Whether you want to linger over your morning coffee or host a dinner with friends, being able to enjoy your time outside is one of Australia’s favourite past-times. Yet, nobody wants to sit outside and be bothered by bugs or worry if it’s going to start raining.

While standard patios make a great entertainment space; enclosed patios also provide security, privacy, pest control, weather protection (including from the sun, which is crucial in Australia), and year-long usability.

With many different options to fit any style and every budget, an outdoor deck or patio space can turn the outdoors into an extension of your house like an extra room or a sunroom. If you have a patio, enclosing it may help you beat both the heat and encourage you to enjoy the living space rather than letting it go un-used as so many do.

Here are six budget-friendly, easy to implement ways to enjoy the outdoors at your place:

1. Add shade to small spaces with an outdoor umbrella

Backyard Umbrella Enclosure
Garden furniture – rattan chairs and table under umbrella on a wooden floor by the banana trees background at garden

The lowest cost and easiest to install option for an existing outdoor area is a large, shade creating umbrella. Using a giant umbrella is the best option if you need a portable, easy to put up/take down shade solution or if you have a detached deck or outdoor area.

Outdoor umbrellas are low cost and are a no-frills way to get sun protection. This is a particularly good option if you live in an apartment with a balcony or have a townhouse porch without cover.

2. Set up a quick solution to shade larger areas

Shade Sail Patio Enclosures
Modern house terrace in summer with table and shade sail

Another affordable, easy to implement shade option for homes without patios or overhangs is a shade sail. Shade sails are a more permanent solution than umbrellas and are commonly made of knitted fabric. Polyester shade sails offer great versatility in shapes, sizes, and colours.

A shade sail will provide shade to a larger area than an umbrella and eliminate the need to move or store umbrellas, providing you more room for home entertainment in the warmer months. Shade sail kits and products are readily available in most hardware stores.

3. Try a versatile awning

Balcony Enclosure Awning
red awning enclosing an apartment balcony

If your patio is attached to the house, installing an awning might be a good option for you. Mostly used for outdoor windows and doors, the ever-versatile awning systems can be used as an effective patio enclosure. Awnings can provide both shade and overhead protection from the elements, depending on the material they are made from. Awnings can also be retractable or fixed, allowing for more versatility in your space.

While the above options are great, you might want to have a partially or totally enclosed patio like a sunroom.

4. Keep out the elements with patio screens

Security Screens on Porch

A partially enclosed patio uses patio screens around the area, allowing for a more open feel but providing a low-cost option for shade and comfort. Take in the warm breeze the summer season brings without the bugs. Screen rooms are a cheaper alternative to sunrooms with the same benefits. The process of installing a screen room will include adding a powder coated frame structure and aluminium screens.

Patio screens are custom built to meet patio or porch specifications, and are a durable, long lasting solution, so you can enjoy a screen room for years to come. Patio screens also provide a bit of privacy and protection from intruders – depending on the design and screens chosen.

5. Get greater control with a sunroom

Glass Patio Enclosures
conservatory tables chairs plants room in house next to garden

For a fully enclosed patio, use glass to create an open yet protected environment. A glass sunroom allows for greater climate control, so the area can be enjoyed comfortably year-round. Adding a sunroom is a more costly investment but one that will keep rewarding you for years to come. If you want to add more privacy, install some retractable blinds.

If you’re looking for something with an easier installation process, a screened-in patio or screen porch can also meet your needs. Screened in porches, especially ones that use security screens, offer the greatest level of security and outstanding functionality in all kinds of weather. A screened porch or patio will still have a roof, allowing you to install a ceiling fan and give shelter from inclement weather.

6. Customise a roof to suit

patio with perspex roof
patio sunroom with perspex rood and white furniture

Adding a roof to your outdoor space allows for another level of comfort and protection. Choosing a roof made out of clear or coloured PVC material will allow sunlight to filter through into the area. If you aren’t a fan of having the sun on your patio, choose a solid material that will block it out.

The six ideas above are just some of the ways you can turn your outdoor space into an extension of your house to enjoy and entertain. There are countless options for improving your outdoor area, from cheap and easy to long-lasting investments. Clearview Security are licensed manufacturers of Crimsafe security screens and patio enclosures in Perth. Want to see how much a patio enclosure will cost you? Contact the friendly team at Clearview Security today!