Letitia’s Tips – Design your Winter-friendly alfresco

Design your Winter-friendly alfresco

Are you trying to design a winter-friendly alfresco?

Here are four things to consider.

1.   North is your friend

Placing your alfresco on the northern side of your home means you can capture the winter sun.


Well, the sun passes across the sky from east to west on a low trajectory from the north. This means a north facing alfresco will have sun the whole day, which also has positive implications on heating and lighting – you shouldn’t need to use as much of either, which helps reduce costs.

And the best reason – you tend to use your alfresco more when you get the sun on and in it.

Design Tip April17

2.   Put a roof on it!

Having a roof on your alfresco area immediately creates the feeling of an indoor room outdoors.

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding what type of roofing to have for your alfresco area.

Historically your alfresco roof would be an extension of your home’s roof, there are modern alternatives with technology to help you manage weather (think staying warm in winter), light, ventilation and other factors. These options offer flexibility of your alfresco use, plus they can be designed to feel like part of your home – even if the roof style is different.

Your alfresco roof could be:

  • a fixed roof – gable, flat, or pyramid… or even any combination of these
  • a louvre roof
  • a sensor-driven opening roof
  • a glass opening roof

At the end of the day, choose the roof that will work for how you use your alfresco area.

Design Tip - April 2017

3.   All wrapped up

While many people prefer their alfresco area to be as open so they can embrace the beautiful weather of our region, having an open alfresco can limit your use.

Enclosing your alfresco is a practical option that gives you the flexibility to have protection from the winter cold, enjoy the beautiful autumn days we have here in Albury Wodonga, or keep cool in the hot summer.

These days there is a wide range of choices when it comes to enclosing your alfresco, so you can create a space that you love, that you use all the time, and that blends with your existing home. Your options can include:

  • glass or screen walls
  • smart insulated panels
  • wide sliding, stacker or bi-fold doors

And if none of the above work for you, you can always custom design your space for the ultimate in your alfresco living.

Design Tip - April 2017

4.   It’s getting hot, hot, hot!

Because we have such long (and usually hot) summers, a lot of focus goes on how to cool your alfresco, and sometimes heating is overlooked.

Including your heating options, when designing and building your alfresco means your heating will look and feel like part of your home – and not tacked on as an afterthought.

When designing heating to be included in your alfresco area, it is important to understand the Council regulations that apply before you start building, as some restrictions may apply. Shameless self-plug – this is something we do for you at Ultimate Alfresco. 

Think about what type of heating you want, for example:

  • a built-in fire, creating both warmth and ambience (these days you have a great range of gas, electric and wood options)
  • a wood pit – either in the ground or free standing
  • electric heating, providing warmth from overhead
  • a pizza oven – dual purpose – it provides warmth and food
  • transportable heating options (check out some different heating choices here)

Your heating can be a gorgeous design element that reflects your home, or simply creates a vivid statement in its shape and size.

Design Tip - April 2017

If you are considering adding an alfresco to your home so you can enjoy being outdoors all year round, feel free to contact us for further advice.