How to Make Your Patio Perfect for Pets

Enclosed Patios

Pets and patios can be a peculiar business. You want your outdoor addition to be resistant to the odd little mess and potential scratching, but comfortable enough to make your pets feel at home.
Thankfully, finding this balance doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are four basic steps to ensuring your patio is perfect for your pets.
  

1. Ditch the Dangerous Plants

Plants that seem like great additions to most gardens can actually be toxic to certain household pets. You’ve probably heard of lilies being poisonous to cats, but your feline friends can also be harmed by:

  • • Daffodils
  • • Tulips
  • • Aloe vera.
  •  

    aloe-vera-cat 

    And just when you thought your dogs were safe, guess again. Most canines can be poisoned by:

  • • Daffodils
  • • Oleander
  • • Tulips
  • • Hyacinth.
  •  
    The easy option is to chat to your vet, and do a little bit of research before decorating your patio with potted plants.

     

    2. Supply Some Shade

     

    Shady Boy 

    If you expect your pets to spend time outside, you’ll need to offer them some shelter from the elements. Uninsulated patio roofs can build up more heat than your average pet can withstand, whereas insulated roofing has a polystyrene core that acts as a thermal barrier against the harsh Australian sun.
     
     

    3. Where’s the Water?

     

    Where's The Water 

    Keeping your pets hydrated throughout the day is essential. But you also don’t want them knocking their water bowl over.

    Custom drinking wells aren’t just a helpful addition for your furry friend, but can also give your patio a stylish touch.

     

    4. Stay Stimulated

    Pets do the worst damage when they’re bored and under-stimulated. So, why not give them something to do? If you’re yet to start building your patio, be sure to leave enough room for your dog’s favourite toys, or even a cat habitat.
     

    Where's The Water 

     
    If you give your pets something to do, there’s a good chance you can keep them from damaging your flooring and furniture.

    To build a good patio for your good boys and girls, go to the good-est patio builders. Chat to Altec today and arrange a free design consultation and quote.
     

    The Best Plants for Your Patio

     

    No matter whether your patio is open, roofed or completely enclosed, a bit of greenery never goes astray. That little pop of colour can bring your outdoor space to life.
    But how do you make sure it can survive with limited light? And what if your plant completely takes over your patio?

    You can put all those worries to rest, because the experts at Altec have put together the ultimate guide to selecting plants for your patio.

    Enclosed Patios

    If you’re dealing with limited light, there are plenty of options for keeping your patio looking lush.
      

    Golden Cane Palm

     

    Golden Cane Palm 

    These impressive palms thrive in minimal light. You can even control the size and shape of the palm by selecting the right pot.
     

    Ferns

     

    Ferns 

    Ferns need more than their fair share of water and love. But sunlight? Absolutely not.

    They thrive on forest floors and in shady hideaways, so they’re perfect for enclosed patios. Just be sure to choose the right pot for your fern – they can grow bigger than you’d expect.
     

    Semi-Shaded Patios

    Perhaps the most ideal conditions for plants to thrive in is when they’ll see some morning sun, while being sheltered by the shade of your patio through the warmest hours of the day.
      

    Fuchsia

     

    Fuchsia 

    Morning sun and afternoon shade – that’s all it takes for these stunning flowers to shine. But you’ll want to make sure they don’t get more sun than they bargained for, or they could get cooked by the sun.  

    Pineapples

     

    Pinapples 

    Speaking of cooking, you can grow the ultimate tropical fruit in your very own patio! And unlike a lot of exotic fruits, the plant of the pineapple needs little-to-no attention. Just some sun every now and again, a brief bit of water, and it’ll take care of itself.

     

    Professional botanists have advised us pineapples actually come from trees, not tins.

     

    Full-Sun Patios

    Once you’ve paved or sealed an area, it’s easy for it to feel a little lifeless. To give the space a touch of liveliness, simply partner your patio with some potted plants.
      

    Rosemary

     

    Rosmary 

    It’s easy to grow, it loves the sun, and it’s delicious. What more could you ask for? 

    Bougainvillea

     

    Pinapples 

    These plants are essentially tough, thorny vines covered in pretty flowers. In fact, they’ll survive whatever wild conditions Australia can throw at ‘em.
    If you need a pop of colour, the bougainvillea might be your best bet.

    Looking for a little extra relief from the Aussie sun? Book Altec for a free consultation and get a quote for your new patio today!

