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Patio construction or renovation?

How to choose between building or renovating a patio at home

rénovation patio composite

Carefully evaluate the technical and practical aspects

Do you have an exterior design project that involves a new patio? You already have one, but it is no longer to your liking and you want to change it? Two choices are available to you: patio construction or renovation. But how do you choose between the two which will suit you best? Yes, there is a question of budget, but to make an informed decision, there are several other elements to validate. This first involves carrying out a technical inspection in a few points to assess the condition of the existing patio. Next, you will need to think about the use of your future patio so that it meets your needs. It is all this data together that will guide you towards the best decision to make for the realization of your future development.

Photo: Construction of a new patio from structure to finish.

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bonne fondation patio

Inspect Your Patio Foundation

The condition of your patio will be decisive in directing your choice towards patio construction or renovation. Obviously, there is no problem using the existing foundation and structure to renovate your terrace if they are in good condition. On the other hand, an inspection which reveals weak points at these levels would force you to build anew to avoid having problems later. If your foundation is on screw piles , this is a good thing. They are very resistant and prevent movement due to freezing and thawing. Additionally, since they are galvanized steel, they do not rust. So you can save them for a new patio. If your foundation is on sonotubes , it is important to check that they have been well made and that they are still in good condition to consider reusing them. If your sonotubes are obsolete, it is recommended to replace them . For its part, the foundation on deck blocks is subject to movement over time. This is an economical solution, but is not recommended for a solid and durable patio . You must also take into consideration the age of your current patio at the time of the work and the lifespan of the new patio to make an informed choice. If you choose to make your floor in composite for example, it will last at least 25 years. You then want the foundation to be able to adequately support it just as long.

Photo: Example of a good foundation on galvanized screw piles.

bonne structure patio

Analyze the state of your current structure

To carry out a patio renovation, your current structure must be in good condition and solid . A visual inspection is often enough to determine that the structure is no longer good. First, check it for signs of rot or mold . The attachment to the house, if the patio is annexed to it, must be compliant and not show signs of water infiltration or deterioration. If the condition of the structure is adequate, it is also necessary to ensure that the whole of it is solid and compliant . Check that the spans between the beams comply with the future loads to be supported. The joists must be at 16 inches and protected with a waterproof membrane on top . Before making your diagnosis after examining the technical aspects of your patio, consider taking a quick look at the hardware , such as brackets and screws. If they show signs of corrosion or deterioration , replacing them would not be a bad idea. The solidity of a good patio also requires good hardware.

Photo: Example of a good treated wood structure with protective membrane on the joists.

Think about your future needs

After the technical inspection of your foundation and your structure, you are considering opting for a patio renovation. But there is one last essential thing that you need to take into consideration and that is how you are going to use it . Before choosing, think carefully about the needs you need to meet with your new layout. Why do you want this new space? What activities will you do there? Do you need privacy? Do you want to integrate a pergola, a gazebo or a veranda? All these questions will determine the areas you will need to meet your expectations. It is not necessary to have one zone per occupancy, rather the aim is to combine our needs in order to create multifunctional and logical living spaces . Once the zones are established, you will be able to better determine the square footage and layout needed for your new patio. If while doing this exercise you realize that your needs require a different size and layout than your current patio, then it would be a good idea to build a new one . By starting from scratch, the possibilities are endless and all your needs will be met. Think about it carefully, your patio will last at least 25 years, so it must be an analyzed and considered investment . If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask an expert who can help you make a logical and sustainable choice.

Photo: Final result of a new patio construction to meet the needs of the owners.

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