Mountain retreat: outdoor living area


A beautiful Blue Mountains property boasts a low-maintenance outdoor living area that suits its bushfire-prone location

Retirees Warwick and Jean spend a great deal of time, enjoying the spectacular countryside and views outside at their Yellow Rock property in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. They wanted to be comfortable and proud of their outdoor living area and both now agree this has been achieved in their minimal-fuss, low-maintenance outdoor living area.

Their house and land, on a grassy hill facing a large water tank that impeded the exceptional views to the east, is prone to bushfire and has the highest bushfire rating, a BAL FZ.

“We’re in a high bushfire area so we wanted a deck that would be suitable for this environment,” says Warwick. “Our old deck was completely rotted and really dragged down the look and feel of the place. We wanted and needed to get away from timber and the effort required to keep it looking good.”

Hi-Craft Home Improvements is experienced in building in high-fire-rated zones, and because of the property’s bushfire-prone location, all materials had to comply with building regulations.

Over two months, the company designed and built the couple’s outdoor structure, which follows a hexagonal shape that connects to a circular septic tank. Hi-Craft integrated the deck with the tank and created a large, level entertaining area that connects with the internal living areas.

This entertaining area was then covered with a skillion/gable pergola that wraps around the home. The skillion features Primrose Sunset Colorbond and the gable was covered with Cool Pearl MultiGlaze roof sheets. MultiGlaze roof sheets are a strong, multi-layered polycarbonate with varying thermal properties, available in three colours and supplied exclusively by Hi-Craft to builders and DIYers.

Four layers filter harmful UV light while enabling natural light to pass through. “We chose this particular colour because it complements both the colour of our home’s bricks and also the ‘peachy’ tones that the surrounding gum trunks take on in the warmer months of spring and summer,” says Jean. “We were delighted we had the option to select a unique colour that matched our home to a tee.”

The design enables natural light to permeate living areas while reducing heat transference dramatically by 76 per cent. The entire design is also enhanced with glass balustrading to create a seamless connection with the view.

Hi-Craft Home Improvements is a preferred installer of HardieDeck, a compressed cement decking system that’s installed upon a steel substructure, and therefore HardieDeck was used for this deck’s construction. The deck and tank were then painted with the same paving paint colour for cohesion.

Due to the bushfire rating of the property, no combustible materials were used in the build — this includes the decking, MultiGlaze and all other materials.

“This project demonstrates how successful design with the right materials can make a massive difference to your property,” says Shane Bradley, customer relations manager at Hi-Craft Home Improvements. “It shows how the design and build transformed this property by maximising its views and therefore increased the value of the property.”

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Originally published by Build Home 22.4

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