If you have a garden terrace, then the likelihood is that you will want to use it during the day. Most garden terraces in Australia are put to good use for family get-togethers or hosting a barbecue with friends. However, because most terraces are laid out with paving slabs, they can become exceptionally hot during the day. Not only do light coloured slabs reflect heat back upwards towards you, but they absorb energy, too. This means that they continue to pump out heat even when the sun has gone down. Therefore, if you want to remain cool, you will have to do something to keep the terrace itself at a lower temperature. How can you go about this?
A Shade Sail Installation
An increasingly popular option in Australia these days is to install a shade sail. These are free-standing objects, so you can put them up in just the right location to keep your entire terrace covered when the sun is up. Shade sails are popular at schools and old people's homes because they help to lower the temperature outside. Not only will the installation of a shade sail mean that your terrace remains cooler, but it will also protect your skin from the sun's most harmful rays. As such, shade sails are a very sensible option for homeowners.
An Awning Fitting
Another good choice you could make is to install an awning over your terrace. However, since awnings need to be fixed to a wall, they are only practical if your terrace happens to be next to your house or a conveniently positioned outbuilding. Despite this limitation, awnings can be retracted which means you can allow heat to escape in the evening. When they are pulled down, however, they make a similar amount of shading to shade sails, but you need to ensure they have been made from fabric that will filter out ultraviolet light, or you may still get sunburnt beneath them.
Build a Pergola
Some people prefer to install a garden pergola as a means of keeping their terrace cooler. These are temporary structures, usually made out of wood, which cast shade beneath them. They look particularly attractive if you grow a shade-making plant through them, such as clematis, for example. One of the drawbacks with pergolas, however, is that they are not very flexible and create a more formal space beneath them than you might wish for.