Part 3 of this short Australian series, takes you through the major renovation of a new patio and its enclosure, during COVID-19.
A little background
Initially, we set the deadline of 6 weeks starting from mid-February 2020 to complete all of the renovating, in time for our flight to the UK, in early April.
The patio and enclosure
Of all the renovations at the house, the patio and its enclosure is the biggest part of the project. Not for us, we think, and the most expensive.
Last year, an online search for Kit patios in the hope of finding a cheaper alternative, proved fruitless. As we don’t have the time or tools to do this part of the renovating, I contact loads of builders, on landing in Brisbane.
It’s difficult to get anyone out to quote and this is only mid-February, before the height of COVID-19 in Australia. Also, this project needs to be fully completed by the 25th of March. It seems as though builders don’t appreciate my deadline, though I stick to this date, regardless.
Finally, with 3 quotes plus a Kit quote (for good measure), several design suggestions from builders, I came up with a design.
Making a decision
Phil from Vergola is the most professional to deal with and provides 3 very detailed options for the roof and enclosure, so I signed his contract.
Renovating the patio and enclosure
Now it’s time for the major part of this 6-week renovating project and hope that everything runs smoothly and on time.
I’m not sure of the age of the existing patio and enclosure, although 14 years’ ago, it didn’t look this sorry.
The roller blinds have never – or rarely – been cleaned during the tenancy. Not salvageable, these are thrown out. The ceiling’s timber cladding contains a lot of rot and is sagging. The flat-roof design leaked and is the cause of the sagging.
Aside from the mould and dirt, the lattice is in good condition – although dated and needs a lot of continual maintenance.
Everything is torn down and thrown out. Only the wrought iron deadlocked security gate that never opened is salvaged, which I later sell on Gumtree.
After a couple of delay days, I’m so excited to see the builders finally arrive on the re-scheduled day and time.
Surprisingly, it takes 2 builders only half a day to dismantle everything and neatly stack old materials in piles, for the tip run.
While this is happening, we continue with the internal renovations of filling, sanding, and painting – joy!
Discovering more repairs
For decades, the current patio roof lived attached to the house. Of course, on dismantling everything, the builders find an issue that needs repairing. This is not in the contract and a variation. So, we need to fix this or this will set the builders back a day or two and cost more money.
The old gooey tar flashing sticks to everything it touches. And, needs scraping off, cleaning, sealing, sanding, and painting. A little rot in a corner of the timber beam also needs digging out and repairing.
Everything needs to be completed after the builders’ finish at 4pm today but before they arrive tomorrow morning at 7am. Otherwise, the build is delayed – we get to work.
Scraping of this tar muck with a scraper and Mineral Turps takes several hours. By the time it’s finished, the tar is splatted and melting into the patio tiles – another awful cleaning job for later.
Luckily, the new roof is gabled. We can continue to paint the fascia and repair the timber beam each afternoon, after the builders’ finish for the day. It’s all about co-ordinating project phases.
With Progress Payments in Vergola’s bank account, the building materials arrive on time and so, the build begins. I’m ecstatic!
The A-Team is prompt, professional, and reliable. A hard mix to find these days, but also to beat. I’m thrilled with the progress and it looks as though Vergola is going to make the deadline.
Phil drives from the south coast – a couple of hours away – many times during the 2 weeks to check everything, deliver materials, and do tip runs. Everything flows smoothly. I’m surprised because as you know, during a build, issues always arise. Each afternoon, the A-Team clean up the area and pack everything away, before leaving.
While we still renovate and repair inside, the tiler fixes broken and any removed patio tiles. The electrician installs the stainless steel ceiling fan and connects the modern down-lights. The last tip run departs and all is going well with the build.
The final result is fantastic!
I’m extremely happy with this build. The new patio looks modern while creating more light in this area and also in the internal living area of the house.
The patio and enclosure will be easier to maintain in the future as it’s built from powder-coated aluminium.
Three of the wonderful A-Team builders! Another three builders that alternate days during the build, are missing on this day.
I would definitely recommend Vergola if you’re thinking of building a new or replacing an old patio in the Brisbane area. Vergola does also travel further afield.
Everyone on the build is professional and the communication throughout the project is excellent, which is always important.
By the way, I don’t get any sort of kickback from this Vergola plug. I believe that word of mouth is a powerful tool and better than paid advertising. If something is good, I’ll tell you. If something is bad, I’ll also tell you.
Part 3 renovating wrap-up
This couldn’t be further from the truth. So, check back next week for Part 4 of the renovating mini-series. Part 4 sees more fun with renovating the kitchen, bathroom, and en-suite.