this new process to apply for VBA consent.

This change will do nothing for those who elect to build illegally, largely due to the enormous red tape and complexity, engineered by our loving bureaucrat’s and politicians. This area remains largely untouched including ensuring complexity remains.

So what does new rules mean:

The VBA web site advises “

An owner-builder it is your responsibility for obtaining building permits, supervising or undertaking the building work, and ensuring the work meets building regulations and standards. That includes any major repairs needed from a Residential Foundation Repair Services company.

“In Victoria, an owner-builder can only build or renovate one house every five years and must intend to live in the house once completed.

Some of the obligations of an owner-builder last for six and a half years after completion of the building work.

In some instances, an owner-builder’s property may become a workplace for the purposes of Occupational Health and Safety legislation and then certain obligations will apply.

If the value of the domestic building work to be undertaken is more than $16,000 you must have a certificate of consent from the VBA to be an owner-builder”

So whilst above unclear in regards the some instances, owner builders will find it frustrating to get a straight answer from VBA , council’s and anyone else, clearly the above place responsibility on the owner builder to ensure work undertaken is considered prior to proceeding.

“As Owner-builders you have a number of important duties and responsibilities.”

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining and complying with a building permit;
  • Arranging for the certification of completed work and ensuring that the work is compliant with Australian standards;
  • Ensuring site and worker safety;
  • Rectifying any defective building work;
  • Ensuring appropriate insurance policies are in place
  • you must complete an eLearning assessment before you can submit your application for a certificate of consent to become an owner-builder.
  • Attach evidence of the White Card issued by WorkSafe Victoria if required.
  • Application fee currently is $96.18.

So if electing not to employ a registered builder for projects above $16,000 then the above apply.

For projects below $16,000 some of the above not required such as obtaining VBA consent however, in principal, all other requirements remain in place.

When considering undertaking a building project consider following:-

  • Obtain professional advice from council, building surveyor or registered practitioner with knowledge of the project your undertaking.
  • Ensure you obtain a building permit.
  • Ensure you begin your planning well before your required completion date. This includes undertaking plans and permit applications well before your need to complete project.
  • Ensure you obtain a white card, as any problems on site remain your responsibility to prepare for including insurance and processes such as safety considerations.

White Card – there seems to be different views of what to do Worksafe advise (link) and other’s including whitecardonline advise (link) another view. Certainly industry associations including Master Builders and HIA have solutions for courses. Certainly the rogu trainers have even more ways. Its difficult to confirm the best process here but suggest get VBA to confirm their requirements clearly in writing.

At The Project Centre we can assist with your plan and permit needs and reviewing likely timeframes for getting your permits and consents prepared by. For details on owner-builder requirements the VBA is the department to confirm their actual requirements.This link to VBA web site will provide great information concerning this subject. 

Owner Builder – New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

Owner Builder – New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

New changes will come into effect for all building in Victoria from July 4th 2016. Whilst here has been a range of information leaking into the industry like all government act’s these come into effect regardless of consequence once released.vba logo

If planning to prepare yourself for a project particularly if an “owner builder” then ensure you read these new changes.

There’s good and bad and quite a few items to digest but two standouts are:

Good

Consent level raised from $12,000 to $16,000 when you need to get VBA consent to be an owner builder of your project. This will allow a reasonable small project to be considered prior to VBA approval being required.

“Remember you must be able to confirm and qualify your expected  project costs when applying for a permit”.

Bad

Owner Builders are on notice their projects will have the same scrutiny and inspections as any builder. So preparation, site conditions and have the correct compliant trades never been more important.

Higher level of Permit review with significant requirements on Surveyors to ensure they have all the correct documentation to enable them issue and administer a building permit.

I advise email advice we received…

Building Act changes that may affect you

The Victorian Government has made changes to the VBA’s powers and functions under the Building Act 1993. Some of these changes may affect your obligations under the law.

You can find all the information about how these changes relate to your work as a building practitioner generally, owner builder or a building surveyor specifically, by visiting the dedicated pages of the VBA website.

The first set of changes comes into effect on 4 July 2016. They include:

  • the extension of the VBA’s inspection powers to owner-built sites
  • new offences for undertaking work without a building permit
  • changes to powers to issue directions, notices and orders
  • a requirement on private building surveyors not to act where there is a conflict of interest
  • provision of a checklist for use by relevant building surveyors lodging building permits to councils

Further changes will be introduced in stages until July 2017.

