[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="grid" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text] A modern backyard is one that is characterised by clean lines and open spaces. It may contain a lawned area, or it may be paved or pebbled. There are no rules, other than it needs to be uncluttered and easy on the eye.

Gardens

A modern backyard will often feature a garden of some description. Modern tastes lean toward native gardens, which are low maintenance and water-wise. It could also be a vegetable garden, or a kitchen garden full of aromatic herbs.

Decks

A modern backyard often has a deck for entertaining. The modern style is a square or rectangular deck, set low to the ground, so that it becomes an extension of the lawn or paved area. It will often have no steps or railings.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="grid" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text] Not so long ago, home automation was considered the stuff of science fiction -- a paradigm so far into the future that it could be imagined, but no one would dare to believe it may become a reality. However, in the last few years, advances in home automation have been made that would leave former generations with their jaws on the floor. In this article, we'll look at five of the most common ways to automate your home, from heating, ventilation and air conditioning control to retractable awnings.

1. HVAC

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning control (HVAC) is one of the most important aspects in any home -- after all, this is the technology that controls temperature, and temperature is key to comfort. While, once upon a time, air conditioning involved pressing buttons on a large unit embedded in a wall or window, these days air conditioning can be entirely automated. This may involve a system with a reversing valve that can switch from cooling in summer to heating in winter, or even an internet-controlled thermostat that can allow the home temperature to be controlled remotely.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="grid" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text] There are many ways to add value and comfort to the outside of your home, but one of the best ways to achieve this is by installing a retractable awning. Here we take a closer look at retractable awnings with a few frequently asked questions, from what they are and how they work to the various parts that make them.

What is a retractable awning?

An awning is an overhanging covering attached to the outside wall of a building -- sometimes residential, sometimes commercial. While traditional awnings have been set in place, it's becoming increasingly popular for retractable awnings to be used. These types of awnings can be extended or retracted depending on the weather conditions; extend them for cover on scorching hot or rainy days, and retract them to soak up the weather when conditions are perfect.

What are the parts of a retractable awning?

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="grid" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Retractable Pergola Roof & Side Screen You may have noticed it gets kind of hot in Australia. Alright, not “kind of” hot – let’s just say “hot”. Actually, wait, scratch that – not just “hot” – extremely hot. Yep. It gets extremely hot in Australia. In fact, we spend the entire duration of winter’s cold months waiting for the warmth of summer to arrive, only to find ourselves a sweaty mess longing for the cool months once again when it does. Whoever first said “We want what we can’t have” sure hit the nail on the head. Anyway, this is one of the biggest reasons Australian homes need shade. Glorious, glorious shade. Here we look at four of the best ways to add shade to your home, from the classic Aussie patio to the modern and innovative retractable awning.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="grid" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Retractable Awning An awning is a brilliant addition to the exterior of any home. It has the ability to protect homeowners from the elements while also offering the versatility to be removed when the elements are favourable. In this sense, it offers something a fixed awning, canopy, patio, pergola or any other type of fixed structure cannot. However, a retractable awning is made of fabric, and because of this, the question of durability is incredibly important. In particular, in the high-wind conditions so often seen in the Australian winter, awnings must be capable of handling extreme winds. For this reason, you’ll want a retractable awning that reaches at least 6 on the Beaufort Wind Scale, which we will introduce you to below.

What is the Beaufort Wind Scale?

The Beaufort scale is a measure of wind speed. It is split into 13 categories from 0-12:

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="grid" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text]Everyone has heard of the term ‘awning’, but for those who don’t know exactly what an awning is, it refers to an overhanging covering that is often attached to the outside wall of a residential or commercial building. Awnings are often constructed of polyester, acrylic or cotton canvas, though aluminium awnings are popular as well. Awnings can also be retractable; in fact, the retractable awning is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Here we will introduce you to the retractable awning and describe some of its benefits. The benefits of awnings Awnings have several benefits, foremost of which is their ability to protect us from the elements. If you’ve ever made your way down a busy street on a rainy day, you’ve probably been grateful for any buildings with awnings out the front – and you’ve probably cursed the name of the ones without! The same goes for the other extremes of weather; on incredibly hot days, awnings provide shade from the sun and act as a cooling structure.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="grid" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index=""][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text] Awningshave a come a long way from the aluminium, striped variety that came attached to many homes from the 60s and 70s. Developments in mechanisms and materials mean that you can replace those old, rusted awnings or think about installing them where needed in your new home. What makes a great retractable awning? Great retractable awnings should be affordable, provide energy savings, be easy to use, look great and be durable.