How to Get More Shade for Your Verandah & Pergola

More Australians are discovering the pleasures of outdoor living every summer, but when you’re designing your outdoor areas, it’s essential to consider how they will be shaded from the sun and protected from wind, rain and other adverse weather. Following are some of the most popular shade solutions for verandahs, pergolas and patios.blind

Ambient blinds

Versatile, stylish and highly effective, ambient blinds offer higher levels of comfort and privacy compared to standard patio blinds and awnings, with the best products blocking up to 99% of UV rays. With custom sizes and a huge variety of fabrics and colours to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect blinds to match your home’s style and set the right mood in your verandah.

Made from durable fabrics that are resistant to tearing as well as to mould and mildew, ambient blinds are a long-term, low maintenance solution, covered by a five-year parts and maintenance warranty for peace of mind.

Shade sails and canopies

Shade structures are affordable and convenient options for providing temporary shade in uncovered outdoor areas, from open patios and decks to children’s play areas. Shade sails offer up to 95% UV protection and are available in diverse colours and styles to match every situation.

The disadvantage of shade sails is that larger sails catch the wind, which can make them more difficult to set up, more prone to damage and reduce their longevity. Custom-designed shade canopies are a more reliable and effective alternative, but also more expensive.

Sunroof verandah

You might not want to block out the sun all the time, which is where all-weather solutions such as the Stratco Outback Sunroof come to the rescue. The rotating louvers can be controlled remotely for total convenience as you adjust the light and shade levels to your preference.

You won’t have to worry about letting the rain in, as sensors close the louvers automatically when moisture is detected. Noise won’t be a problem either, as insulating foam inside the louvers helps to reduce outside noise levels, and the moving parts have been engineered for whisper quiet operation.

Install your new verandah today

Install A Veranda is Australia’s leading verandah specialist. We offer all the latest outdoor living products from the Stratco Outback range, with hundreds of possible design combinations to suit every home style.

Speak to our design and installation experts on 1800 000 504 and get your free quote and consultation

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5 Easy Backyard Inspirations For Your Home

Revamping your garden or outdoor area is a fantastic way to bring life into your home. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a style that best suits your space. We’ve narrowed it down to our top five garden styles to help you revamp your home.

The Classic Garden

Classic gardens never go out of style. If your home already has classic elements, this will easily complement the existing structure. Classic gardens usually feature geometric patterns and symmetrical ornaments to create balanced proportions. Add to your classic garden by assigning focal points by using sculptures and water features to help draw the eye. Lastly, be mindful of your landscaping by making sure to keep your grass manicured and shrubs groomed.

Image via HGTV

A Floral Affair

Why buy flowers, when you can grow them in your backyard? Floral gardens are the perfect way to add a bit of vibrancy and beautiful scents to your outdoor space. Consider matching your floral garden to your home’s colour schemes to ensure fluidity. Also consider flowers that are best suited for the climate in your particular suburb and land type. Don’t forget to investigate different types of foliage to help break up the colours and add that extra bit of texture to your design.

Image via Town N Country Living

Go Alfresco

Alfresco areas are best for larger families or if you just love entertaining and having a lounge outdoors. The extra outdoor living space is the perfect location to unwind after a long day or to have a lazy weekend. To keep your alfresco area looking fresh all year round, we recommend installing a veranda or pergola to protect it from the weather. Simply add a cosy sofa bed, throws and pillows, and you’ll have extended space to spend time with friends and family.

Image via Pinterest

Bare Minimal

Minimalist gardens are among our favourite as they complement almost every home type and are easy to maintain. When creating a minimalist garden, think about clean lines, geometric shapes and keep it simple. Create beautiful landscapes by using negative space through large areas of trimmed grass and shrubbery. Water features are also a great way to add that finishing touch to your minimalist garden.

Image via Stylish Eve

Sustainable Gardening

If you’re a fan of fresh produce and love to cook your own meals, a sustainable garden would make an amazing addition to your home. Not only will it be more cost effective, but it will also help to reduce your environmental footprint. Sustainable gardens do need regular upkeep, so make sure to read up on how to take care of your plants to get the most out of them. Think about implementing a compost bin or worm farm to even further your green initiative. However if you ever start to feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of owning a sustainable garden, don’t be afraid to get a professional opinion to help you get on your way.

