The idea of DIY patio kits is an affordably attractive option for homeowners who are handy on the tools. As professional patio installers, we thought it might be helpful to look closer at the ins and outs of DIY patio kit construction. Giving you the tools to decide if it’s the best option for you.
How Affordable Are They?
This is one of the main reasons that most people want to use a DIY patio kit instead of engaging a patio building company. What you need to consider when it comes to cost is the debt of labour and the cost of any potential mistakes.
Depending on the complexity of the kit and your experience, it can be an expensive exercise to trade your days off to build a patio. You may love the challenge and have the experience necessary but you’re still going to be trading your weekends for patio building.
Another important cost factor to consider is the possibility that you make a mistake in the build process. Creating unnecessary hassle and additional costs. If you’ve ever been involved in a sizable building project, especially one that takes place sporadically over free weekends, the room for error is considerable.
Half Completed DIY Construction Projects
Have you ever visited a friends’ house who are still renovating a room themselves 6-months after they started? You know yourself how many jobs you “need to get done” around the house. It’s important to be realistic about the possibility of a drawn-out construction project looking like a bit of a shambles.
We recommend setting a firm deadline if you’re going to try and do-it-yourself. Working consecutive days also minimises the risk of frustrating and costly mistakes.
This can be both a positive and a negative. What it means is that you’re at the mercy of the kit makers when it comes to the patio dimensions. This might suit you fine. But, it may also mean you have to compromise on your build, ending up with a patio that doesn’t meet your exact needs.
Not All Patio Kits Are Equal
Like most products, not every patio kit you purchase will be the same quality. Cheaper kits might have some great marketing language that expounds their superiority but often these cheaply produced kits are disappointingly lacking in function and finish.
Be aware of this when picking a kit. Take a look at reviews online to get the lowdown on how good the kit you’re looking at really is.
Given that a lot of patio kits are produced outside of Australia, the instructions they come with can leave a lot to be desired when it comes to easy comprehension. There is a reason that flat pack assembling services exist. Deciphering kit instructions is a skill all of its own.
If you do make a mistake and drill in the wrong spot it can then be a challenge to find replacement materials. This might mean you’re left with a poor finish with drill holes and “patch-ups” on your lovely new patio.
Anyone who’s assembled a flat-pack product of any kind knows the frustration and exasperation of nearly finishing a build and realising you’ve missed something right at the start. Pulling apart a set of draws is one thing, pulling apart an 80% constructed patio kit is a whole other process.
We’d recommend thoroughly reading through the instructions to the point of “studying” them so you know each step in the process – before you begin.
Council Approval Fees
Some structural additions to properties don’t need council approval. If the patio kit you’re building does, you will need to get this approval yourself. This will not only mean time filling out the required documentation but also an additional cost added to your project.
It’s definitely worth making sure you understand the regulations in your area before you start your patio build. Having a non-certified structure can create headaches if you choose to sell your property and could cost you much more than the patio to remedy.
Although all kits will come with mandatory consumer warranties, they are often very limited in their scope. Some popular kits do warrant the product but that may be limited to repair, replacement or refund.
This means you might be stuck waiting to get replacement parts. Then you’ll have to remove the damaged component and re-install the replacement. If they choose to refund you, then you’re in a real dilly of a pickle.
Using a patio builder means that you don’t need to do any warranty work yourself. Plus you’ll be getting a much more comprehensive warranty.
What Happens If Your Kit Supplier Goes Out Of Business?
The reality is a lot of kit manufacturers may not last as long as the 10 year manufacture warranty they offer. You also might find that your kit gets superseded and they might not keep replacement parts on hand after a certain period of time.
This is in stark contrast to a reputable patio builder with a long track record in your local area. They’ll be able to perform warranty work for you and still be in business 15 years down the track.
Is A DIY Patio Kit The Best Option For You?
While many homeowners feel they can save money through a DIY patio installation, being able to turn patio ideas into a finished product takes skill and experience. DIY projects often start out with your best intentions. Even so, with the demands of everyday life, finding the time can be extremely difficult.
By investing in a professional patio builder you can buy yourself less stress and a peace of mind that your patio will be built on time and budget. This means you can start using your patio sooner rather than spending weekends building it.
Using a professional patio builder can also extend your warranty up to 15 years, make getting council approval a stress free experience and leave you with a far superior finished product.
We’d love to talk to you about your patio project. We want to help you make the right choice when it comes to building a patio or alfresco area that you can enjoy for many years, adding value to your home.