I’ve specialized exclusively in shade structures for 8 continuous years and have spoken to literally thousands of homeowners about their outdoor living areas. When we have the opportunity, we try to engage in a conversation about what the client is going to use the space for, what problems they’re experiencing, and what’s most important to them.
Here’s a short list:
Which type structure is most suitable depends mostly on what you’re going to use the space for and what your biggest problems are. If bugs are your biggest problem, a screen porch or screen room is your most obvious solution. But screen rooms don’t work so well as outdoor kitchens. And depending on the side of your home it’s being attached to can be budget busters.
If you’re hiring someone to do any type of home improvement, you can avoid some of the common pitfalls. Anyone can make promises, but not everyone delivers.
• Lack of detailed and documented scope of work.
• Time expectations.
• Focus on lowest bidder.
• Checking references vs reputation.
Before you provide a down payment and agree to start work, it’s very important to know about who you’re going to be working with. No one wants to over-pay, have cost over-runs, or workmanship that doesn’t measure up. Yet it happens all the time. Contracts are promises of results for a given price, not the results themselves. Getting the result you envisioned for that contract price is another matter. Take your time and plan ahead to make sure you have the right people.
Detailed scope of work and terms
The goal is to get to the finish line and end up with the result you envisioned without cost overruns or surprises. There’s a very wide spectrum of finish quality in the construction industry causing a lot of projects to go sideways at the end. Before you give anyone a down payment, think through what’s going to happen if somewhere along the way you’re not both on the same page. Memories fade over time. Make sure to have documentation on what you’re expecting as well as what’s communicated along the way.
Three Important Things – Planning Your Pavilion
There are some considerations and steps that are somewhat obvious that are covered in our helpful information section on AmericanLandscapeStructures.com. The features and options of your pavilion are certainly important and getting the most you can for the money. There are just a few things that may not be so obvious if you’re aware of early on can save you some time.
Getting it done
Any carpenter can build a pavilion. But there’s a huge difference between framing carpentry, finish carpenter, cabinets and furniture. You might not want to invest in a furniture grade pavilion, but need to decide if you’re OK with framing level work or what’s important to you. Most pavilions are essentially “a roof on 4 legs.” Here are a few things to consider:
- The ceiling. What are you going to be looking at in the ceiling? Will the joints be tight and neat? Will the wood be attractive and relatively free of knots and rough spots? Will it be low maintenance?
- The posts. If you pay attention while you’re out and about, most park pavilions are built with the pressure treated lumber you see at the lumber yard. Maybe at a spot out in the woods; but most people we talk to are not OK with that being close to their home.