Outdoor Living is all about taking your lifestyle into your backyard.  It’s about having the family come together to eat, drink, play, read and socialize.

The fact that our land sizes are getting smaller and smaller, it’s imperative to get creative with your outdoor living is more important than ever.

Below is a non-exhaustive checklist for your outdoor living to consider when you are designing your new home:


  • How big is your alfresco?
  • What are you planning to use your alfresco for?
  • How often do you entertain?
  • Do you have a big family or group of friends that you entertain for?

  • Will the alfresco be under the main roof?
  • Are you going to have a dwarf wall(s) on any side of the alfresco for future kitchen or bbq?
  • What floor finish will you have?  Tiled / Concrete / Timber Deck / etc…?


  • Are you going to install a pergola instead of the alfresco?
  • What material are you going to use to build your pergola?
  • Will the builder be doing it for you or will you be doing it yourself at a later stage?
  • Will you have a concrete paver or will you be decking or tiling it?

Outdoor Kitchen

  • Are you going to have an outdoor kitchen?
  • Have you considered having a gas point(s)?
  • What about capped off services (water / gas / waste) in case you decide to build a kitchen in the future?
  • Do you have natural gas available to your property or will you be using gas bottles?
  • Is it going to be a full kitchen with overhead cupboards?
    • Do you have the wall provision to accommodate?


  • What type of grass are you going to lay?
  • Are you going to have garden beds?
  • What type of trees are you going to have and where will you plant them?

  • Where are you going to position your clotheslines for ample sun time?
  • What type of fencing are you going to use?
  • Will you need retaining walls?


  • Have you considered having a ceiling fan(s)?
  • What about skylights?
  • Will you have a gas point for outdoor heating?
  • What type of lighting are you going to have?  Downlights or simple Oyster light(s)?

Fire Features

  • Are you going to have an outdoor fireplace?
  • Have you considered having a fire pit?
  • Where is your BBQ machine going to sit?

Water Features

  • Are you going to have a swimming pool?

    • Where is it going to be built?
  • Have you discussed all the services required with your builder and a pool specialist to make sure you have everything you need in the right place(s)?
  • What fencing finish are you going to have?
  • Are you going to have a hot tub?
  • What other water features can you install to complement your outdoor living?


  • Will you have furniture or will your alfresco / patio just be an extension of your backyard (empty)?
  • Have you considered using an outdoor rug?
  • What about kids entertainment?


It’s important that you do this planning and checks upfront as it will save you thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.

This does not mean that you cannot do these items after you move in, however it will be much more cost effective if you have it done as part of your build.

Visit sites like Pinterest for more ideas around what you can put in your backyard.  Remember to also check your builder’s tender for any provisional allowances around your outdoor living and make sure it’s sufficient.  For more checlists, please visit my resources page.

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