When it comes time to upgrade your outdoor area the first thing you probably think of is patios or other coverings. An outdoor area is best utilised in good weather but if you have covering then you can use it all year round without worry. While you will still want an uncovered area outside to enjoy the sunshine it is also important to be able to relax outdoors if it is extremely hot or raining.
So what kind of outdoor covering can you use in your backyard or courtyard?
- Pergolas – Wooden structure providing good, basic cover.
- Patios – Like a pergola except built with a steel frame providing a longer life.
- Sunroof – These are becoming an increasingly popular way to let the sun shine in or protect against the rain.
- Verandas – Traditional verandas are quite simple and an Australian way of life especially in summer.
- Retractable Awnings – A cheaper alternative to a sunroof, an awning will allow you to retract it when you are not using it.
When looking at what kind of outdoor cover you want to build, you have to consider your situation. A lot of the choice will depend on the size you have to work with. The larger the backyard the more options you will have. We look at the options and when they might be suitable for your budget and backyard size.
Patios and Pergolas
A patio is a great starter option for when you want permanent cover for your outdoor area. You should build with treated wood supports. They can also look a lot better with certain styles of housing. On the other hand you can get a pergola that will be stronger and more durable as it is built with steel. The wood frame can be ‘stained’ or even painted a colour to match your house.
As for the actual cover you can usually choose between stopping all the light for a cooler area or having transparent sheets put in to let a bit of light shine through. A lot of people opt for a mix between these two options so that it does not get too hot in summer but there is enough light getting through in winter.
Australians love their verandas and it was a main feature of older homes with some having one around the entire house. The advantages of having a veranda is that it will keep the house cooler in summer by providing more shade around the windows. You could think of them as really big eaves that you can also enjoy a drink under.
A veranda is more of a direct extension of your house, often with multiple doors (including entrance way) leading to it. Verandas do have the downside of not letting in as much light as some other options. It is also, at times a permanent structure attached to your home.
Awnings and Sunroofs
An awning is usually a sealed cloth material that can be permanently fixed or retractable. This can be a simple less intrusive way of covering up your outdoor area when you need it. You can also retract it when the weather is favourable.
Sunroof outdoor areas are absolutely amazing as you can adjust louvres depending on how much of the weather you want to let in. This is usually done with a remote and it allows you to let as much (or as little) light in as you like. This is great for those time when you are entertaining and the weather turns unexpectedly bad.