5 Elements that Add Value to Your Backyard

 

Whether you’re selling up and moving in the near future or are just trying to make your home more comfortable for your family, adding value to your house doesn’t have to be difficult. And a great place to start is the backyard. Taking care of some simple elements can increase what your home is worth, as well as making the outdoors a more inviting place to spend time with your family and friends. It really is a win-win situation!

 

Excellent electricals

Have you ever thought about how easy it is to hook up your power tools in the backyard? How about getting a fan running out there? Many houses will have at least one or two double power points about the place outdoors, but there are still many that could use the extra access. Figure out how many you want and where you want them, then get a qualified electrician to install them in one easy visit.

 

Great gardens

Many families are attracted to low-maintenance gardens that look great. Look out for plant programs like Brisbane City Council’s Free Native Plants Program, where residents can redeem a voucher and get 2 free native plants for their property. Add fresh mulch to each garden, and you suddenly have an attractive outdoor space that won’t require hours of weeding and watering each weekend.

 

Cover up for comfort

Adding a patio or deck cover can make or break your space. By building a high-quality cover, your outdoor area suddenly goes from being a fair-weather friend to being suitable for gatherings no matter what the sky does.

It’s also a great way to beat the heat during the summer (and will hopefully make it easier to get the family out of the air-conditioning and into the breeze).

 

No nosy neighbours

Of course, you can’t control the neighbours. You can control your yard, though. Adding in some screening hedges or privacy screens can make a big difference to your space – no one wants to feel like they’re being watched while they’re enjoying the outdoors! There are a heap of ways to get a more private backyard – check out our article on the topic here.

 

Lush lawns

Putting a bit of effort into lawn maintenance can pay off – literally. Depending on the state of your grass, it can be as easy as mowing and edging regularly. Alternatively, you may need to go a bit further and fertilise, aerate or top dress your lawn.

The best part about all of these ideas is they don’t just add value to your home, they also add value to your lifestyle while you’re still living there! What’s your favourite?

 

Ideas for an Alfresco Dining Area at Home

 

Sick of running the air conditioner all day, every day during summer? Switch off and ditch the indoors for a stunning alfresco space that will make everyone glad to head outside and enjoy the breeze.

If you’re stuck for inspiration, check out some of our favourite outdoor dining areas!

 


 

alfresco-dining-photo1-altec Photo: Altec Patios

Furnish your space well

The right furniture will have your alfresco dining area looking great and feeling comfortable. Make sure you have enough seating options to cover the standard number of people you have over for outdoor gatherings.

 


 

steve-ryan-photography-altec Photo shared by: queenslandhomes via Instagram
Photographer: Steve Ryan @rixryanphotography_aus

Go beyond the paper plates and plastic cups

While the most noticeable elements of an outdoor space make a big difference, sometimes the little things can have the biggest impact. Dress up your dining space to reflect the occasion with sophisticated glassware and china.

 


 

alfresco-dining-photo2-altec Photo: Altec Patios

Sometimes simple just works

You don’t have to deck out your patio to create a comfortable and inviting alfresco experience. Stick to the basics, and let good company and quality chats set the scene.

 


 

greg-hocking-photography-altec Photo: via realestate.com
Photographer: Greg Hocking

Use your space well

Sometimes more is more – if you have the room and the resources, going all out and creating a functional outdoor kitchen can add heaps of value to your home (and to your lifestyle!).

 


 

alfresco-dining-photo3-altec Photo: Altec Patios

Keep it light

You’re bound to use your alfresco dining area when the weather is at its warmest. Make the space light and bright, and invite breezes in with louvre-style features and built-in ceiling fans.

 


 

alfresco-dining-photo4-altec Photo: Altec Patios

Equip your area

If you’re a regular party host, you’ll already know what you need to make sure everyone has a good time. Whether it’s a bar fridge, an esky, or cocktail-style tables, personalise the space for your alfresco needs.

Whether you prefer a minimalist look or you’re planning out where the built-in double barbeque will sit, an alfresco dining area is the perfect place to enjoy the weather and make memories.

