I’ve converted four of the garages in the homes I’ve lived in and each time the job has led to an increase in the sales price of my property. If you are looking for a quick way of adding extra space in your home without needing to fork out a great deal, then take a look at my blog which is packed full or articles about what you need to do to get the best from your own garage conversion. From extra bedrooms to utility and workshop areas, I’ve done it all. I’ve even converted a garage back to its former function by refitting new doors. If you want to benefit from what I’ve learned as a DIY garage converter, then read on!
Ah, Australia, where it's always warm and sunny…except when it isn't. Sure, great swathes of the country enjoy balmy, subtropical temperatures for much of the year, but this isn't the case the further south you go. In terms of an outdoor lifestyle, the weather is still going to be on your side for a decent chunk of the year, but there are some months where many patios just sit there, waiting patiently for the sun to shine again. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy your patio all year round? There are a number of ways it can be adapted to fight off the winter chill.
The Most Effort
The most time- and labour-intensive (not to mention expensive) option is to enclose your patio while still allowing it to be opened. This can be achieved by installing concertina-style glass doors which can fold to open the walls, and adding a roof (if your patio doesn't have one already). You could go the extra mile and install a retractable roof (which could be made of PVC-treated fabric), or opt for a slatted roof which can be manually opened to let the sunshine in. Enclosing your patio will change its look (somewhat), since the struts which support the roof (and its transom mechanism and slides, which allow it to retract) will of course be permanent. But still, you basically create an extra room in your home which can be opened when the weather is being friendly.
It's a moderate effort which won't be suitable for all patios, but what about a fire pit? There's something wonderfully comforting about warming yourself on the flames of an open fire. Be mindful of the fact that such a fire pit would need to be installed a minimum safe distance from your home to prevent the spread of burning embers (so not all patios would be large enough), and you should also check with your local council about any regulations pertaining to open fires at residential premises.
The Least Effort
The easiest option is to simply purchase a standalone fireplace which can then be positioned wherever you like. The options vary from small ceramic units to steel, old-timey-looking fireplaces with chimneys. For safety's sake, you might want to bolt the unit to your patio, and be careful with your positioning so that the chimney isn't going to expel smoke directly towards your neighbour's windows, balcony or patio.
By enclosing it or by just adding a bit of fire, your patio can become more of a year-round place to be.