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Spring Boosts Outdoor Renovations

By David Gordon

The longer daylight hours and warmer weather extends the use of the home for entertainment and relaxation, and is often the catalyst for people to start thinking about creating versatile indoor-outdoor dining areas, according to Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects.

The rising costs of living are also having an impact with many people looking at more ways to capitalise on the use and value of their home.

Archicentre South Australian State Manager Edward Lukac said, “In the current economic climate the thought of spending on average $50,000+ to move, with costs in estate agent fees, advertising and government taxes and charges, has seen thousands of home owners embark on a renovation strategy to improve their existing homes and increase their equity.

“For many people, especially retirees, renovating has become an important way to improve their lifestyle and also boost their retirement assets by increasing the value of the family home. One of the most popular and cost-effective ways of increasing the liveable areas of the home is to extend out into the back garden by opening up the back wall of the home and creating an indoor-outdoor link.”

“It’s all about making the outside as comfortable as the inside. This is done with a combination of landscaping, paving, decking and folding doors, retractable roofing or light wells within an energy efficient design. A complementary style of flooring creates the illusion of seamlessness. The trend is resulting in the Australian backyard receiving a major makeover and a return to importance as people move to spend more time in the open and in their gardens.”

Mr Lukac said this is also placing more emphasis on housing design fitting into the environment with the blending of landscaping and building becoming an important part of the original design brief.

“Smart renovators who spend time and money at the front end of their renovation creating a well-designed project that’s costed and supervised through construction are the renovators who make money when the property is sold.”

Coming with outdoor living, Archicentre architects report a trend to move away from lawn to low-maintenance gardens using the paved courtyards, drought resistant plantings that can survive weather extremes and potted plants which can provide colour and be moved around.

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