Give me a home among the gum trees, with lots of plum trees. A sheep or two, a k-kangaroo, pergola out the back, a deck right out the front, and an oooooold rocking chair.
I know it hasn't got the same ring to it as the original lyrics, but it's close enough. That's the dream, isn't it? Maybe not if you're a beach babe but, hear me out here.
There's nothing better than a nice cold drink on a Friday afternoon after a long day of work on the deck or under the pergola. Tempted? Of course you are! So, here are 5 great ideas to keep in mind before you break out the Australian dream:
- Before you start, ask yourself why you're installing your deck or pergola. Is it for entertainment and, by that, I mean lavishly drinking wine with cheese and fruits in the arvo? Possibly a sneaky mimosa midday to gossip about your ‘Karen' at work? Maybe you have a green thumb and want to plant some vines around your pergola to summon some Greek mythology vibes. Or maybe you just want something simple-a nice bit of shading? Either way, know your purpose because next comes the bit we all dread.
- Money. How much are you willing to spend on this new investment of yours? If you're anything like me, you don't worry about financially preparing yourself so much as emotionally preparing yourself for a chunk of your wallet to go missing. But, if planned correctly, you can make your cash go further. The main things you want to think about are size, location, and materials.
- Size. How big, or small, will your future pergola or deck be? This will affect the quantity of materials you will need to buy to make the structure, if you're not hiring a tradesman, that is. If you're building a deck, I'd recommend mapping out the measurements of any accessories you want to feature, such as tables and chairs, to avoid anyone falling off the side.
- Safety. This also leads to safety considerations. Bear with me. I know it's boring but that doesn't mean it's not super important. If you have young children, or interact regularly with someone with a disability, you're going to want to consider installing handrails and/or wheelchair access. For accuracy, it's probably best to get a building inspector to double check all of this. While they're at it, they'll also be able to inform you of the correct timber requirements and standards for your project to ensure you follow the building codes. That way, everything will be certifiably deemed as structurally sound and you don't have to worry about any potential hazards or legal issues.
- Location. In terms of orientation, does your deck or pergola suit where you want to put it? And, conversely, does it suit where you live geographically? For example, if you live near the coast then you should consider the effects of high winds and saltwater. These will affect the materials you need to buy to avoid premature rusting. Homes in northern Australia have a different climate and seasonal changes to those in the south, so you should definitely keep your local weather patterns in mind when you're planning where to site your deck or pergola.
As long as you plan ahead, you'll be fine. Just don't forget the rocking chair. Good luck!