What’s the best Louver Roof Verandah?

What’s the best Louvre Roof Verandah?Open and closing Louver Roof

What’s the best Louvre Roof Verandah question is difficult to answer without each manufacturer passionately suggesting theirs is the best louver roof system. The real answer is probably related more to your overall expectations of durability, weather resistant factors, visual project design’s outcome and finally price. I will review some  items that to me on balance should be considered.

Durability – this will relate to both blade and to the opening roof system – motor and general mechanism. Heavily debatable but my experience on blade systems is that aluminum blades do provide best durable outcomes certainly around seaside applications where rust could become an issue. Aluminum although often more expensive to colorbond blade options should provide greater durability, span options and performance if installed correctly.

Louvre Blades – Two louver types seem to occupy the opening and closing louver roof market – Colorbond or Aluminum. Check that warranties include a minimum 10-year warranty and that local maintenance options are available. Clearly nobody wants a problem but worse if no local dealer available to attend to any problem arising. Some have stainless steel and aluminum pins and connections which should also ensure greater durability.

Colorbond – generally a two piece pressed blade with foam within the core.

Cons

  • Less robust than aluminum options and subject to rust.
  • Colour options are also restricted but main options normally available.
  • Often at the cheaper end of the market.

Plus’s

  • Generally Cheaper

Aluminum – Generally a solid robust louver with powder coated or anodized finishes.

Cons

  • Often dearer than colorbond

Plus’s

  • Colour options are not restricted with stunning wood grain options available.
  • Performance normally more predictable.
  • More blade style choices
  • Greater span options
  • Easy to maintainOpening and closing roof

Louvre Opening Systems – As louver roof systems have now been around for over 20 years you will find most manufacturers have systems that will do the job of opening and closing your roof. Certainly some systems can be much more complicated and therefore expensive to purchase, install and maintain. Check your warranty options to ensure minimum 3 years for electrical and what components might be subject to ongoing maintenance.

“A main difference may be speed of opening, amount they will open and noise related to movement of louver. A main issue might be the “opening capacity 90, 135 & 175 degree” as how much you can open your roof from closed can provide more light and shade options to the user”.

Most systems will offer a range of options

  • Rain sensor
  • Home cbus integration
  • Remote controls
  • Lighting & Blind integration

Weather Resistant – Although I have seen some reviews suggesting otherwise my own research and experience tells me most manufacturers can now provide great product performance when its raining.

“Certainly cloud burst or torrential rain might provide some abnormal issue’s, as with any roof, under most conditions the louver roof will perform for many years if installed correctly”.

Project Outcome – this relates not only to the actual “louver look” but also to the actual frame outcome. Having your project match or compliment your dwelling will ensure more compatibility and a better visual outcome. Pricing (cost) clearly comes into the equation however ensuring a compatible outcome will provide strong payback in terms of visual outcome and long-term durability. Frankly a closed louver will provide similar looks between one and another underneath by around the area is just as an important factor. The difference will be in the eye of the beholder but my suggestion is make a whole project decision not a one component decision. Therefore, ensure a reasonable weighting to frame construction and its looks should be 50% of your decision outcome.

General frame options (although not all manufacturers can offer these options) that can be considered include:

  • double bank ouver roofColorbond Steel Frame
  • Standard Steel – Painted
  • Aluminum
  • Timber
  • Rendered frames

Proven Service – having the capacity to have your opening and closing system serviced is a smart decision. Motors will grow old, component’s will ware and other factors arise that require rectification. Ensuring you pick long-term locally based distributors with some maintenance options will provide further peace of mind to your purchase.

Pricing – There can be many factors that make prices vary. Certainly I feel if you balance your needs with the needs of ongoing performance will ensure you consider the pricing option right for you. A couple of price and design price options should be considered to establish the price level of your verandah for you to consider.

Summary – What’s the best Louvre Roof Verandah, well not an easy answer but certainly there are a range of factors you now know what you might consider when deciding on your builder. Picking an established builder with direct experience in louver roofs who can provide you the design outcome, benefits, permits and price that’s right for you is probably the smartest decision of all.

Our Services – We at the Project Centre @ Beaconsfield or Hallam branches can provide you our significant experience in preparing the building plans and arranging all permits for your Louver Verandah project. Once you have decided who’s product you wish to use or just want some advice contact us to get your project underway.

