Australian summers are always perfect for outdoor entertaining. So when it comes time to upgrade your outdoor area the first thing you probably think of is installing a patio or another type of covering to keep your BBQ guests cool in the shade. An outdoor covering also gives you the flexibility to use your outdoor space all year round and even during inclement weather.
So what kind of outdoor covering can you use in your backyard or courtyard?
• Patios – a covered wooden structure providing good, basic cover.
•Pergolas– like a patio except that it is built with a steel frame providing a longer life.
•Sunroof – these have the option of providing more shade and protecting against the rain. You have the option of having adjustable louvres to suit any situation.
•Verandas– – Traditional verandas (sometimes spelled verandahs) are outdoor extensions to a home. This type of outdoor living and entertaining has become an important part of the Australian way of life especially in summer. Verandas can also be added to an existing house and design as a way opening up the livable space of a home.
•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 unique situation. One determining factor will the size of your outdoor space. The larger the backyard the more options you will have. Budget will also be a factor and you’ll also want to go for a quality and trusted brand, such as the Stratco Outback which has become one of the most popular brands in Australia.
Here are some of our thoughts on how to choose the perfect outdoor covering.
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. Your patio frame can be ‘stained’ or even painted a colour to match your house.
On the other hand you can invest a little bit more in a pergola that will be stronger and more durable as it is built with steel.
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 designs having the veranda wrap around the entire house. In addition to being great for entertaining, verandas can help to keep the house cooler in summer by providing more shade around the windows.
A veranda is more of a direct extension of your house, often with multiple doors and entry points leading out to it. Verandas do have the downside in that they don’t let in as much natural lights compared to other options. It is also usually a more permanent fixture, which can have implications for sale and value of your home.
Awnings and Sunroofs
An awning is usually a sealed cloth material that can be permanently fixed or retractable so you can put it up when it’s needed.
Meanwhile, a sunroof for your outdoor area gives you a great customisable option for covering. You can adjust louvers to suit the climate with a simple flick of the remote.