Whether you live in Sydney, Perth or Melbourne, Australians love spending time outside. And with such a mild climate, who can blame us? This has seen more homeowners choose to add value to their homes and extend their living spaces into the great outdoors by building alfresco areas or patios to make the most of their backyards.
Alfresco areas and patios are similar and while both are suited to Australia’s climate, there are differences to weigh up when deciding on one over the other.
So, what is the difference between the two, and which one will help you make the most out of your backyard?
What’s The Difference Between Alfrescos And Patios?
The main difference between an alfresco and a patio is the roof structure. While a patio is constructed separately from the main roof, creating a clear distinction between the two structures, an alfresco is usually installed just under the existing roof using the building’s main roof line, creating a seamless look.
An alfresco area, while outside, functions as an extension of your home as it can be used all year round, no matter the season or weather. A patio, on the other hand, is more exposed to the rain and wind but can be easier to maintain.
Pros and Cons of Alfrescos
Unlike patios and pergolas, alfresco areas are designed to provide shelter from the elements such as rain. This can make it a more comfortable place for entertaining and relaxing.
An alfresco area often features privacy screens, walls or windows to keep the heat at bay and keep the cold out. As it offers more protection from outdoor furniture such as tables and chairs, you can invest in pieces of higher quality because they won’t be battered by rain or fly away in the wind. This can result in a more luxurious space to enjoy cooking in your outdoor kitchen, watching television or curling up in front of your feature outdoor fireplace.
Flooring for your alfresco area can also add to the luxury, depending on whether you choose timber decking, tiles or polished concrete.
While some homes are well suited to the addition of an alfresco area, the design of some homes may restrict your ability to add an ‘outdoor room’ or where it can be placed.
- Easier to make into an outdoor living room or kitchen
- Can be used no matter the weather
- Will increase your home’s value
- May not suit all homes depending on the roof line
- Can take longer to build than a patio
- Can be more expensive to build than a patio
Pros and Cons of Patios
A patio can be an additional structure attached to your house or it can be freestanding. There are plenty of benefits to building a patio at your home.
Because it doesn’t have to be attached to your home as such, it can be placed anywhere in the garden. With an alfresco area, you are limited in that it has to flow from your main home. For example, you might choose to build a patio close to your swimming pool so you have a place for napping after an active morning splashing about or so you can sit and do some reading while the kids run wild, but you are still close by.
Patio designs can also be more flexible than an alfresco area. You might choose more of a pergola look or leave your patio uncovered, using an umbrella or shade sail as seasonal cover from the sun. Retractable roofs are also a fantastic option for a more high-end finish. All of these options allow you to let the sun shine in when you need it and block it out when you don’t.
However, because patios generally are not built with as much protection from the elements, you might find you don’t get as much use from it as a transitional space between your home and backyard which can be used in all weather conditions.
- More flexibility in design
- More options as to where you put it
- Will increase the value of your home
- Not as protected from the weather
- Can look out of place in your yard if too big or small
- Can be harder or more costly to construct in yards that are not flat
Call in the experts to help you decide
Both patios and alfresco areas have their positives. One thing that’s for sure is that not only will they increase the value of your home but they will also add value to your lifestyle.
Whether you still can’t decide or you’re ready to go ahead and build your dream outdoor living space, give our friendly team at Correct Constructions a call. The experts in outdoor home improvements, we can help you design and build a quality outdoor room specifically for your budget. Contact us by visiting our website, where you can also get more inspiration for the look you’re trying to achieve, or give us a call us on 0480 024 188 to discuss your options.