Disclaimer: I do acknowledge my association as a director of Totally Outdoors one of Melbourne’s leading opening and closing roof builder’s. We believe our system ticks all the right boxes but I have tried to give you all the issues to consider where-ever you might reside and now the rest is up to you. Totally Outdoors – www.totallyoutdoors.com.au

Do Louver Roofs require a Building Permit?

Do Louver Roofs require a Building Permit is an often asked question by clients when considering building a project with a louver as the roof or the shade slat. The answer is not straight forward as what might appear and will depend upon exactly what the product is and usage the louver and function is performing.

Louver Options available:shade louver profile

Fixed Shade Louvers – often used to purely provide shade, privacy and ambience to the surrounds of a building. These typically are not directing water to a gutter and can be installed vertically and horizontally relative to the effect and outcome proposed.

Opening and Closing Louvers – often this more refers to roofing type outcomes bit certainly not always. Shutters could be viewed as a louver and often these used in window application for shade and privacy. As a roof it will depend if when closed the roof then directs water to a open and closed louver roof

gutter. Often roofing type louver might close to only 35 degrees and therefore not performing the task of a roof but more a shade slat outcome. If performing a closed roof application, a building permit will be required.

Do Louver Roofs require a Building Permit often more relates, not only to the applications referred to above, but also to fact that your “building a structure” with footings, connections to dwelling etc.

So the facts are:

Typically, most building will require a building permit. Long term benefits to obtaining a permit are significant and many but not least ensuring your money is protected via having an independent building surveyor involved ensuring your project is lawful and compliant.

Summary:

Pergolas (ie: Open, Slats (not closed), mesh) if under 20m2

No but Check – may not a building permit but check first your local council requirements for your home as some councils do require a permit due to location of site and other local considerations. If over 20m2 Yes – will require a building permit.

Fixed (any type) or Closed Louver roofs

Yes – will require building permit every time. Some local councils may also require planning permits as well for any building on your property (these requirements normally site specific).

Awnings – mesh or slatted

Not always but Check – awnings “fixed”, “retractable” or “louvers opening and closing” – if water proof directing water to the seamless gutters or to ground and have structures will require a building permit. So best to check with your council if any restrictions or requirements need to be considered or approved before you build.

Building PermitOur experience particularly over the last few years is not getting a permit can be extremely costly and distressing.

We at The Project Centre – Narre Warren will be able to advise you once we know what you want, what else is on site, where precisely you wish project located and where you live. With this information we can assist you.

Given the many project variations, council and building code requirements and refinements we’re finding it increasing difficult to not be suggesting getting a building is required. Better safe than sorry. If it’s not required great. Often you might find that builder you believed in may become strangely very unavailable and generally unregistered and unwilling to assist.

Whilst permits can add a significant cost they may be just worthwhile to ensure your project is not required to be removed or amended (ie: costly further works or approvals) plus the general cost’s to gain compliance that are “not less than double” the normal costs of a permit.

  • Note: A planning permit only provides the information to a building surveyor that if all the building plans reflect the planning permit stamped plans and approval requirements and the associated building information documentation is correct that building surveyor can proceed with issuing a building permit.

Pergola’s attached to your dwelling

Quote

Pergola’s attached to your dwelling

Providing a pergola attached to your dwelling can benefit your home by providing some handy shade benefit’s plus useful ambience to your outdoor area..pergola attached to dwelling

This relative simple sun screen styled pergola is located on the western side of an East Brighton bayside home in Melbourne. On what was a “hot side of dwelling” the slatted pergola was incorporated into a long structure to outdoor paved area. Being filtered light ensured home during the winter would not be too shaded or dark.

With a louver roof located down one end to provide shelter from rain plus light upon demand. This benefit from louver roofs to be “opened or closed” when required. The louvers also providing a similar slatted appearance (when open) but with verandah roof protection for rain when closed.

The extended pergola structure featuring the partially slatted pergola. This area was designed to provide filtered shade to dwelling walls and windows to “cool” the house on hot summer days plus a wonderful ambience to area.

“This pergola and verandah project was designed and constructed by Totally Outdoors used extremely durable merbau hardwood timber for frame and slat’s to provide sensational visual appeal and performance. Another design feature is the extended design of an open frame beyond the slats portion to create space rather than crowd the walkway to external sitting area.”