     

    How to Make the Most of a Small Patio

     

    Don’t let a lack of space cramp your style when it comes to outdoor living. With a bit of trickery, size doesn’t have to impact your patio’s potential. Whether you prefer to use your patio for entertaining, alfresco dining, relaxing in the sunshine or all of the above, there are plenty of ways to maximise its space.

     

    Accessorise with Delicate Décor

    Accessorising your patio with small but stylish décor will make it feel more cosy than cramped. If you don’t have enough room for pot plants, tiny succulents can bring a touch greenery to your outdoor area. In addition to being perfectly sized for a small patio, succulents are also easy to keep alive. They only need watering once a week and little sunlight to thrive.

    Copper vases, candles and cushions are also practical décor ideas for small patios. They’ll make your space feel so inviting you won’t even notice how small it is.

     

    Choose the Right Furniture

    Just because your outdoor area isn’t overly large doesn’t mean you need to forego furniture. Capitalise on every square inch of space by placing a small number of elegant pieces around your patio. If you don’t have enough room for a traditional outdoor dining setting, ottomans, floor cushions and wicker lounges are compact and comfortable alternatives.

    Don’t have enough chairs for all your guests? Collapsible furniture makes it easy to transform your patio from a seating area into a more open space in a matter of minutes.

     

    Go Vertical

    Vertical gardens aren’t just on-trend; they’re also space-saving, easy to grow and can add a pop of colour to your outdoor area. To make a vertical garden, all you need to do is fasten a few potted plants to a wall and wait for them to bloom.

    Vertical gardens can be placed almost anywhere in your patio – you just need to make sure the spot you pick gets plenty of sun exposure, otherwise you could end up with a wall of dead plants.

    If your patio still feels short on space even after you’ve tried these tips and tricks, why not expand your outdoor space? Contact Altec for an obligation-free design consultation today. And to see more advice on making your outdoor area look its best, check out our Décor Tips for Your Sunroom.

     

    How to Maintain Your Outdoor Furniture

    South East Queensland’s climate can be unkind to outdoor furniture. Even if you invest in high quality pieces, not even the toughest materials can withstand months of exposure to sun, wind, and rain. You might not be able to control the weather, but there are steps you can take to keep your outdoor furniture from falling apart. These are some of our best tips and tricks for outdoor furniture maintenance.

     

    Take Cover

    Designed to withstand the elements, outdoor furniture covers can work wonders for protecting your patio’s décor. Most outdoor furniture retailers sell covers in a range of shapes and sizes, so you can cover up your tables, chairs, sofas, sun lounges and other outdoor pieces. If you can’t find a cover with the right dimensions for a particular piece of furniture, simply use some tarpaulin.

    They’re not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, but you don’t have to leave your furniture covers on all year round. Just be sure you have them on standby for extreme weather events.

     

    Get Ready for Rain

    No matter how vigilant you are with protecting your patio, your furniture will inevitably be exposed to bad weather at some point. Wooden furniture is particularly vulnerable to moisture, but applying a light layer of oil or a stain can help minimise the risk of water damage.

    Simply sand back your wooden furniture, coat it in a protective oil or stain, and let it dry. This won’t make your timber pieces 100% waterproof, but it should at least delay the destructive effects of rain and humidity.

     

    Stow Away Cushions and Pillows

    Pillows and cushions can add a stylish touch to your outdoor living areas, but soft furnishings don’t fare well in the outdoors. To keep mould at bay, stash your cushions and pillows somewhere dry during wet weather. The same goes for blankets and throws.

    If you’ve left it too late and your outdoor furnishing are already showing signs of mould, dilute a small amount of bleach in water and use the mixture to soak your cushion covers (be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands). For especially stubborn stains, you may need to use a scrubbing brush.

    These simple tips should keep your outdoor furniture looking fresh come rain or shine. Of course, if really bad weather is headed your way, it’s best to bring all your outdoor furniture indoors to prevent property damage.
    For more tips on protecting your outdoor area from the elements, check out our blog on Preparing Your Patio for Storm Season.

     

     

    Décor Tips for your Sunroom

     
    You don’t have to be an expert interior decorator to make your sunroom look stylish. Usually installed on a timber or concrete foundation, sunrooms have the advantage of being exposed to plenty of natural lighting. Enhancing such a bright and airy space is easy, even if you don’t have a huge budget to work with.

