Letitia’s Tips – Three ways to prep your alfresco for Spring

Letitia’s Tips – Three ways to prep your alfresco for Spring

Spring is finally on its way and that means we all start to spend more time outdoors! But is your alfresco area ready for entertaining?

This month, Letitia shares three ways to prep your alfresco for Spring.

1. Maintenance time

Tip 1 - Maintenance of your patio

Maintenance is always an important aspect of keeping your alfresco looking fresh. If you haven’t had a chance to do any maintenance throughout winter, now is the perfect time to start.

There are four simple maintenance jobs you can do to prep your alfresco for Spring:

  1. Pressure clean your tiles, bricks, pavers and decking. This will wash away all the dirt and dust, cobwebs, rubbish and the garden debris that may have been blown in by the winds of winter.
  2. Wash your glass doors and windows. This will instantly add some shine and brighten up the alfresco space, as well as letting more light inside your home.
  3. Check your BBQ area. Has your barbeque been sitting un-used (and perhaps not cleaned off after it’s last use)? It’s time to give it a de-grease. And, while you’re there, top up your gas bottle and make sure it doesn’t have any leaks.
  4. Give your outdoor furniture a wipe down with a damp rag. This is a quick and easy way to get rid of any winter dirt and leaf accumulation. 

2. Visual freshen-up

Tip 2 - Pergola furniture

Give your pergola a visual freshen-up by updating the style, look and feel of your furniture and layout.

You could replace all your outdoor furniture and go for a big and dramatic visual change! Or, make small changes like adding an outdoor couch with bright, plump cushions to create a comfy feel. If comfy isn’t your style, then add some modern, sleek stools or a hanging egg chair for some visual impact.

Think about the space of your pergola and what you use the area for the most. Then rearrange your furniture to suit your needs. 

3. Add something special

Tip - Add a Louvretec Opening Roof

If you really want to add a WOW factor to your patio, then add a LouvreTec Opening Roof! As patio roofs go, they don’t get much better than this! (We think they don’t get any better.)

Not only are you adding a stunning architectural feature to your home, a LouvreTec Opening Roof is a practical addition to your home. At the touch of a button you can chill out in the shade or soak up the sun. You can even get your opening roof with inbuilt rain sensors and  LED lighting. It’s like turning your patio into another room of your home. 

Bonus tips

A look back to our January 2017 Four Tips to Freshen Up Your Alfresco.

If you’re looking to add spruce up your home for Spring contact Ultimate Alfresco to discuss your options.

 

 

Letitia’s Tips – Three ways alfresco areas add value to your home

Letitia’s Tips – Three ways alfresco areas add value to your home

Australia is made for outdoor living, so it is little wonder that alfresco areas have become sought-after additions in any property.

Homeowners see great value in adding beautiful outdoor spaces such as decking, patios and pergolas – and not just financial value.

This month, Letitia shares three ways an alfresco adds more than dollar value to your home.

1. Adding an outdoor area can enhance your lifestyle.

You can enjoy the outside of your home and make the most of your home life, whether it is :

  • creating a space for you to retreat to
  • creating a central hub for your family to spend time outdoors together or
  • adding an area to entertain friends and family.

Design Tip - Value

2. You get to enjoy your home, indoors and out, for the whole year!

Patios can be designed to create a beautiful space that offers shade and shelter in the hot Australian summers. The range of roofing options allows you to control the amount of sun and shade throughout Summer.

And in Winter, your alfresco are can provide comfort and warmth so you can still enjoy time outside. And there are plenty of design options to keep you warm.

 

3. Lower maintenance.

Choosing high-quality, durable products, that require minimum maintenance means your alfresco will look its best for years and you get to enjoy it for longer.

And, if you’re not a green thumb, adding an outdoor living area means less gardening and less garden maintenance.

And, a bonus tip!

If you are looking for a larger home, but really want to stay where you are because you:

  • like your neighbourhood and your neighbours
  • are established there
  • love your home

adding an alfresco area can be a more affordable option than moving home. And you get to stay in a home you love.

If you’re looking to add value to your home contact Ultimate Alfresco to discuss your options.

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.

Why?

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.