Mixing up your outdoor area with varied types of covering is just another thought when planning your outdoor area.

The Project Centre assisted with design and provided plans and permits for this project. Contact us when requiring professional design outcome’s and permits for your outdoor area.

Illegal Building Works

Illegal Building – Think again

complaintIn now over 40 years of supplying, designing and being involved with the  building industry the cost to the home owner of being found with illegal works (building or structure) has never been greater. Roll the dice or better still we recommend think again and then again before proceeding without a building permit.

In years past quick fixes have been allowed whereby if building or structure might have been considered by Municipal Building Surveyor as somehow acceptable or minor through undertaking either minor further works –under building permit or compliance via designers and engineer’s was enough. Often cost was low and the world went on.

Today things are vastly different. With so many more building & planning controls and careful enforcement of every dot and T within the Building code has made enhanced requirements the minimum standard. This includes requirements of full building plans, engineering, all applicable council or government approvals, building surveyor review and compliance reports etc. etc., depending upon the project. Even from our perspective our involvement and requirements from client double and triple to find a way to get existing project “over the line”. Our fee is generally twice or three times what is normal for the same project if done prior to building.

Often now pulling down the project is valued under say $20K might be the solution as the minimum cost to gain compliance could be well over $8000.

We find ourselves recommending starting again as the reasonable outcome hard to say and ofter even harder to hear. With normal permit and plans generally under $2K for say a verandah or a shed / garage., Why we might recommend to pull down – if any further works required such as reducing area, significant modification of building method, applying for approvals after the event with no guarantee of outcome isn’t a great starting point and outcome not always assured. Roll the dice or start again always a hard call.

What to do when building a structure – any structure.

Building PermitOur suggestion is “get a building permit”.

Its that simple. The stories of significant cost or heartbreak abound. Most won’t tell you what happened or what it cost to retain their extension, carport, retaining wall or verandah. Illegal building become a secret and a problem best kept to themselves and I do understand why.

At present I have a client who is rebuilding the whole project with costs and fee’s in excess of $8K just to see what can be done and to get a permit plus and this the killer now the cost to remove and replace. Simply it will cost $25 to $30K more than it should have.

So think again and get a permit first and don’t trust the builders word. Seek out and discuss with a registered building surveyor to confirm if your project needs a building permit.

Builder’s without Registrationregistered builder

To undertake a project above a cost of $5K a builder he or she must be registered. By choosing a registered builder provide owner’s with a level of confidence the builder has demonstrated to government competence and experience plus financially viable to undertake projects back by insurance safety net.

What type of Builder – A registered Builder either DBU xxxxxx or BD-Lxxxxxx

There are different levels and types of building registration. When getting your permit, the building surveyor checks this out for you prior to issuing a permit. This assist’s with ensuring the builder is registered, insured and qualified to undertake your project. Also ensure your builder and their registration noted on your permit application.

If project exceeds $16K in Victoria – home owner insurance is required if employing a builder.

Can I be the Builder

In Victoria, an “owner builder” you can undertake a project if under $12 without building authority consent (if above $12K then consent required). But you still need a building permit. Not just a Planning permit which some owners get confused by.

A Sad StoryUnfair

A client recently trusted the tradesman (as noted above) and it went like this

Builder – “Oh you don’t need a permit for this project”

Owner – “Oh that’s great when can you start because your $3K cheaper”

but look what they have left them. $25K+ extra because work was not only done without permit but was not done correctly. Clear visual deterioration of works within 12 months and now needs full rebuild to comply plus also expensive compliance and investigative work undertaken to try and save work done or as was the case reveal the worst case – full rebuild. These matter plus council work works and notices threaten different outcomes. It’s a disaster.

Can We help You Now!

Yes – The Project Centre does undertake coordinated building design of illegal building matters for domestic & industrial projects and can assist with process based on our prior experience in a range of projects.

Frankly however we would prefer to meet you prior to building and assist with getting the right design and outcome for you.

Summary

Do things once and get it right this include getting building permits for all structural works. Yes, I also feel system not perfect. Certainly more costly for small home projects than it should be and could be vastly improved but the its cheapest and safest way forward is be getting a building permit first and this will not change.

10 best ways to get the most from your Verandah

10 best ways to get the most from your VerandahOutdoor Room - Brighton

In no particular order we consider the 10 best or most important component’s we consider when embarking on designing your Verandah.