    These simple décor tips will make your sunroom feel sophisticated and comfortable.
     

    Play with Colours

    Source - http://keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.com.au/

    Source - http://keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.com.au/

    Can't decide what colour to use in your sunroom? It all comes down to the type of ambience you're trying to create. For a clean, minimalist look, white or beige tones always looks classically stylish. If you prefer more eye-catching colours, don't be afraid to branch out with brighter shades. Light blue and pastel pink look great in natural lighting, while rich tones like red and yellow will give your sunroom a warm and cosy feel.

    Depending on what materials your sunroom is made of, you could embrace the rustic trend by leaving your walls untouched. Exposed brick or timber are ideal for creating that purposely unpolished look.
     
     
     

    Have Fun with Furnishings

    Source - https://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=133635

    Source - https://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=133635

    To ensure your sunroom blends in seamlessly with the rest of your home, don't neglect to fill it with furniture. This part of your property may feel like an afterthought, but furnishing your sunroom is the easiest way to make the most of its style potential.

    From outdoor settings to comfortable sofas, you can choose to adorn your sunroom with a range of fixtures. Comfy couches and plush ottomans will make your sunroom feel like it's been built especially for relaxation, offering an escape from the rest of your house.

    You could even convert your sunroom into a study with a writing desk and office chair, or an entertaining area. The possibilities are endless.
     
     
     

    Go Wild with Greenery

    Source - https://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2017/01/06/friday-finds-117/

    Source - https://www.sfgirlbybay.com/2017/01/06/friday-finds-117/

    Why not make the most of all that natural sunlight by adding a little greenery to your sunroom? Whether you want to place tiny succulents on the window ledge or create an indoor jungle vibe with towering ferns, plants are the ultimate sunroom accessory.

    Just be careful not to scatter dirt all over the floor while potting your plants, and water them regularly to keep the leaves from looking dull.

    If you don't have a sunroom yet, there's never been a better time to install one. In addition to providing you with a sheltered outdoor entertaining area, a sunroom can also add value to your property. If you can picture yourself kicking back in your very own sunroom, get in touch with Altec to book a free design consultation today.
     
     

    Altec at the Brisbane Home Show

     
    If you’re planning an outdoor renovation project, be sure to visit Altec at this year’s Brisbane Home Show. You can see our state-of-the-art designs and talk to our experienced team about building your very own custom outdoor enclosure. No matter what kind of structure you’re thinking of adding to your property, Altec can offer expert advice on a wide range of outdoor solutions, including carports, patios, decks and privacy screens.
      
    The 2018 Brisbane Home Show will be held 23 - 25 February at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Open from 9am – 5pm daily, it’s the ultimate event for anyone in search of inspiration for a home renovation.
      
    As one of South East Queensland’s most trusted suppliers of outdoor structures, Altec knows what it takes to withstand tough weather conditions. We can help you choose the right type of enclosure based on the shape and size of your property, its exposure to the elements and the kind of aesthetic you’re trying to create.
      
    If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to building or renovating an outdoor area, Altec can bring your ideas to life. We specialise in creating spaces that transition seamlessly between indoor and outdoor areas, ensuring any new structure we build blends in with your home’s existing design features.
      
    When it comes to renovating the outside of your home, speaking with a professional is the best way to ensure a stress-free build. Whether you’re looking to lock down a colour scheme or you’re having trouble deciding which materials to use, our expert design consultants can make sure you get every detail right.
      
    Don’t wait any longer to start living your dream alfresco lifestyle - book your tickets to the Brisbane Home Show online today.
     

    How to Clean Outdoor Blinds

     

    How to Clean Outdoor Blinds

    South East Queensland is notorious for its humid summer weather. If your outdoor blinds are starting to look a little grimy after months of weathering these steamy conditions, we can help you whip them into shape with some simple yet effective cleaning tips. Washing your outdoor blinds may not sound like the most fun job, but the longer you put it off, the more dirt you’ll have to deal with. Best bite the bullet now before all that dust and grime becomes a permanent fixture!
     
     
    Here’s how to freshen up your outdoor blinds without breaking a sweat:
     
     

    Do Some Dust Busting

    Before deep cleaning your blinds with soap and water, clear away any loose dust and debris with a soft brush. Be sure to clean the underside of your blinds as well as the outer facing side. If your blinds are made out of a fabric material, try to get rid of any wildlife droppings, tree sap and leaves as quickly as possible to avoid permanent discolouration. Nothing can bring down the visual appeal of your home’s exterior quite like bird poo stains.
     
