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4 Easy Options to Make Your Outdoor Living Space Usable All Year-round

Posted by Paul Ackling 13th Oct 2020

Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a diverse climate, and Aussie’s love spending time outdoors enjoying the elements, especially in the backyard which has become part of the “Great Australian Dream”.

But as we know, Australia also has some of the strongest UV rays and fairly extreme weather conditions at times,  exposing us constantly to these elements while attempting to enjoy the great outdoors. So, let’s explore how best to control our exposure with shade while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.

The benefits of shading your outdoor area:

  • Keep your home cool in the summer helping to minimise excessive electricity bills
  • Enjoy your backyard oasis while avoiding the sun’s harsh rays
  • Spend more time in the fresh air
  • Get better use of your backyard all year round

External shading is a far more effective cooling method than internal window coverings alone, reducing heat gain by as much as 80%, compared to just 20% with curtains or blinds. External shading can be either fixed, in the form of verandas, eaves and pergolas, or adjustable, such as awnings and shutters.

Adjustable shade provides flexibility, with the advantage of being able to extend or reduce the amount of shade required according to comfort levels, the angle of the sun and the time of year. External shades and awnings come in a wide range of fabrics and colours. You can also roll them back during the winter months, protecting them from the elements.

Which option would best suit your requirements?

The best solution for you depends on a variety of factors and your individual requirements and space capabilities.

A retractable awning means you can enjoy the winter sun on your patio and increase the shade as heat becomes intense over summer. Motorised awnings allow you to set the right amount of shade and retract them completely to avoid wear and tear. Available in a wide range of colours, they are a simple, cost-effective way to make the most of your outdoor area in the warmer months.

External screens can protect from both sun and wind, as well as making an outdoor area much more private, particularly if overlooked by neighbours. External screens can be added to existing pergolas and verandas and come in modern fabrics and colours to blend perfectly with your home’s look and feel. They also assist in reducing the sun’s penetration and absorb the heat meaning they can help control the entry of natural light, heat and sun from the outside which in turn helps to keep your cooling costs down.

Retractable roofs, provide all-weather protection, all year round and are the ideal retractable system for use at home. Retractable roofs fold away at the touch of the button and are designed to ensure the user can get the most out of their area by offering the flexibility of opening or closing the system to suit the weather conditions. Made of easy to clean waterproof fabric the systems offer 100% rain protection to create an operable outdoor room feel for a year-round alfresco lifestyle.

A pergola can be attached to the roof of a house or freestanding and is the perfect garden accessory. Ideal for providing shade over swimming pools, outdoor dining areas or barbecue areas. Pergolas are made from a variety of materials, including fabric and aluminium, and can be customised to suit any backyard situation.

As you can see, there are ample ways to enjoy your outdoor areas in all four seasons of the year. With a few dollars and a little ingenuity, you can make your backyard warm in winter, cool in summer and perfect in spring and autumn.

If you need some advice for your outdoor area, an experienced shade solution company like Shade Design on Sydney’s Northern Beaches can guide and help with deciding on the best solutions for your outdoor space.


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