Image via Pinterest

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Decorating your Outdoor Entertainment Area

string_lights_001Glossy magazines and Pinterest can make interior design seem like decorating and furnishing your home is easy, but in reality it can be a tough job. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as throwing an armchair here and some pillows there, then call it a day. It’s important to have a practical design and a proper budget plan that thinks about form, function and quality. This will prevent you from splurging on flashy and fashionable items that may not last the test of time.

When it comes to outdoor furniture, it’s crucial to invest in high quality and well-made items that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Consider the following tips.

Think Ahead

What kind of outdoor area does your home have and what will you be using it for? Is it a patio or a deck? Is it already protected from the elements or is it completely exposed? Will you be using the area mostly in summer or also in winter? What kind of aesthetic are you going for? Having a good idea of the intended purpose and look of your outdoor area will help you when you’re ready to start making purchasing decisions.

Location, location, location

Whether your alfresco area is covered or completely open, it is likely your outdoor furniture will be subject to the weather conditions. Do you live somewhere particularly windy or rainy? If so, you’ll want to invest in pieces that are heavy (so they won’t be easily blown away) and/or waterproof (as certain materials may rust or corrode quickly over time).

Create a Colour Scheme

Whether you want a natural look, or you’re after something modern, bright and bold, your outdoor furniture and decorations should all work together to form a cohesive design.

Think about Quality

Look for outdoor furniture that is sturdy, long-lasting and made from quality materials. You should also always ask the manufacturer or supplier for advice on how to care for and maintain your purchases. After all, furnishing and decorating any area of your home become pricey, so it’s important to always ensure your choices will be worth the expense.

Light it Up

If you’re looking to add a little oomph to your alfresco area, consider mood lighting. It can add a great deal of ambiance on lazy summer evenings and provide a warm and cozy glow on cool winter nights. The great thing about outdoor lighting is that it can be versatile. String lights, for example, are an affordable and attractive option, whilst oil torch lamps can enhance both traditional and modern settings.

Go Green

A little bit of greenery can go a long way. Introduce life and colour into your alfresco area with pot plants, flowers, hanging baskets, container gardens, or any other plant life. Just don’t forget a watering can while you’re at it!

Throw in Shade

There are a range of external factors that can damage your outdoor furniture over time. Even if your home’s outdoor area is partly or completely exposed, it’s a good idea to consider installing a protective structure to ensure that your alfresco area is sheltered from unpredictable weather.

Pergolas, verandas and gables are an appealing and practical way to protect your outdoor furniture and décor from wind, rain, dirt and dust, and sun damage.

Having a furnished and decorated outdoor area is the perfect way to extend and enhance your home, for both entertainment and relaxation purposes.

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How to Protect Your Outdoor Furniture

Purchasing furniture for your bedroom, lounge or kitchen is tricky enough, but choosing furniture for your outdoor area is a whole other ball game. When it comes to outdoor furniture, investing in high quality products is more important than ever. These pieces not only endure the same wear and tear as indoor furniture, but are also subject to unpredictable external elements and factors such as wind, rain, dirt and dust.

With this in mind, it’s advisable to take good care of your outdoor furniture pieces to extend their value and maintain their appearance and longevity. Here’s a list of handy tips and suggestions to help you do just that.



Wicker outdoor furniture should be regularly vacuumed with a dust brush attachment to remove general debris. Use a mild soap solution to clean wicker and allow your furniture to dry standing upright. Prevent overexposure to sun and rain, as this tends to discolour and weaken wicker fibres.


The great thing about wooden outdoor furniture is that it generally requires little maintenance. For deep cleaning, mix together oxygen bleach with water and scrub the furniture with a soft bristle brush. To restore the original colour of the wood and smooth down any harsh ridges, use medium-grit sandpaper. The best way to protect wooden furniture from sunlight, dirt and moisture is by applying a water-repellent sealant, reapplying every 1-3 years.


Metal outdoor furniture can be cleaned with a mild soap solution. To remove rust stains from metal furniture, use fine sandpaper. Touch up any scratches with paint and be sure to add a protective coating of clear varnish.


Plastic outdoor furniture is quick and easy to clean, compared to other types of outdoor furniture. Use a clean cloth and a mild dishwashing detergent to get rid of any mould or stains, and rinse and dry.