    If you don’t own a soft brush, any old sock or microfiber cloth should do the trick. Don’t resort to using a brush with spiky thistles as this could leave permanent scratches all over your blinds.
      

    Choose the Right Cleaning Equipment

    Once you’re done clearing away loose dust and debris, you can get to work on more stubborn stains. Consider the type of material your blinds are made out of before investing in cleaning equipment. Plastic and aluminium blinds can handle most mild soaps, but try to avoid using harsh chemicals like undiluted bleach.
     
    Wooden blinds are slightly more susceptible to damage – when soaked with water, they can swell up and get stuck. This is why it’s important to always proceed with caution if you’re working with timber. Instead of going wild with your outdoor hose, simply wipe your blinds down with a damp cloth.
     
    Not keen on using harsh soaps? Dishwashing liquid and watered down vinegar are both effective yet gentle cleaning agents. Just to be on the safe side, always wear gloves if you plan to use any chemicals during the cleaning process.
      

    Post-Cleaning Precautions

    Once you’ve got your blinds looking brand new again, let the material dry out properly. Fabric blinds can become a breeding ground for mould and mildew when exposed to damp conditions. To avoid undoing all your hard work, make sure your blinds are bone dry before rolling them back up. You can speed up the drying process by wiping away excess moisture with a towel.
     
     
    Of course, no matter how hard you scrub, outdoor blinds that have been neglected for years can be impossible to get completely clean. If your outdoor blinds are too far gone to save, why not treat yourself to some new ones? Get in touch with Altec to enquire about installing outdoor blinds.
     
     

    Decorating Your Outdoor Area for Christmas

    Decorating Your Outdoor Area for Christmas

    Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to dust off your decorations and start prepping your home for the holidays. To make the outside of your house look extra festive this year, Altec can help you bring a touch of Christmas cheer to your patio.

    Whether you’re planning to go wild with Christmas lights or you want to create a more subtle effect, get the look you want with these outdoor decorating tips:

     

    Gym 

    Get Creative with Christmas Lights

    There’s nothing wrong with adding a few fairy lights to your patio and calling it a day – but if you really want to make your home stand out, don’t be afraid to get creative with your Christmas lighting scheme.

    Here are some cool things you can do with Christmas lights in your outdoor area:

    • Wrap foliage in fairy lights – From towering trees to tiny pot plants, any type of greenery will look festive once it’s been bound with twinkling fairy lights.

    • Highlight windows and doors – Tracing the outside edges of windows and doors in rope lights will make your home look like a glowing gingerbread house.

    • Hang glowing wreaths – Make your Christmas wreath look even more festive by fitting it with a few fairy lights.

    To keep your patio free of electrical hazards, always check the Christmas lights you’re planning to install on your patio are suitable for outdoor use. Read the instruction manual carefully and make sure none of your electrical leads are damaged.

     

    Gym 

    Create Ambience with Christmas Candles

    If you prefer a soft glow to flashing fairy lights, give your outdoor area a beautifully festive vibe by placing a few candles around your patio. Keep in mind candles can create a fire hazard when left unattended, and you should always extinguish them before heading indoors.

    Create the perfect setting for an alfresco Christmas dinner by placing clusters of chunky candles on and around your outdoor dining table. Securing your candles inside cylinder shaped glass vases will make them harder to knock over, minimising the risk of fire damage.

     

    Gym 

    Embellish Store-Bought Decorations

    Not much of a DIYer? If you still want to add personal details to your outdoor Christmas decorations, simply alter store-bought items. Add a few homemade details to your wreath by decorating it with foliage from your own garden, or tie old ribbons around store-bought reindeer figurines.

    Rather than trying to become a master of Christmas arts and crafts overnight, these simple embellishments can save you tons of time and effort.

    Once you’ve got your outdoor Christmas decorations set up, you can start celebrating the festive season in style. Of course, Christmastime in South East Queensland can get pretty hot and humid. To keep you outdoor area cool this Christmas, we can offer handy tips on shielding your patio from soaring temperatures in our blog post on Technology to Improve Your Outdoor Living.

