Recently retired Jim decided that the house he was renovating needed an outdoor area. Jim didn't want just any outdoor area though, he wanted it customised to his family’s specific needs to give the outdoor entertaining lifestyle that he and his wife were looking for. Read Jim's story:
Our ‘retirement plan’ city downsizer was coming to the end of a renovation, but given our love of entertaining friends and family, we needed an outdoor area to ensure that we could enjoy our backyard all year round, protected from the elements. The existing sheet metal awning that the previous owner erected looked terrible, was potentially dangerous (there was certainly no engineering), and you couldn’t fit more than 4 people underneath it. I had this vision of creating the perfect indoor / outdoor area that worked with the bi-folds to give us one large entertaining space.
So I went into Stratco armed with little more than a few photos and some measurements to see what they could do for us. I was amazed by Matt the Design Consultant’s expertise. He pulled up our house on ‘Nearmaps’, identified some of the challenges (that I hadn’t thought about) and proceeded to walk us through the different design options. He then designed up, right there in front of me, a patio perfectly suited to the style of the house. It was exactly what my wife and I were looking for. We ended up settling on a Flat Outback Patio with Cooldek to ensure that we wouldn’t be too hot in Summer. Matt provided me with all of the information including the engineering specifications that I needed to take to council and provided me with the details of an independent certifier. The certifier took care of the whole process for me with minimal cost and no issues. He also sent me a copy of the design to my email which I took home to work through with the wife.
Matt also informed me that Stratco do a steel subframe system for decks which was the ideal product to ensure that the outdoor area was at the same height as the house’s floor level – no step down. The Stratco Pro-Beam system was fully engineered which provided me with peace of mind. I had reassurance that it would carry anything and anyone that we were planning to put on the deck. But for me, the best part is that given its steel construction it will not rot or warp over time. We also chose the composite wood decking board, which looked terrific and was very easy to install. In fact, we were so wrapped by the decking system that we decided to extend the deck around the side of the house to create a second outdoor entertaining area. The composite wood is extremely hardwearing which is terrific – particularly given that the grandkids love riding their bikes and scooters on the oversized deck! Once again, all of the required council documentation was provided and council approval was a breeze.
I’ve always loved a bit of DIY and now that I have the time, I had always intended to do the outdoor area myself. So I enlisted one of my mates and we set about getting both of the products built. I found both the Stratco Outback Patio and the Pro-Beam Deck to be very straight forward in putting together. I used a combination of the installation guide that came with the product, but also the instructional videos that are available online. At one point, I was a little uncertain about the way that the Cooldek sheets joined together, so I called Matt at the store back and he was fantastic in talking me through the process until I got it perfect. He even offered to drop into my house to show me what needed to be done!
We were so happy with the Stratco experience that we returned to get some rust screens to block out the neighbours - we get a heap of compliments about these screens - and the sleepers PLUS retaining system to create the custom built planter boxes. We’re delighted with how it has turned our and can’t be happier with the entertaining space that we’ve created. When friends and family ask, I’m only too happy to recommend Stratco. Now for some Outdoor Stratco Ambient Blinds, a fan and some heat strips….
If you are hoping to start your own DIY product like jim, come into one of your local Stratco stores where our expert team will be happy to assist.