  1. Size – by providing suitable size to cater for your furniture and usage when people are present is a must consider component. The size needed is not just under the covered project covered area but the whole or extended uncovered area’s. If you have a large family or family (or friend) occasions where you use area for large functions often, and the Verandah is the location your will use, then your needs will be different to others who might have a less entertainer need for this area. Size is not everything as too large can feel just as odd as too small. Your proposed usage will determine your size needs for this area.
  2. Light & Shade – ensuring that good light comes into the area is important. Often your inside light can be too restricted by “fully roofed external Verandahs”. Considering a good backyard outdoor pergolas or ensuring some skylights to provide filtered light will ensure a balance between “roofed & dark “ rather than “roofed but light” (not hot – using insulated roofing) and not feeling too dark under the Verandah just because it’s sunny outside. Where the Verandah location is situated will be important to ensuring a great outcome to your area.
  3. Open Space – a strange plus maybe but ensuring there is adjacent open space to allow uncovered areas adjacent to your roofed Verandah will actually assist with making the whole area feel balanced and useful for all activities. After all we don’t go outside just to sit under another roof. Providing shade to open areas for afternoon light (particularly in summer) will provide great benefits to your outdoor area.
  4. Quality – using quality products ensure long durability and therefore lower cost but also generally provides better visual outcomes. Look for proven manufacturers within the product mix plus long product warranties. Quality will provide you’re the payback in performance, visually and cost over the life of your Verandah.Verandah & Deck - East Brighton
  5. Permits – Why, because there’s nothing worse than the council entering your property providing a “cause to view” action that can cost many $1000’s to fix or having to remove your Verandah completely. Getting permits are a fact, doing it ensures your builder must comply with the rules and your outcome and peace of mind assured. With the digital world not having a permit could be a problem when selling your home. So getting it done just has too many benefits than not.
  6. Design – getting the right design will not only provide usage benefits such as correct style, size, light, quality as mentioned but also to adding benefit’s from blending with your home from an architectural perspective to adding value to the overall asset of your home. Having an experience designer and builder will ensure your project outcome what you wanted.
  7. Maintenance – ensure you review your gutters both of Verandah and dwelling to ensure good passage of water (rain) and other areas of your roof from wind, plant or animal damage that might need attention at least annually. Cleaning roofing, gutters, downpipes and any metal or painted structure will prolong the life of your project materials and ensure effective roofing plus makes things look nice.
  8. Floor – without a stable and well drained floor using your Verandah can be restricted. Many options include paving, concrete (plain or coloured) and timber such as decking (cooler but more maintenance required) at the normal options. Providing a reasonable level non- slip area will ensure your Verandah can deliver in terms of multi usage – furniture tables and chair’s, animal area’s, BBQ and other cooking area’s plus general traffic areas that can be easily navigated. Different areas require different floor outcomes so try to provide the one that looks right for your area.
  9. Colour – whether your using pre-finished metal or painting your project consideration for match your dwelling colours and tone where possible but also ensuring colours match the relaxed nature that “being” in your Verandah warrants. Newer “double sided” coloured roofs do provide a nice clean light outcome to the grey of standard colorbond and metallic outcome of zinc.Verandah & Deck - Vermont
  10. Landscape – providing welcomed privacy via plants (firstly) and items such as screens, planter boxes is a must to ensure an inviting feel from being in your Verandah area. Plants often provide the first and best outcome due to the many benefits of plant life and their colour and pleasant scent around your home. Ensuring those plants selected remain maintainable and functional. Getting the right advice will ensure you select the best plants for your area.

Its your ideas and your needs plus considering the options for your property location plus what your budget can offer mean choices made for one property changes to another. It doesn’t mean that one outcome can’t be just a inviting or appropriate if budget is workable cutting corners will reduce outcome. Location (where’s the prevailing sun rises and falls), terrain, privacy needs, dwelling exit’s and location and size open areas ensure that almost every backyard area is different from another. These are the issues that create difference and determine approach.

Getting your project suitability designed to suit your needs, complying with building and council requirements and ensuring this valuable area of your house get’s the right consideration to make it work can at times be a challenge. Knowing what you can and can’t do (from a permit perspective) is not always apparent.

At The Project Centre we have been specialising in designing outdoor area’s for over 20 years so ensuring our ability to assist you.

To Contact us Monday to Friday ring 9796 6899 during office hours.