     

    Privacy and Protection for Carports and Patios

    Privacy and Protection for Patios and Carports

    Are you trying to shield your patio or carport from prying eyes? Or maybe you want to secure your structure against thieves and bad weather? Altec can help you do all of the above! With a few simple alterations, you can easily enhance your outdoor area’s privacy and protection. Here’s how:

     

    Make the Most of Your Garden

    Shielding your patio or carport behind a dense wall of greenery won’t just keep nosy neighbours at bay – you’ll also be less likely to get robbed. Since opportunistic thieves won’t be able to see your patio (or as many entry points into your house), they won’t be as tempted to take advantage of any unattended valuables.

    From hedges to large pot plants, you can use any type of foliage to prevent passers-by from peeking into your outdoor area. Growing enough greenery to make your patio or carport feel protected can take quite a bit patience and gardening skills, but the end result will be worth your time and effort.

     

    Install Protective Features

    Plants and trees may offer some concealment, but they don’t exactly guarantee complete protection against thieves and stickybeaks. If you’re looking for a more concrete solution to your outdoor area’s lack of privacy and protection, Altec can help you install a custom-made privacy or weather screen. Made of low-maintenance materials designed to withstand the elements, these screens can cope with rain, hail and sky-high temperatures.

    In addition to making your outdoor area feel more like your own private sanctuary, having a weather screen in place means you won’t have to worry so much the next time a thunderstorm rolls into town. From colour-coated lattice to static louvres, you can choose to build your screen from a range of materials at Altec.

     

    Enclose Your Outdoor Area

    If you really want to make your patio or carport feel secure, enclose the entire area to create an indoor/outdoor hybrid space. You’ll still be able to enjoy alfresco living, but with more privacy and superior protection against bad weather. Built to last, our screen enclosures come with powder-coated aluminium frames. All you need to do is slide open the doors and windows to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors.

    Every patio is unique, and finding the right solution to your structure’s lack of privacy and protection can be tricky. Get in touch with Altec to learn more about making alterations to your outdoor area today.

     

    How to Prepare Your Patio for Storm Season

     

    From hail to high winds, storm season in South East Queensland brings all kinds of dangerous conditions – but there are steps you can take to protect your patio against the volatile climate. The trick is to start preparing now, so you’re as ready as you can be for any wild weather headed your way.
    Here’s how to prepare your patio for storm season.

     

    Dodge Hail Damage

    Hail storms can appear out of nowhere during summer, battering entire suburbs in a matter of minutes. Planning for this type of weather event can mean the difference between paying for major repairs and escaping unscathed.

    While it’s almost impossible to completely safeguard your patio against severe hailstorms, getting ready ahead of time can help minimise the damage. This is especially important if you’re relying on your outdoor structure to protect your car and other possessions from hail.

    The following tips can help you avoid hail damage:

      Maintain your roof – Minor defects in a patio’s roof can make the entire structure more susceptible to hail damage. Even if everything looks to be in working order, arranging for a professional patio builder to do an inspection is the only way to know for sure that you’re really ready for storm season.

      Choose the right roofing materials – If you’re thinking of adding an outdoor structure to your home, try to use materials that can withstand Queensland’s climate. The roofing materials available at Altec are designed to endure storm season in the South East.

      Keep the space enclosed – If your patio has windows, screens, shutters or sliding doors, keeping these shut during storms can prevent the structure’s interior from sustaining hail damage.

     

     Get Rid of Clutter

    Is your patio is looking a little messy? Be sure to do some spring cleaning before storm season arrives. Get rid of old pot plants, throw away any unused furniture and store decorative items out of the way. Not only do you get to enjoy a more open space when the weather is nice, but securing loose items is one of the essential storm-readiness tasks on every checklist, so you can tick that one off straight away.

     

    Tame Your Trees

    Keep your patio intact over the storm season by attending to any trees around your yard that might have gone a bit over the top with their growth during the year. For large branches, be sure to get a professional tree lopper in – the last thing you want is to attempt to take them down yourself and end up with branches falling on your patio anyway! Smaller branches can be tackled with a hedge trimmer or a hand saw. Yearly maintenance of your trees doesn’t only help by removing limbs that can potentially come off during storms, it can also help reduce the amount of leaves that end up in your gutters year-round. And that’s a win for every season!

    Of course, hail, rain, wind and hail aren’t the only things you need to consider during storm season. Temperatures can soar at this time of year, making your patio feel more like an oven than a breezy outdoor haven. To beat the heat, check out our tips on preparing your patio for summer.

     

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