Stuck on getting your space sorted for the hottest months of the year? Make sure you check out our post on how to prep your patio for summer before you get started.

 

How to Create the Ultimate Entertaining Area

 

If you want to make the most of a good Aussie summer, a fully decked out entertaining area is a must. So what are the elements of a perfect outdoor space? We’ve broken it down step by step so you can create a sanctuary that your family and friends will enjoy for years to come.

 

A Super Space

The first thing to consider is the layout of your space. Plan it all out. How do you intend to use your entertaining area? Will you be barbequing every weekend for the whole street, or do you need to optimise the setup for endless pool parties? Think about the physical components of your outdoor space, such as the floor and the roof, and ensure they match up to its intended purpose.

Also keep the size of your space in mind. If you have a lot of room to work with, you may want to zone it out into separate areas for lounging, dining, or an activity.

 

An Engaging Environment

Once you’ve got the layout right, you can address the factors that will make your space more comfortable. Think about:

•  The temperature

•  Air flow

•  Noise levels

•  Privacy from neighbours or passers-by

•  Whether the space is weather-proof.

Is your patio or deck quite open and exposed? Does it get exceptionally hot in the peak of summer or cold in the middle of winter? Can neighbours see straight into your sitting area? If your environment leaves a bit to be desired, consider adding physical features like weather screens, an enclosure or insulated roofing to keep your entertaining area cool, comfortable and pleasant all year round.

 

Functional Furniture

Furniture is critical to creating a perfect outdoor entertaining area. No one wants to sit on cold metal chairs for hours while trying to enjoy a cool drink! Investing in quality outdoor furniture will make your space comfy and inviting, so your guests will love hanging out and relaxing.

Identify what you need. Do you use a dining table regularly? Or will a lounge setting with a coffee table suffice? Don’t feel pressured into getting both a lounge setting and a dining setting because that’s what everyone does – choose furniture that reflects how you want to use your outdoor space.

 

Creative Cooking

The ultimate entertaining area always features great furniture, but a kitchen or kitchenette can take your space to the next level. Being able to prepare meals and store drinks close by gives you the ability to play host without sacrificing the social aspect of having friends and family together. Essentials are a barbeque (or a cooktop if you prefer not to barbeque), a bar fridge and a drawer for your utensils.

 

Deliberate Décor

These are the final touches. Choosing décor gives you the chance to really make your space your own – think greenery, decorations, or a clock. Whether you’re working to a colour scheme, a theme, or just picking bits and pieces for an eclectic mix and match style, selecting your décor carefully will ensure a cohesive look.

When it comes to your entertaining area, it pays to plan. So remember:

•  Consider your physical space

•  Think about your environment

•  Aim for practical and comfortable furniture

•  Consider installing an outdoor kitchen if possible

•  Decorate your area to suit the space.

Does your outdoor area need some improvement? Altec has got you covered for all your home extension needs. Get in touch with our friendly team today.

 

How To Make Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces Work Together

 

Do your indoor and outdoor living spaces work in harmony? Can you just walk from one to the other and feel like you never left the room? Making your home flow can be tricky, but if done well, you can double your living space and create an inviting and functional entertaining area.

 

Open a wall

If possible, design your home to have a large opening between your indoor living room and your outdoor area. Like walls, any barriers are an obvious physical separation that contribute to limiting your space and dividing people into one or the other. Consider large accordion or pocket doors to really blur the lines between inside and outside.

 

Continuity in flooring

Tiles inside but wood outside can really make the step from one to the other obvious. For a space that flows, create continuity in your flooring materials. If you don’t want them to look exactly the same, try to find some common ground (no pun intended) by matching just the material or the colour.

Also think about levels – a step up or down into an area is another clear demarcation that can detract from the unity of a space.

 

Make your ceilings flow

While not quite as important as your floors, ceilings with a similar design are still a great way to achieve a cohesive look through your entertaining areas. If you haven’t yet covered your patio or deck, now is the time. While some uncovered outdoor space is nice, quality roofing is a must when it comes to maximising an alfresco area – it can mean the difference between enjoying a party no matter the weather and cancelling because your living room is too small to fit everyone.

