So you’re designing an outdoor space. You’ve chosen the style, you’ve got the sketches, and you’ve thought about the outdoor furniture you want.

 
Hold up – there’s more than that to nailing your patio!

Other elements to consider are:

 

Options for Patio Lighting

If you’re keen to make the most of your outdoor spaces, both during the day and in the evening, you’ll need a little illumination!

For maximising daytime light, you have a range of options.

Consider:

Perfect Patio Environment

    • Static louvres – Great for light and air flow, but not waterproof.

 

flyover-patio-environment-altec

    • Flyover patios – Significant structural design that lets light in all open sides, but rain can come into the space.

 

skydome-patio-environment-altec

    • Skydome (for W-profile roofing) – A relatively inexpensive option that allows light in and vents out heated air. This waterproof dome must be located near the fascia.

 

gabled-patio-environment-altec

    • Gable – Another structural design, gables are an aesthetically pleasing way to increase natural light while drawing out hot air. Water can enter via the spaces in this feature, and trailing edges can be exposed to the elements.

 

  • Nature strip – Clear plastic strips in the roofing allow light to enter your outdoor space. This is a waterproof option, but can be a source of heat in your space.

 

When it comes to taking advantage of the beautiful Queensland summer nights, you have a range of outdoor lighting options to choose from, including floodlights, fairy lights, wall lights, bunkers or downlights for insulated roofs. Electrical lighting can be limited by your design, so it’s worth consulting with a patio specialist or electrician before setting your heart on a particular style.

 

Heat

How will you handle the heat during summer? How will you retain heat during winter? Heat management is key for a comfortable outdoor area, so understanding the air flow of your patio can help make it so your outdoors are usable all year round.

Heat dispersion/avoidance

Roofing type and design is key in keeping your space cool. Aim for materials that are known to be reflective rather than transferring heat straight through. Your design should allow for air to flow from one side to another, or provide an avenue (like with gables) for heated air to escape once it’s risen.

Heat retention

Whether you’re looking to minimise the wind chill factor during winter, or just want to get the most from your outdoor heater, keeping your space warm can be a challenge. We recommend opting for insulated roofing that can keep warm or cool air where it’s wanted, no matter the season. You could also look at design features, like enclosures, which restrict the exposure to the elements and can be easier to climate control.

 

Storage

Do you have outdoor items that need to stay outside? From the dog food to the BBQ tools, having some storage space to tuck things out of sight can be great. It doesn’t just make your patio look nicer – it also makes it feel nicer. Steer away from the chipboard flat packs and go for sturdy, quality furniture if possible. This will give you a longer lasting storage space, and enhance your area instead of detracting from the visual appeal.

 

Power

Do you have ample accessible power points in your patio? Anyone who’s lived in a house without many power access points can vouch for the fact that it’s not very convenient. If you’re redesigning your patio, make sure you plan it to ensure you have at least one double power point in a handy location – that way, you can plug in any party lights, bug zappers or a sound system easily.

Making sure your patio is designed well is key to getting a comfortable space that you actually use.

For the ultimate in patio inspiration, make sure you check out our patio gallery. Just be warned – you may end up with some serious patio envy!

 

Altec are Brisbane's leading Patio & Carport Designers and Builders.

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