Know your Patio

By: Clive Dweller

Owners, of houses in predominantly sunny climates, often feel that a patio may be a nice addition to their abode. They are right in believing so. A patio can provide a house with added elegance, while providing the owners an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful climate in and around the comfort of their home. Once you have decided to get a patio, take some time to learn about the different kinds of patios, so you can make an informed decision.

A patio (or veranda) is a roofed structure, built either as an extension of the house, or standing independently. They usually have no walls or limit the number of walls to two. The openness of a patio does not provide protection against the elements, but allows for excellent ventilation. The most important thing to consider before building a patio is the weather. It is impractical to have a patio for a house that is in a region that faces lots of winter moths or is often hit by storms. On the other hand, building a patio for a house that receives plenty of sunshine and summer weather is the best decision one can make.

Depending upon certain conditions, different types of patios would be more suited to a particular structure. Most houses have sloping roofs and owners often like to have their patios architecturally match their house. The best choice in this case is a gable patio. For a standalone structure, a dome patio is a very tempting option; since it is freestanding and not connected to the house, it does not have to be architecturally dependent on the house. A patio designed specifically to park a car is called a carport.

Once a design has been decided upon, the next task is to pick the materials that will constitute the patio. The supporting structures, or pillars, for patios are often made of steel. Bricks can also be used, especially for standalone patios. However, steel is a more cost-efficient option, while its lightness ensures a shorter construction period. Steel also weathers better than brick columns and are easier and cheaper to replace, should the need arise. Similarly, the roofing material used for the patio can also vary, based on individual needs. Roofing material can be bought in any color, in order to match the color of the existing house-roof. Polycarbonate roofing can be translucent to different levels, depending upon the amount of light desired; usually a good idea for a patio that will be overlooking a door or window. In order to make the best choice, check the Light Transmission (LT) and Shading Co-efficient (SC) ratings for the products.

All efforts in choosing the right kind of patio can be ruined if the builder is not up to task. A builder that comes with recommendations is often a safe choice. Despite that, one should simply not hire the first recommended builder they come across. Shopping around and getting different quotes is extremely valuable in ensuring that the job is done within budget. Patio kits, of various designs, are also available.

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