Letitia’s Tips – Four Favourite Roofing Options

Four Favourite Roofing Options

When you are deciding on the roofing for your patio, pergola, deck or alfresco, it is important to choose the type of roofing that’s going to best suit your home, and how you use your outdoor area.

Obviously, you want to protect what’s underneath your roof from the cold frosts and rain in Winter and the hot sun of Summer. Therefore your roofing needs to be good quality and installed professionally to provide the right cover for you and your home.

There are a variety of roofing options you can choose. Here are four of our favourites.

1. Louvre roofs – our most popular!

One of our favourite types of roof is the louvred roof. And it comes with various options that can be designed to provide the type of cover you want.

We can work with you to design a roof that integrates with your home seamlessly, allowing you to climate control the sun as you need.

Louvre roofs also offer a range of colour options. We work with the high quality and design options of Louvretec Louvres, who have shared the most popular colour choices in Australia, here 

The Project of the Month features a louvre roof. 

Lourvre Roof

2. Retractable roofs

Retractable roofs ensure you can get the most out of your alfresco area. They offer not just the flexibility of opening or closing the louvres, but also the functionality of opening the whole sky to your outdoor area. With the technology to slide the entire roof open to one side, the sky really is the limit – with an uninterrupted view.

What that means for you is even more versatility to suit the weather conditions. So when the sun is shining on a winter’s day, simply slide the complete roof open and enjoy the blue skies and joyous winter weather.

3. Insulated panels

A popular option in alfresco design to help create an indoor-outdoor feeling and help manage temperatures are insulated ceilings. If you want your alfresco to feel like it is part of your home and create a natural flow from your indoor space to outdoors, having an insulated ceiling can help achieve that. Read more about insulated panels here.

4. Open arbours

An open arbour can provide shelter, or shade, and serve as an accent to your home. It can blend in with the landscape or be a focus point. Usually, the walls and roof consist of open framework, and they are great for growing vines over creating shade in Summer and allowing the sun through in Winter.

At Ultimate Alfresco, we specialise in a range of different roofing options for your home. These include:

  • Retractable roofs
  • Fully openable louvered roofs
  • Fixed end louvered roofs
  • Open arbours
  • Engineered glass roofs
  • Aluminium shade slats
  • Insulated panels
  • Colorbond steel
  • Tiles or any other product to match with existing.
  • And more..

To discuss your patio, pergola or alfresco design options, contact Ultimate Alfresco today.

Latest trends in alfresco design

Latest trends in alfresco design

A popular option in alfresco design to help create an indoor-outdoor feeling, and help manage temperatures are insulated ceilings.

So what does an insulated ceiling give you?

1.    Keep cool in summer

The heat from our Australian sun can be overbearing, even when you’re sitting in the shade.

Having an insulated ceiling is an instant way to reduce radiant heat transfer – in some instances by over 90%*.

If you would like to know more detail on how, check out the technical details over the page, or give Phil a call to discuss, T 0260 406555.

2.    Transform your alfresco area

If you want your alfresco to feel like it is part of your home and create a natural flow from your indoor space to outdoors, having an insulated ceiling can help achieve that.

Alfresco areas often use a vaulted ceiling, which creates a distinctive difference to your indoor rooms (unless they too have vaulted ceilings).

By adding an insulated ceiling that matches the same level as the room (or rooms) leading to your outdoor area, you immediately create a connection between the two.

Want to know the technical details?

At Ultimate Alfresco, we have been using Ceilink insulated ceiling panel system for a number of years. Below are some of the reasons.

∞    Their insulated panel system is quick and easy for us to install, which reduces your costs.

∞    The EPS insulated core of the system reduces radiant heat transfer by over 90%.

∞    The rigid insulated panels are Australian made with a pre-finished white steel ceiling face, insulated core and reflective foil backing.

∞    They have a Group 1 fire rating and great long-term thermal properties.

∞    The panels are 900mm wide and are available in a range of made-to-order lengths.

∞    The specially designed interlocking panels can be mounted under your existing roof, or included as part of your design process.

∞    They are low maintenance and don’t need painting. This means you get to spend more time in your alfresco area relaxing.

If you want to know more about the benefits of an insulated ceiling for your alfresco area, contact Ultimate Alfresco.