 

Dress up your décor

Got a beautiful nature theme going on in your outdoor living space? Bring that inside with some beautiful pot plants or a bamboo feature wall. Whatever your décor, plan your space as one big room when you purchase the accessories and you will end up with a seamless look.

Got the look already? Make sure your space is party-ready all year round with our article on patio maintenance essentials.

 

Patio Maintenance Essentials

 

Patios are the perfect place to relax and unwind, spend time with friends, or chill with family on the weekends. If you usually wait until the cooler months of the year have passed before giving your patio a thorough spring cleaning, it might be worthwhile switching up your methods. With regular maintenance that you can tackle easily each weekend, your patio will be ready to whenever you need it, regardless of the season.

 

What you’ll need:

•  Broom

•  Hose/pressure washer

•  Spray bottle

•  Outdoor cleaner.

Handy tip: Work from the roof down to avoid undoing your cleaning efforts.

 

Patio cover/roof

1. Do a quick check for any roofing damage.

2. Make sure the gutters are free from debris that could block them up or create a fire hazard.

3. Clean gutters if necessary, and if you notice any damage to the roof, contact a professional to have a look at it.

 

Outdoor furniture maintenance

1. Check for damaged upholstery or frames.

2. Wipe over wood or metal frames with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt.

3. Use white vinegar in a spray bottle on cushions to help combat mould and mildew.

4. If your furniture is often in the shade in a humid environment, putting it in the sunlight can be a handy way to freshen it up.

5. Wipe down the frame and exterior of your barbecue, and be sure to check that the grill plates are properly clean.

 

Flooring

1. Remove anything that isn’t bolted down.

2. Sweep the area – do this weekly to help prevent stains from debris build-up.

3. Wet the floor.

4. Apply outdoor cleaner if necessary and/or scrub with a stiff broom.

5. Hose down or use your pressure washer.

Remember: even concrete flooring may need resealing every 2-3 years. When sealing, ensure the concrete is completely dry before applying a sealer. Got wooden decking? Check out our post on resealing your wooden flooring.

Got any questions about looking after your patio? Simply get in touch with us today – one of our experts will be happy to help you out.

 

 

Tips For Resealing Your Deck

 

Summer is just around the corner, which means entertaining season is creeping up as well! Over the cooler months, you may have let your deck be taken over by leaves and debris, but with clearer days here, it’s time to get on top of that. Resealing your deck is important for keeping it looking great as well as protecting the timber from the elements.

 

Here are our top tips for resealing your deck:

  1. 1. Clean it thoroughly

You can’t reseal your deck until it has been properly cleaned. This generally means using a pressure washer, but if you aren’t experienced with this, it can be worth getting a professional in. Bear in mind, if you don’t use the washer correctly, you may damage the wood.

  1. 2. Treat and/or repair any damaged areas

If you notice any cracks or splintered places on your deck, sand them before attempting anything else.

  1. 3. Select a quality sealant

Make sure you match your wood and sealant appropriately. If possible, it’s always worth consulting an expert when it comes to this.

 

When should you reseal your deck?

How often you need to reseal your deck can depend on a few factors. These may include:

  • •  What type of stain or sealant was used
  • •  How extreme the weather is
  • •  How exposed to the weather your deck is.

As a guide, you shouldn’t have to reseal your deck more than once per cycle of seasons (so once a year). This is generally the case for places with high temperatures, or if your deck is fully exposed to sunlight. With a quality sealant and some degree of weather protection, every 2-3 years will often suffice.

 

Checking your deck

It can be tricky to tell when your deck needs resealing. Pour water on it and see whether it beads or soaks in. If it soaks in, it may be time to reseal it – water getting into the wood can be a recipe for warping and damage. Alternatively, if you can see cracks and bubbles on the surface of the finish, this is a fairly safe indicator that it is time to reseal.

When it comes to protecting your deck, putting in a little bit of cash and elbow grease now really is worth the effort – it can save you having to invest in replacing your deck earlier than you would have to otherwise.

For any questions regarding deck maintenance or installation, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly team can give you all the info you need to keep your deck looking sharp and protect it from the elements.

 

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