Balancing Light & Heat into your Outdoor Living Area


A most common question we get asked by our clients during their early stage of investigation is in relation to not loosing too much light to the internal living areas that the outdoor living area will extend out from.

No matter what type or style of roofing you install you will alter the natural light to your internal living areas. However remember that you are creating a totally new living area & the small decrease to the internal areas will be far outweighed by the new outdoor living area that you are about to obtain.

As a business a number of years ago, we reviewed all our products & looked at the trends in the constructions that we had completed. We found that so many our jobs started with the demolition of an existing polycarbonate roof. Our clients found & even to this day (we are pulling one down next week!) that

  1. They make the area too hot – the rule of thumb is that the more light you let in the more heat that comes with it. Polycarbonate is advertised as having 99% UV protection, which can often confuse people. This purely means that you can sit out there  & won’t get sunburnt. You will be sweating like a pig, but you skin will still be white! This rule applies especially if the area faces north or west.
  2. Because it is clear you see all of the rubbish on top of the roof
  3. Generally it isn’t aesthetically pleasing – as the roofing material isn’t that strong, there is an significant amount of structural framing required to hold up the roof. Often this can cause ‘clutter’ to the ceiling & make it look top heavy.

Often home owners & even builders don’t realise that there are many different roofing material options available apart from the old fashioned polycarbonate.

Every roofing material & every building material for that matter, has pluses & minuses. It is just a matter of doing your homework & picking which will give you more ticks than crosses at the end of the day.

Your outdoor living area roofing material options are:

  1. Colorbond “Premium Series” – Great looking roof sheet with a flat ceiling. Will span unsupported up to 4 meters & you can incorporate light panels that are 31cm wide. https://www.patioland.sydney/our-products/patio-covers/premium-series-colorbond/
  2. Insulated – Your next step up from the Colorbond “Premium Series” option. More colour options, you still have the option to include a light panel but the great part is that you can hide your electrical wiring through the roof sheet. This way you can actually put a light, even a down light on the sheet. https://www.patioland.sydney/our-products/patio-covers/insulated-roofing/
  3. Lined ceiling – incorporates exterior blue board lining or even timber linings. https://www.patioland.sydney/our-products/patio-covers/timber-lined/
  4. ‘Eclipse’ Opening & Closing louvers – the ‘Rolls Royce’ of patio covers. It gives you flexibility. https://www.patioland.sydney/our-products/eclipse-opening-roof/

To summarise, do your homework – look at all of your roofing options. Take into account the design of the area – a gabled roof will let in more light, a roof fixed over your existing house roof line will help with the ventilation for example. Choosing your colours also helps reflect light in too. Remember you want to make the area comfortable all year round – you will be outdoors entertaining for the six months of the year that are the hottest.

We hope this helps you make a better decision in the preparation of your outdoor living area.

Here’s to outdoor living.