Thinking of installing a custom designed pergola, verandah or patio? Here's how to find a design that suits your home. Spending time outdoors with family and friends is very much a part of Australian culture. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to take the kids outside for a BBQ whenever they want. Being able to invite friends over for a few drinks outdoors shouldn\u2019t just be an option in summer \u2013 you should be able to do it all year round. Here at Australian Outdoor Living we pride ourselves on being able to provide a unique outdoor entertaining space for you \u2013 one that you\u2019ll be proud to show off to your neighbours. We can design and help create a custom designed pergola, verandah or patio area for your exact needs. However, there are a few things you\u2019ll need to consider first. Which material is best for your pergola, verandah or patio? When planning your custom designed pergola, verandah or patio, you\u2019ll be given the choice of two building materials: timber or steel. There are positives to using both of these materials, but there are some small differences between them. Timber Timber is a great option for anyone looking to add character their custom designed pergola, verandah or patio. It has a more rustic and traditional look than steel, and it comes with the added bonus of being cheaper and more readily available. One of the main things to remember about timber structures is they may require another paint job later down the track \u2013 but only once every 15 years or so. When that time eventually does roll around, it\u2019s a good idea to protect your frame from the dry heat by using a high quality, heat-resistant paint. If you\u2019re worried painting your pergola might ruin its natural look, you always have the option of using treated timber or a timber stain. If you live by the coast, it\u2019s important to remember that timber is more resistant to the salt and sand in the air, meaning it will last longer than steel. Timber is a great option for your pergola. Steel If you\u2019re after a more modern look, a steel frame is probably the way to go. Steel frames are excellent when it comes to protection from the weather, and the best part is they\u2019ll never need repainting. They\u2019re a little bit more expensive than traditional timber frames but they require little to no maintenance over the course of their lifetime. At the end of the day, both timber and steel are great building materials to use when installing a custom designed pergola, verandah or patio. If you\u2019re still not sure which one to choose, talk to the experts at Australian Outdoor Living - they\u2019ll be more than happy to help you figure out which option is right for you. Steel pergolas are a popular choice. Our range of custom designed pergolas, verandahs and patios Here at Australian Outdoor Living we offer a great range of design options. We understand the importance of creating a seamless addition that fills your wants and needs whilst complementing your existing home\u2019s colours, features and style. Designing something that ticks all the boxes is our team\u2019s specialty! Gable design If you\u2019re looking for a more traditionally designed patio or pergola, the Gable roof design is the one for you. Naturally light and airy, this style will give your outdoor space a luxuriously open feel that would be a perfect addition to any home. They also allow for very good ventilation due to their pitched shape, as well as being able to shed water very easily. In short, a gable roof design is perfect if you\u2019re looking for an open and inviting entertaining area. Our range of gable pergolas will make your outdoor area seem more spacious than ever. Gazebo range The best way to make a statement when you\u2019re entertaining outdoors is by installing a gazebo. It\u2019ll give your space an incredibly elegant and distinctive appearance, as well as open up so many more options for your backyard. Use it as a focal point for your garden as well as an outdoor dining space, shelter for your spa bath or even just a quiet place to sit and reflect. A gazebo really is the \u2018cherry on top\u2019 of your outdoor entertainment area \u2013 have one installed if you\u2019re looking to enhance the other features in your backyard. Our gazebo range is perfect for lazing around on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Flat range If you\u2019re looking for a more minimalist style outdoor entertaining area, our flat-roof design is for you. Flat-roof designs are often the simplest option, and are usually pretty cost-effective compared to other designs. One thing to consider is that the Flat design can become hotter during the warmer months, meaning you might need to look into insulated roof panels. Flat-roofed pergolas are beautiful by themselves, but did you know you could also pair them with a Gable design for the best of both worlds? Our Flat range will complement any backyard, no matter what size. Retreat range Australian Outdoor Living\u2019s Retreat range is the ultimate in contemporary outdoor living. The sloped roof allows for a more open and airy feel, and the insulated roofing means you can enjoy your outdoor entertaining area both night and day. For an even more extravagant entertaining area, combine other features of your backyard with your custom-built Retreat. Build a Retreat pergola over your pool, spa and timber decking and create the ultimate space for you and your family. Our Retreat designs are spacious, strong and luxurious, so they\u2019re perfect for an outdoor entertaining area that aims to be inviting as well as practical. Our range of retreat style pergolas will add a touch of luxury to your backyard. Pergola, verandah & patio installation: the process We understand the process of renovating your home can be a tough one \u2013 there\u2019s so much to think about! The best way to get the ball rolling is to get in contact with us and organise a free measure and quote \u2013 we\u2019ll take care of the rest! Our engineers are experienced in drawing up plans for council approval, meaning all you need to worry about is choosing a design that's best for you. Best of all, we can guarantee a build time of just four weeks after your designs have been council-approved, so you won\u2019t have to endure the long, drawn out process usually associated with home renovations. Get in contact today and let us help you build your custom designed pergola, verandah or patio \u2013 we can help take the headache out of home renovation so you can get on with loving your life outdoors. Australian Outdoor Living is passionate about helping people love their life outdoors. We offer a range of products, including: Outdoor blindsArtificial grassRoller shuttersConcrete and fibreglass swimming poolsCarportsTimber deckingPergolas, verandah and patios Have you been thinking about renovating your home? Fill out the free measure and quote form at the top of this article and a member of our dedicated sales team will be in touch.