Almondia – Bautipps Die Bauherrenberatung

Building a terrace: the most important questions

A terrace serves as a perfect extension of the living space in summer. It enhances your house and garden. With the terrace, you offer your family plenty of space for pleasant hours in the warm season. Building a terrace is therefore worthwhile. Think carefully beforehand about what you expect from your terrace. Then you also keep the costs under control during construction.

The most important questions about terrace construction in advance

If you are building a terrace, you may need planning permission. The rules vary by municipality. The type of construction also plays a role in the question of the approval requirement. The regulations for a covered terrace are stricter. In the case of uncovered terraces, regional exceptions to the building permit may apply.
In any case, you must observe the neighborhood law. It prescribes minimum distances. If the distance between your planned terrace and your neighbor’s property is less than 2.5 metres, you need their consent.
The orientation of the terrace is also important, as this affects your yield from the sun. Facing east, enjoy the morning rays. The midday sun warms you towards the south, while towards the west you are spoiled by the evening sun.

Size and shape of your new terrace

Both the size and shape of your terrace have an important impact on what you need to budget for in terms of spending. For a small space you need much less material and labor than for a rather extensive area. Floor plans with straight lines can also be implemented somewhat more cheaply than oval or curved lines.
Cost isn’t everything. The new terrace should also serve its purpose well. This means that you, your family and your guests must have enough space.

For the perfect size we recommend these guidelines:

  • Seating area with two chairs: six square meters
  • Seating area with four chairs: nine square meters
  • Seating area with six chairs: fourteen square meters

Plants and furniture also need space. Three square meters is recommended for a sun lounger, and the parasol takes up another square meter. Plan a strip about fifty centimeters wide if you want a bed as a lateral boundary.

Building terraces Costs: you have to reckon with them

Of course, a project like the terrace construction involves costs . Expenditures for the material and for the rental of the necessary machines are always significant at a certain level. There are also costs for the help of craftsmen. Unless you can actually do all the work yourself. Experience shows that many builders miscalculate the costs of building a terrace. They are simply underestimating the expenses. We therefore advise you to plan the costs carefully right from the start and not to lose sight of them.

When building a terrace, these are important cost items:

  • the material used in the substructure
  • the covering for the terraces
  • expenses for craftsmen
  • machines and tools

Material substructure: A stable base ensures better durability. Despite higher investments, we therefore always advise you to use slightly higher quality building materials for the substructure. Then you don’t have to rework or repair anything later.
Decking for the terrace: Here you can make the choice according to your taste and budget. Douglas fir or larch, for example, are inexpensive. Natural stone with a polished surface is more expensive. Calculate the quantities precisely. In this way you avoid surpluses and unnecessary costs.
Expenditure for craftsmen: Assess your own capabilities realistically. Of course, doing a lot yourself saves money. However, improperly executed work causes additional high costs.
Machines and tools: Large machines can be rented cheaply if you build your terrace yourself. It is even more economical if you plan processes precisely. In this way you avoid downtimes that you would otherwise have to pay for.

This is how you implement your terrace construction

A foundation is complex and somewhat more expensive. It is necessary if the terrace is to have a solid roof and thus a firm footing. The basic construction made of profiles is placed on the foundation and the roof as a conclusion.
Even if you don’t want or need a solid foundation: You have to compact the subsoil. This is the only way for it to be stable, cracks or sinking will not appear later. Like other machines, you can borrow a surface vibrator.
Moisture damages the surface, rain should therefore drain off well. So pay attention to the slope when building the terrace substructure. Between two and three percent is considered optimal. The rougher the material of the terrace, the greater the slope must be. If the terrace is made of wood, it is best to follow the laying direction of the floorboards and always lead away from the house wall.
In any case, wood is a popular covering for terraces. Its look is warm and natural. The running feeling is pleasant. Disadvantage: Wood requires regular care and is less resistant.

Materials recommended for construction

Wood Plastic Composites (WPC): The composite material made of wood fiber and polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE) is durable and non-slip. Disadvantage: It heats up when exposed to sunlight and turns gray without care.
Stone slabs: They are also robust, easy to care for and durable. Properties such as slip resistance or sensitivity to stains depend on the respective surface. Disadvantage: You need experience to lay them.
Paving stones : They offer great design freedom and are durable. Disadvantage: The prices vary depending on the design and size.
Gravel: The material promises little effort when building a terrace. Cons: Walking barefoot is uncomfortable. The furniture may not be completely straight.

A few tips to finish

  • Pay attention to useful extras, such as pots for plants.
  • Decide on a style.
  • Alternatives to the roof are awnings, parasols or sun sails.
  • A power connection is recommended for lighting and electric grill.
  • A water connection supplies the plants with fresh water.

With good planning and preparation, the outside area of your home can be turned into a true oasis of well-being. Anyone who has a clear idea of what the project should look like before the first stone is laid can avoid unnecessary costs and surprises.

Autorin Sarah Völkl

Sarah Völkl hat Architektur studiert und ist seit Jahren das Gesicht von a better place. Mit ihren Videos ist sie bei YouTube vielen Personen schon länger bekannt. Sarah teilt Ihr Wissen jetzt auch bei den Bautipps von Almondia.

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