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Building a verandah

Following from the completion of our pool, we decided to build a verandah so as to have a covered area overlooking the pool.  Because of the size of the area, a plan and design details need to be prepared for approval by a building inspector.

It took several months for the preparation of the drawings and approval, although this was more related to the workload of our chosen designer. A constraint on the size was, again, the presence of a sewage easement along our back boundary, and an inspection point.

With tight backyard access, our landscaper excavated the foundation by hand.  This resulted in a mountain of top soil in our backyard.

Excavating the foundation of the verandah
During construction, the building inspector had to sign-off at certain stages. For example, each post hole had to be deep enough and have enough space for the concrete to form an appropriate footing. To help reduce the cost, I finished digging some of the post holes and cleared them of falling sand before the inspector arrived. His only suggestion was to widen the base of some of the holes to enable a better concrete pad to form.

Our design included a walkway along the outside of the pool fence, to a pool gate at the far end of the pool.

The deck rapidly took shape.  Our builder used counter-sunk Spax-brand stainless steel screws, with Merbau timber.

A change in the building schedule meant that our plan to paint the roof timbers before erecting the structure had to be cancelled.

For the roof frame, we were expecting standard triangular trusses. We were delighted to came home one evening to find a much grander roof structure.

We then spent one sunny weekend on ladders and standing on the structure painting it with two coats of black.  We hesitated over black because it would make the frame a feature of the finished verandah. If we painted the structure grey it would blend in. In the end, we went with a semi-gloss black, purchased on sale at Masters hardware.

Having access to a taller builders ladder made a huge different. Climbing on to the frame was hazardous from our own shorter ladder, whereas the taller ladder make it a safer short step. It was also much easier to paint from.

For the Colorbond roof we chose Windspray, to match the rest of the house. A roof plumber installed the gutters and downpipes, connected to our existing stormwater.

We were absolutely delighted with the finished deck and walkway.

Completed unstained Merbau deck

Dark roof trusses contrast with the lighter Colorbond
We will install lighting and possibly a ceiling fan at a later date.

Now there's just a problem with that mountain of dirt, and a dog that loves climbing up it with wet feet.

Many thanks to Ned Bailey of Desertscapes by Design for design ideas and construction.


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