Patio Maintenance Essentials

 

Patios are the perfect place to relax and unwind, spend time with friends, or chill with family on the weekends. If you usually wait until the cooler months of the year have passed before giving your patio a thorough spring cleaning, it might be worthwhile switching up your methods. With regular maintenance that you can tackle easily each weekend, your patio will be ready to whenever you need it, regardless of the season.

 

What you’ll need:

•  Broom

•  Hose/pressure washer

•  Spray bottle

•  Outdoor cleaner.

Handy tip: Work from the roof down to avoid undoing your cleaning efforts.

 

Patio cover/roof

1. Do a quick check for any roofing damage.

2. Make sure the gutters are free from debris that could block them up or create a fire hazard.

3. Clean gutters if necessary, and if you notice any damage to the roof, contact a professional to have a look at it.

 

Outdoor furniture maintenance

1. Check for damaged upholstery or frames.

2. Wipe over wood or metal frames with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt.

3. Use white vinegar in a spray bottle on cushions to help combat mould and mildew.

4. If your furniture is often in the shade in a humid environment, putting it in the sunlight can be a handy way to freshen it up.

5. Wipe down the frame and exterior of your barbecue, and be sure to check that the grill plates are properly clean.

 

Flooring

1. Remove anything that isn’t bolted down.

2. Sweep the area – do this weekly to help prevent stains from debris build-up.

3. Wet the floor.

4. Apply outdoor cleaner if necessary and/or scrub with a stiff broom.

5. Hose down or use your pressure washer.

Remember: even concrete flooring may need resealing every 2-3 years. When sealing, ensure the concrete is completely dry before applying a sealer. Got wooden decking? Check out our post on resealing your wooden flooring.

Got any questions about looking after your patio? Simply get in touch with us today – one of our experts will be happy to help you out.

 

 

How To Shield Your Backyard From Neighbours

 

City living has its advantages – shorter commutes, highly developed infrastructure, and all the amenities you could want right at your fingertips. With it, though, often comes smaller block sizes and neighbouring houses butting up against your shared fence. This means having to deal with a backyard that is a little more public than you might want.

So how can you combat ever-shrinking urban spaces and ensure the privacy of your backyard?

 

Screen your space

If the idea of a privacy screen makes you cringe, don’t stress. Gone are the days of ugly plastic and lattice barriers that deteriorate over time. Now you can get stylish and durable screens that tie right in with your outdoor décor, giving your space a secure feeling without making it seem claustrophobic.

 

Hedge your bets

Hedges are a handy way to introduce extra greenery into an outdoor space while also creating a visual barrier that makes it difficult for random eyes to peer into your backyard. While they do require some maintenance, you will generally be rewarded with a thick, natural screen that not only protects your privacy, but also looks great. The most popular types of hedge in Australia are:

•  Boxus

•  Lilly Pilly

•  Murraya

•  Photinia

You should be able to find any of these plants – and learn how to take to take care of them properly – at your local nursery.

 

Find your best angle

When setting up your outdoor area, consider your neighbour’s line of sight. While some of the surrounding houses are sure to be positioned so that the occupants will be able to see into your yard, you may have the opportunity to construct your outdoor living area in a space blocked out by an existing structure, like your home, a large tree, or a small pergola. Consider this when you arrange your furniture, or when deciding where to build a new patio or pergola.

 

Feature some water noise

Privacy is more than visual – if you can’t have a conversation outside without the neighbour hearing every detail, then you may want some sort of background noise. Luckily, there is a way to do this that is both beautiful and soothing. Water features are a great way to add an extra element of sophistication to your yard, as well as giving you a way to mask your exact words when Cheryl next door is outside hanging out her washing.

 

Get into fencing

While solid fences like Colorbond aren’t for everyone, they can be a handy way to block out views of your yard. If you choose to go down this path, make sure you discuss it with your neighbours first – not everyone will be thrilled to have a new fence installed without prior knowledge. They may need to fork out for half the cost, so don’t skip having the chat, even if you haven’t formally met them before!

Looking for some screening inspiration? Head over to our privacy and weather screens gallery to see what can be done!

 

 

What To Look For In A Patio Builder

 

So you’ve decided to extend your home. You might have settled on covering your patio or deck to make it a truly useful and comfortable space, or maybe you’re looking at enclosing an outdoor area that’s already covered. Unless you’re a DIY master, you will likely need some help to make sure your home extension is fully functional and looks amazing.

With tradies and contractors notorious for leaving jobs half finished, arriving late every day, or making a mess of the site, it can be difficult to find a team that you really trust. Here are our top tips for finding a patio builder that you can count on, whether you’re located in Brisbane or live in a regional centre elsewhere around the country.

 

Reputation

Word of mouth is a valuable tool in the building industry, both for you as a customer and for businesses looking to expand their client base. It’s worth asking friends and family if they have had any experiences with specialised builders in your area, as they may be able to help you eliminate or shortlist any standouts.

 

Proof of skills

Every builder worth their salt should have some sort of portfolio showcasing previous work, so you can see what sort of projects they’ve taken on in the past. You can also look for online reviews and testimonials, so you know what to expect should you engage them for your job. It’s also worth asking if they have any industry awards or qualifications that set them apart from competitors.

This includes making sure they are a licenced operator – to check this, simply visit the Queensland Building and Construction Commission website and search for the company. You will be able to see if they hold any licences, what licences they hold, and what work they have completed, all of which will help you make an informed decision.

 

Design expertise

What do they offer as part of a standard service? Do they simply order a package and put it up for you? For a patio or extension that adds genuine value to your home, you should look for a business that provides not just construction as standard, but also custom design.

 

Material recommendations

While you’re probably not looking for an endless sales pitch, you also don’t want someone who builds with cheap materials as a default. Take the time to ask what materials they recommend, and what the specific benefits and drawbacks are.

 

Guarantees and warranties

Do they offer any sort of guarantee for their work? If they are confident in the quality of their workmanship, then there should always be some sort of system in place for the rare event of something going wrong, both for your peace of mind and for their own reputation.

When it comes to your home, you should always be cautious with alterations. Asking yourself the questions set out above is a great way to assess the quality of a building company, and time spent researching is never a waste. For more information on our work, practices and policies, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and experienced team.

 

Quick Checklist for Choosing Your Building Company

•  Positive reputation

•  Portfolio of work

•  Positive reviews

•  Customer testimonials

•  Design expertise

•  High-quality materials on offer

•  Guarantees and/or warranties on products and workmanship

 

Altec are Brisbane's leading Patio & Carport Designers and Builders.

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