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You don't have to be a professional to build a terrace. Artisan hobby gardeners can also build their own terrace. We give you tips for planning and execution.
Many people spend many hours on weekends, after work or on vacation on the terrace. Friends and neighbors are welcomed here for a barbecue, sunbathing on the lounger or enjoying their coffee in the fresh air in the morning undisturbed.
Home owners almost see the terrace as a must-have that should not be missing in their garden. However, it takes many hours before you can enjoy your free time on the terrace, which you have to invest to plan and carry out the construction project.
We have summarized the important tips for planning and executing a terrace here.
- 1 ➤ Building ground and foundation: ensure stability
- 1.1 Wrong foundation
- 1.2 Correct foundation
- 2 ➤ Build a terrace: in just 5 steps
- 3 ➤ Privacy: privacy protection against curious neighbors
- 4 ➤ Terrace covering: Well protected all year round
- 5 ➤ Beautify the terrace: design options
➤ Soil and foundation: ensure stability
Many builders understandably lack the knowledge for the interaction of building, building site and foundation. If errors occur during planning, the errors can usually not be eliminated afterwards. The defects are expressed as cracks in the walls and, in the worst case, the inclination of the entire building.
The graphic shows what the wrong foundation for the house and terrace looks like. It can be observed that part of the house stands on soft ground. Both the foundation pillar for the house and for the terrace are both supported on the soft floor. This will yield over time and lead to the problems described above.
When creating a high-quality terrace, which you can later convert into a winter garden, you need a solid base plate that is also correctly positioned. Builders have to give a lot of thought to the sinking construction pit backfill. If this is weak, the terrace slab could sag in this area. For this reason, it is advisable to design the terrace slab with two fixed support sides as a self-supporting reinforced concrete slab.
As a support, you can either use the thickened basement outer wall, solid brackets protruding from the wall or, after the wall has been sealed, pillars created in front of it. If the ground is good, all you need on the free side of the terrace is a frost-free strip foundation or blocks.
If, on the other hand, the building site is an unsuitable floor, for example clay, the foundation of the terrace side should extend through the floor, approximately at the depth of the house foundation. This creates a uniform foundation level and ensures stability. Depending on the depth, you can use concrete pillars, microphals or pillars made of concrete rings.
➤ Build a terrace: in just 5 steps
When the supporting foundation is in place, the actual construction of the terrace begins. Here, of course, it depends on the material from which the terrace is built. Wooden floorboards or stone slabs? We recommend wooden tiles! Laying wooden tiles correctly is not a difficult task. For this reason, they are particularly recommended for all inexperienced DIY enthusiasts. Laying is done in a few simple steps:
- Choose wooden tiles
You shouldn't forego quality with the wooden tiles, because they determine the look and durability of the floor. In addition, high-quality wooden tiles can be easily put together and easily laid.
- Prepare the surface
If you have previously created a solid foundation, you can lay your wooden tiles directly without having to level the surface. All others should first remove unevenness with a leveling compound.
- Use grid system
Wooden tiles do not require a special substructure. However, we recommend buying wooden tiles with a grid system. This system protects the wood from waterlogging and extends its lifespan.
- Treat wood
Every wood needs an appropriate treatment to protect it from external influences. Some types of wood, such as teak, are particularly resistant and are very suitable for patios. (Reading tip: wooden garden furniture - 5 maintenance tips)
- Lay wooden tiles
After the wooden tiles have been cut to size, you can start laying them. Thanks to the simple plug-in system, laying is child's play.
➤ Privacy: privacy against curious neighbors
If the neighbor is already curiously peering over the fence when the new terrace is being built, nothing will stop him later from taking a look at the neighbor's garden. People who want to protect their privacy can block their neighbors' views with a natural or artificial privacy screen.
If you decide to build your own privacy screen, you have several options:
- Privacy screen made of wicker fence elements
- Garden wall as a privacy screen
- mobile privacy screen
- Asian privacy screen made of reed mats
" Tip: An alternative to these artificial variants is the natural privacy screen, for example made from bamboo or hedge plants. Bamboo has the advantage that it is an easy-care, renewable raw material with good durability, which also looks good and grows quickly.
➤ Terrace covering: Well protected all year round
For many people, the terrace at home is the only place where they can switch off and enjoy their leisure time undisturbed - if the moody weather would not put a stop to it. Fortunately, there is a good solution to the problem: a patio cover that protects the patio and residents from stormy weather.
Basically, it makes sense to mount the terrace covering directly when building the terrace. On the one hand, this saves you money when planning, and on the other hand it also saves time because there are no further renovations to be done later. Nevertheless, it is quite possible to retrofit a terrace covering.
»By the way: The terrace covering protects the terrace from wind and weather. Nevertheless, the terrace needs special care before the onset of winter so that it looks just as beautiful in the new year.
The be-all and end-all of the terrace covering is the choice of materials. DIY enthusiasts who want to lend a hand are the easiest way to get away with wood. This material is inexpensive, easy to work with and is also extremely stable. However, wood has the disadvantage that it has to be protected against wind and weather with appropriate care. If you do not want to apply a wood protection glaze regularly, you can use aluminum, glass or metal as an alternative. The latter material is commercially available as a kit system and can be set up quickly. With glass and aluminum, on the other hand, you have to use ready-made solutions, since it is difficult to build yourself.
➤ Beautify the terrace: design options
At this point the terrace is already finished. Privacy is guaranteed thanks to the privacy screen and the patio roof makes it possible to relax even on rainy days. However, the terrace is still barren and uninviting. We can change this with the following design options:
- garden furniture
What would be a terrace or garden furniture? A garden table matched to the size of the terrace with matching garden chairs enables the whole family to dine together. In summer you can enjoy the warmth of the sun on your skin on spacious sun loungers. Depending on the size of the terrace, you can also set up a garden bench or seating group. (Reading tip: garden furniture materials and their properties - small overview)
Even if there are possibly enough plants in the garden, some plants should not be missing on the balcony. Depending on how big or small the border to nature should be, you can position shrubs, small trees and perennials around the terrace so that it is hardly visible. If you want to clearly separate the terrace from the garden, you should choose a few potted plants instead.
It is no longer a secret that light influences our minds. The use of different lights can create a nice ambience in the evening. The combination of candles, solar lights and LEDs is recommended. (Reading tip: garden lighting without electricity - 4 clever ideas for your garden oasis)
Comfort is no longer an exclusivity of the interior. Cozy, robust outdoor furniture creates a homely feel-good atmosphere on the terrace.
Plant pots with delicious fruit, vegetables and herbs not only ensure healthy cuisine, they are also beautiful details on the terrace. Many of these plants grow in containers and feel really comfortable on a terrace.
When the terrace has been embellished with beautiful elements, you can finally inaugurate the residents of the house.