The Adelaide backyard is no longer what it once was. Rather than indulging in a family cricket match on a home-made pitch on the back lawn, today you’re just as likely to find everyone outside watching the Test Match on a 56-inch flatscreen in an undercover outdoor living space, with barbecue and beers on tap.
As lifestyles have changed, so have our living spaces and how we use them. Perhaps this is a result of our no longer having the time or inclination to maintain a lawn and garden. Or it may be that as house blocks in Adelaide’s suburbs have gradually gotten smaller over time, the area that we have available has diminished and so we have to make hard choices as to what we want to do with the space we do have available.
In either case, extending an Adelaide home by adding an outdoor living space has become one of the most popular options for renovating an existing property so as to increase the range of lifestyle choices you have. There is also the added incentive that a successful outdoor renovation can significantly increase the value of your property, as they have become sought-after and desirable features, especially in suburban family homes.
The barbecue has always been an integral part of Adelaide life, especially during the summer, but this is now only one of many features you can find in the outdoor kitchen. Where we once just settled for a hot plate out in the backyard, you’ll now see in many homes an entire food preparation area outside, complete with a permanent, gas-fired barbie, pizza oven, fridge and storage spaces, sinks and running water, as well as a dining table and sofas, producing a complete year-round outdoor entertainment space.
5 top tips for creating an outdoor kitchen
Although the whole point of an outdoor kitchen is that you’re cooking and eating in the fresh air, there will be times when the weather makes this more difficult. However, some good planning can help you to overcome this. Look at installing some café blinds (perhaps in mesh, or clear PVC) that can rolled up or down depending on the weather. Also, think about ceiling fans to increase your comfort during warm spring and summer nights, as well as a portable heater, or even an open fire, for the colder times of the year.
If you plan on having appliances, such as fridge or TV, in your outdoor kitchen, protecting these is also important, and so blinds or awnings, along with where your appliances are positioned, can help in achieving this.
One of the keys to a successful outdoor extension is the way it’s integrated with the rest of the house. In this way, you can enjoy the outdoor lifestyle all year round and effectively increase your overall living space at the same time.
To achieve this, you should aim to make the transition between indoors and outdoors as seamless as possible. Removing existing walls and doors, and replacing them with sliding, bi-fold or pivoting doors is a good option, as this means they can be opened out in such a way that the indoor and outdoor spaces blend into one another. Your outdoor kitchen then feels much more like an extension of, rather than an addition to, your home.
Lighting can make all the difference with regard to how functional and livable your outdoor kitchen is. The key is being able to change the lighting state, depending on how you are using the space. For instance, you need to be able to have bright light over cooking and dining areas, but then to be able to adjust it down when you want a quiet, mellow evening. Dimmer lights are an obvious solution, while festoon lights and even candles can also help to create a more intimate atmosphere.
When you’re thinking of the design and layout of an outdoor extension, you need to take into account the orientation of the space. How much direct sunlight will you get in the summer and winter, for instance? A thoughtful, well-planned design will enable you to keep out as much of the heat as possible when you need to, but at the same time allow in as much sunlight as possible when it’s colder and need to warm the space up. Installing well-placed adjustable awnings and blinds, or clear skylights, can help you to make the space more comfortable all year round, no matter which way your property faces.
Depending on the look you’re trying to go for, lined ceilings in an outdoor kitchen or living area can be particularly effective in terms of insulation, by deflecting heat in summer and retaining it in the winter. A lined ceiling will also give you more options in terms of lighting, as you can fit LED lighting in the ceiling, as well as being able to install ceiling fans to help control the temperature. There are also a number of options when it comes to colours and materials, so you can choose a look that suits your overall design concept.
Having a lined ceiling as part of your outdoor living space can also help to reduce the noise from heavy rain or hail as well.
Adelaide outdoor kitchen builders
Builders At Your Service are Adelaide’s home renovation and extension specialists, and we can help you to plan and design your perfect outdoor kitchen or living space. Our expert team of builders are highly experienced in adding extensions to all types of Adelaide homes and properties, from heritage homes to contemporary townhouses, and we work closely with you throughout the process to ensure that your new home extension or outdoor living area meets your needs now and in the future.
Call us now on 8281 6010, or email us to learn more.