Tips to Follow When Adding a Flagstone Patio to Your Home

by Larry


Tips to Follow When Adding a Flagstone Patio to Your Home

Adding a flagstone patio to your home can add value to it.  However, without following the tips which are given in this article, the venture could prove costly and inefficacious.  The value and price appreciation that the homeowner sought in the venture may not be realized to the degree which was anticipated.   Following the tips prescribed could accelerate the appreciation of the property, the homeowner’s equity and promote the homeowner’s peace of mind.

Tip No. 1

Construct a patio for recreation and respite.  Quality design is very important as the planned patio should be aesthetically pleasing.  It should also be designed with architectural sensitivity to respond to solar implications (viz. effective landscaping to provide shading from the afternoon sun).

Tip No. 2

Hire an architect to prepare the design for the patio.  The tendency for most home owners is to sidestep this recommendation as they feel anyone can design a patio.  This may be so but not everyone can design a patio which is aesthetically pleasing and functional.  Another important requirement is that the patio should be integrated seamlessly with the house.  The patio cannot look like a sore thumb or an appendage to the existing house.  It is all these considerations which have to be seriously considered to result in an aesthetically pleasing and useful space.  Some homeowners believe that an architect is expensive.  While that is not necessarily true, nevertheless, the cost of the architect’s fee will more than pay for itself in the immediate appreciation in the price of the house.

Tip No. 3

Ensure that the architect’s plans are filed with your municipality to obtain building approval.  Remember, as the homeowner, you do not want something to be built which is not approved by the municipality as this could cause serious consequences pertinent to you Certificate of Occupancy.  One such consequence is that a building violation could be attached to the title.  This could make your home difficult to sell when you decide to do so.  Another consequence is that it could be quite costly and time-consuming to have the violation removed.

Tip No. 4

Once the architect’s drawings are approved by the municipality, search for a competent general construction contractor.  Get recommendations from friends (who had similar work done) or reliable people in the construction industry.  In order to get responsible bids, invite three or four competent contractors to bid on the construction.

Tip No. 5

Ensure that each of the invited contractors is bondable and can furnish a performance bond.  Having a performance bond protects the homeowner as, if the hired contractor defaults on his contract, the homeowner will have legal recourse to have the work completed satisfactorily by another company.

Tip No. 6

Request the architect to review and analyze the bids from the contractors and make a written recommendation of the contractor who should be commissioned.  The architect will examine many aspects of the bids to ensure that each bidder did not overlook anything in his or her bid submission.  This is another example of the worth of an architect who is there to protect the homeowner’s interests.

Tip No. 7

Ensure that you, as the homeowner and employer of the contractor, sign a written contract before the construction commences.  There should be a start date and an end date for the construction to begin and completed.  There should also be a clause in the contract that provides liquidated damages in the event that the contractor does not complete the work on time.

Tip No. 8

Do not allow the contractor to commence the construction before he or she presents a performance bond.

Tip No. 9

Never give the contractor a large down payment for mobilization.  This is a mistake that many homeowners make.

Tip No. 10

If interim payments are made to the contractor, ensure that at least ten percent (10%) is retained.  The retention will eventually be released at the completion of the construction after the homeowner is fully satisfied and the architect signs off on the work.

Conclusion

It is responsible for the homeowner to commission an architect to protect his or her interests.  The homeowner, although having an architect in his or her corner while relying on the competence of a good contractor, should have some knowledge of how a flagstone patio is constructed.

Find More Flagstone Patio Tips Articles

We recommend you check out the "How To Install A Flagstone Patio Like A Pro" step-by-step guide. You will learn all you need to know to to create your very own flagstone patio.


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