Fabric outdoor furniture is made of a special material called performance fabric, which is specifically designed to repel stains, moisture and mildew. Despite this initial protection, it’s still important to regularly care for and maintain your fabric furniture. Using a fabric protector spray can enhance performance fabric’s natural water repellence. Pillows or cushions that feature removable furniture covers can easily be washed by hand or washing machine – just be sure to check the care instructions on the label.

Other tips:

  • Store or position your outdoor furniture strategically during the different seasons to ensure optimal protection from the most damaging weather. For example, wicker furniture suffers the most from exposure to intense sunlight, while fabric furniture should be protected from extremely wet weather.
  • Consider having furniture covers made. These handy items are particularly ideal for any outdoor furniture pieces that feature upholstery or fabric elements.
  • Installing a protective structure in your outdoor area, such as a veranda, pergola or sunroof, will not only protect your furniture and décor but also enhance the aesthetic and comfort levels of the space.
    Whether your outdoor furniture is made of wicker, wood, metal, plastic or fabric, these pieces can last for many years to come if you learn to protect them properly. If in doubt, always ask your outdoor furniture supplier or manufacturer for care instructions and advice on what products to use for the best outcome.

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A Guide to Choosing Long Lasting Outdoor Furniture

Lucky enough to have a house with an outdoor entertainment area? Take advantage of the precious extra space by decorating and furnishing your patio or deck for a great space to relax and socialise with friends and family. The best thing about outdoor living is that you can design the space to suit any look or mood, from a cosy and comfortable alfresco haven to a breezy and relaxed summer sunning spot.

When designing your outdoor space, it is important to note the difference between interior and exterior design. Any furniture, decorations or other items positioned on your patio or deck may be exposed to the elements. Purchasing weather-resistant furniture will allow you to effortlessly enjoy your space for longer. To help you, we’ve put together a handy guide of the most popular outdoor furniture types, to help you decide what will and won’t work for your alfresco area.



Plastic outdoor furniture is usually one of the most affordable options. These items are usually lightweight, portable and easy to store when not in use. Plastic furniture also requires little maintenance and is quick and easy to wash and maintain. Available in a wide range of colours and styles, plastic furniture can be used to create a unique and versatile alfresco look to suit your home. The bright hues and streamlined designs of plastic outdoor furniture are particularly ideal for modern and contemporary homes.


Wood furniture is usually popular option for outdoor areas, and for good reason. Sturdy, comfortable and timeless, wood furniture can be used to enhance the natural beauty of your home or to create a rustic look. Common long lasting wood furniture types include teak, redwood, cypress, cedar and pine. Keep in mind that these pieces should still be regularly treated to preserve their colour, protect them against the elements and increase their longevity.


Wicker furniture can be natural or synthetic, made from cane, rattan, bamboo, or other natural grass materials. Lightweight but durable, wicker furniture is versatile and easy to match with other decorations or furnishings, such as pillows or throws. Wicker furniture looks great in summer and winter and can enhance your outdoor entertainment area all year round – just be sure to choose weather resistant wicker furniture! It is also advisable to ask the manufacturer or supplier on how to take care of your wicker furniture pieces over time – you may find you need to regularly waterproof them.


The two most popular types of metal outdoor furniture are wrought iron and aluminium. Each come with their own set of advantages and disadvantage, so be sure to carefully consider form and function.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron furniture is a classic choice that often evokes a formal and elegant feel. This type of furniture is usually heavy, ideal for windy locations. However, it is temperature sensitive and will retain both heat and coldness, which can make it uncomfortable for lounging. You can add a splash of colour and keep things cosy by decorating these furniture pieces with pillows. Wrought iron furniture also requires careful maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion.


Aluminium furniture is a great option if you’re after a modern, streamlined design for your outdoor space. These furniture pieces are corrosion resistant and won’t fade or rust, unlike other metals, especially if they’re also protected with a weatherproof finish. Aluminium furniture is also light and portable, low maintenance, and easy to clean with soap and water. However, quality aluminium outdoor furniture sets can be expensive, which may not be ideal for those who are on a budget.

Outdoor furniture is a long term investment, so it’s advisable to make careful decisions when purchasing such items. The weather will inevitably take its toll on your outdoor area, but with regular care and upkeep, you can maintain the appearance and increase the life of your furniture.

Don’t forget that having a semi or fully covered alfresco space will also help to protect your furniture! Consider investing in a stylish veranda, pergola or sunroof. Not only will these structures provide shelter from inclement weather, but they’ll also enhance the look and functionality of your home’s exterior.

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