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Top tips to make your outside space more useable in an unpredictable Britain

With the unpredictable weather and ever-changing lockdown rules, ensuring your outdoor space is functional and welcoming when you need it most has never been more important.

Homeowners looking to make the most of their outdoor space, can look to the experts for guidance on easy to integrate features that will take their outside space – be it a garden, terrace or balcony – to the next level, and all in time for when we can invite friends and family around again.

Research shows that being outside improves your mood and reduces stress*, so when things are out of our control, relaxing in your own outside space is unbeatable.

David Hough from home improvement specialists, SMART Balustrades, said: “Since the start of the pandemic and for the majority of people, gardens and balconies have become the only accessible outdoor space, so ensuring it maximises its potential is key.

“Simple, contemporary modifications can enable homeowners to create a space they love and that they want to spend time in, and are always a good investment in terms of maintaining or increasing the value of their property. Plus, showing it off always feels good once we can entertain again.

“We’ve outlined our tips on how to make outside space work best - even in an unpredictable Britain.”

Weather adaptability

Whilst we can’t predict the weather, what we can say is Britain’s weather is diverse, from downpour one day to scorching heat the next.

Installing glass balustrades to your patio or balcony area will create a windbreak, keeping you warmer against the spring and autumn breeze, whilst still allowing natural light to shine through.

A removable canopy will ensure that you can be protected from the wetter weather, but also allow you to enjoy the sun when it’s out.

A mix of green and landscaped space

For garden owners, fitting a patio gives you a new area to enjoy your outside space which is much steadier for garden furniture and puts you less at risk of getting muddy. Having both a patio and garden area provides a stylish and modern upgrade, whilst still having nature to enjoy.

For those with limited or no existing greenspace such as balcony and terrace owners, you can introduce greenery through potted plants on the floor or baskets attached to the balustrades, allowing those without the option of a garden to enjoy nature.

Accessibility for all the family

Ensuring that your outdoor space is safe and useable for all the family will allow it to be used much more often.

Installing handrails to steps and level changes, and enclosing your decking with secure balustrades are practical measures to reduce the chances of tripping and causing injury.

Lighting around your garden will also improve its accessibility for the darker days and nights. The patio area can often be slippery when wet, and hard structures can hurt when banged into, so installing lighting to this area is recommended.

Festoon and string lights are popular options for both balcony and garden owners, as they can be easily hung from surrounding structures.

Suitable seating areas

Sitting outdoors is the ultimate way to enjoy the fresh air, so if homeowners have the space, having a dedicated seating area brings a great focus point to a garden.

When the rules permit, we will be able to mix households again, so having suitable seating to host guests will allow you enjoy the great outdoors more with friends.

Where possible, choose non-fixed outdoor seating – so it can be moved at leisure to create different spaces, and packed away when not in use for those with smaller outdoor spaces such as balconies.