sunshine-coast-decks-advice

Do I have the time or ability?

One of the areas many people underestimate is the amount of time it will take to complete certain projects. As with everything in life “timing is everything” and this is very true with building. Talk to as many people as you can, estimate how long you think it might take you to complete your project and perhaps double it time.

Your ability? Only you know that answer! Obviously different jobs will require a different skill level, but be honest with yourself and don’t bite off more than you can chew, it is not uncommon for DIY’s to have jobs ending up costing more than it would have cost them to pay for a professional tradesman from the start. Weigh it up and if looks like certain parts might be pushing your scope or ability then maybe consider employing a professional for that part.

What work can I perform without a licence?

Licensing in Queensland is very strict and highly regulated which has made us at the forefront of the construction industry in Australia. This means that installation is consistently of high quality and satisfies the requirements for insurances. Generally any work that requires a licence, and is found not to have been done by a licensed tradesman will void insurance.

Electrical work needs to be done by a qualified electrician that includes any physical installation, wiring, repairing, altering, removing or adding to an electrical installation or the supervising of that work.

For plumbing work, a general rule of thumb is that a licensed professional is needed for work on anything behind a tap, plug and gas fitting.

With regard to carpentry, anything structural will need to be done by someone with an appropriate license.

Any non-structural work does not need to be licensed which includes things like fitting decking board’s wall linings and trims all assuming that work is conforming to the Building Code of Australia, Australian Standards and the manufacture’s specifications.

For larger jobs it might be worth inquiring in an owner builder’s licence which will enable you to coordinate work and employ trades people on major work to be performed on your property.

Does my project need council approval?

All work that is adding to the foot print of your house, adding extra plumbing connections or changing a structural aspect of your house will require council approval. Work that generally won’t need approval would be any work that is replacing existing work, small decks that are less than 10m2 and no higher than 2.4m above natural ground, fences that are less than 2m high. Any extension to the roofed area needs to have council approval.

How much will it cost?

Budget a very important aspect of any project and can be easily underestimated. This is one area depending on your circumstances that you will need to get right. Only from good planning and organizational skills will you be able to execute your project on budget. Research and talk to as many people as you can, for larger projects there are professionals out there that you can turn to for help, for a relatively small cost you can engage in a quantity surveyor who will look at you plans and provide you with a detailed list of materials and trades that you can then get quotes from. If you are applying for a bank loan for your project you may need to strike up a good relationship with your manager as they often have stricter guidelines when they see a owner builders number on the building application, again from history, estimation of the finished price for DIY projects often blow out leaving project unfinished or owners having to back to the bank for extra money. You need to nail your budget.

How do we start planning?

Assuming that you have a clear idea on what you are after you will need to contact a licensed deck builder or draftsperson that can draw up your plans to the current rules & regulations for your councils region. Once your plans have been drawn up you will need to lodge them with a certifier who will look at your proposal and assess it under the current Queensland Building Act and Codes then issue you a building permit.

Once you have had your plans approved you may proceed with the construction. You will maintain contact with your certifier and engineer throughout the entire project with inspections needed at various stages. When planning your deck area consider these factors as a starting point:

1. Work out where you want it and how big you want it to be.
Consider what you will be using the area for including the furniture and fittings that will reside here. How much space will you need? Will there be a 6 place setting or 12 place setting, what size is the BBQ? What other additions will there be? A Day bed, pot plants, bar fridge, deck chairs the list can go on.

2. How much can you afford to spend?
Once you have worked out what you need in terms of a deck and patio roof; and you have a budget to work with you can now look at materials. There are so many available and they all offer different advantages and disadvantages for that matter. See our section on decking materials for information about your options.

3. What materials do you want to use?
What sort of look are you going for? When considering materials, think about the existing home and its colours, do you want timber or composite decking, wide or thin decking boards, what sort of timber do you want to use.

What Decking materials can I use?

Hardwoods

Hardwood decking is highly durable and hard wearing. Like any timber it does need to be maintained to retain the colour and for longevity. You can either go for an Australian

Hardwood is a reddish colour or imported hardwoods which offer longer lengths and lighter colours.

Treated pine decking

This is an affordable option, it’s readily available and easy to cut and fasten. Because it’s treated it will withstand rot, fungus and termites. This is fairly low maintenance with a decent power clean every year and fresh coat of paint or stain every 2-3 years. The downside is that treated pine has a lot of movement and prone to warping so you need to space the planks accordingly.

Composite decking

This is a new material on the market made from a combination of different materials namely wood and plastic. Composite decking is maintenance free, resistant to rot and termites and is UV stable.

Patio roof materials

Insulated patio ceiling

However being a man-made material, it is prone to scratches if for example furniture is dragged across which you can’t simply sand and varnish to hide.

Colorbond patio roof

A closed in insulated patio roof allows you to install down lights and becomes an extension of the room the roof comes off.

Colorbond steel patio roofing is commonly used on house roofs for its durability, longevity and it is flexibility allowing all you to create almost any shape that you desire. Colorbond also has 20 designer colours to choose from.

Polycarbonate patio roof

This type of roof is popular because it lets in the light while reflecting away heat and harmful UV rays, making the patio very comfortable during the hot QLD days.

Thatched patio roof

If you like the Bali. style then the thatched roofs will appeal. Made from grass they give that tranquil tropical look. They are particularly popular on freestanding pergolas and patios.

Request a free email quote for your next deck or patio project   Quick Question