Charlie Albone shows us how to create an outdoor area that will add character and value to your home.
Australia’s sunlight can be really harsh, so depending on which way your house faces, you may want to think about building an undercover area where you can enjoy the fresh air without getting burnt.
• There are many different ways to cover an area, such as with an umbrella, shade sails or a pergola. Any fixed structure needs to comply with council regulations; generally you can build up to 20 sq m without permission but check online as rules vary from council to council.
• It's important to decide what you’re going to use the area for – will it just be seating? Or will you have a barbecue or outdoor kitchen there too? Depending on what you want, you’ll need to choose the best design and materials for your structure and roof.
• Steel roofs come in a wide variety of colours while clear polycarbonate will let the most light in. Both give protection from the sun’s UV rays but polycarbonate can retain more heat so it may be more suitable for an open sided structure.
• Another option is umbrellas. They come in all shapes, sizes, colours and budget, and have the added bonus of you can take them with you if you move.
• You also need to think about flooring. Here I've used natural sandstone pavers. Not only are they beautiful to look at, they blend perfectly with the natural environment. A handy tip is to use a sealer once they’re laid; it will prevent dirt from penetrating the pavers and keep them looking good for years.
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