A pergola with skylights in Melbourne

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Renovation Specialist Leigh McDonald supported these Melbourne homeowners in creating their ideal outdoor, pergola living area.

Renovation Specialist Leigh McDonald supported these Melbourne homeowners in creating their ideal outdoor living area.

Before After
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When homeowners Karen and Phil began looking into building an outdoor entertaining area, a friend referred them to Refresh Renovations. They met with their local Renovation Specialist Leigh McDonald and discussed the possibility of building a sheltered pergola with a built-in end wall. With a clear understanding of the pair’s priorities and budget, Leigh and his team began working with the homeowners to put together a feasible design.
To achieve Karen and Phil’s desired result, it was decided that skylights would be included within the pergola’s ceiling design. The homeowners also asked Leigh to install a door that would lead from the laundry to the backyard. 
Once a suitable design had been firmly established, Leigh provided the homeowners with a quote which included the costs of materials and labour. Karen and Phil confirmed the design and its attached costs, allowing Leigh’s team to move on with the project’s required Building Permit application and then construction. 
Within the build stage of the project, a few important discoveries were made which Karen and Phil asked Leigh to rectify - adding one day to the project timeline. 
“The previous renovation had little-to-no support of the rear wall, no brick ties or anything joining the brick wall to the structural framework”, explains Leigh. “The windows had no lintel support and the bifold door was not securely supported. The eaves had asbestos, which was safely removed. Asbestos can add costs to a project so it is best to get a report done early so the costs aren't a surprise later on. We were able to remove the asbestos at a reduced rate and this did not have a massive impact on the overall budget.”
In addition to these works, the homeowners also decided to add a few additional aspects to their project in order to achieve their ideal result. This included upgrading their stormwater system and installing electrical powerpoints. 
For the remainder of the project, Bowens provided the materials for Leigh’s team to achieve a high-quality finish. The pergola was built and completed with skylights and a ceiling fan. For year-round comfort, a heater strip was installed as well as an antenna - giving the homeowners the option of installing a TV in the future.  
“We also removed a window in the laundry and added a new door to provide access to the outside”, tells Leigh. “The full-length door with a side window from Bradnams allows them to bring the light in and the client was wrapped with it all.” 
Despite the project being carried out amongst COVID-19 restrictions, careful project management allowed Leigh’s team easily complete it within 5 weeks. The outside space now features a cosy and sheltered corner area for Karen and Phil to comfortably entertain in. 
“I love the skylights and the indoor/outdoor flow”, concludes Leigh.
In a 5-star Google review, Karen speaks highly of her Refresh Renovations experience:
“Thank you to Leigh and his team at Refresh from the East and South East territory. They built an amazing deck area for us and we are loving having the extra living space. They were all very professional and the quality of work was outstanding from start to finish. We would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone.”

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This project was completed in
November 2020
Project description
Installing a sheltered pergola with skylights
Karen and Phil
Project duration
5 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Rectifying issues from the home's previous renovation
Interesting aspects
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Leigh McDonald is Renovation Consultant of 27 MAC Pty Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise , doing business in Melbourne

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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