Alfresco outdoors

Renovators have innumerable options for creating dream outdoor eating spaces; it's just a matter of knowing where to look.

luxury alfresco swimming pool area

New Zealand summers are synonymous with outdoor eating. The Kiwi barbeque is a quintessential childhood memory for most of us – long lazy day on the beach, ending with the sizzle of sausages as the sun goes down. 
But there’s far more to outdoor eating these days than just cheap and cheerful portable barbeques. A whole industry has sprung up around transforming home outdoor areas into elegant alfresco eateries; complete with ovens, fireplaces and sophisticated outdoor furniture.

Barbeques for your budget

Your choice of outdoor cooking appliances will depend on a number of factors – budget, the size of your outdoor area, and the number of people you wish to entertain.
Budget need not restrict your options when it comes to style, however – there are many products designed to inject a splash of sophistication into smaller areas for limited money.
Mitre 10 offers a wide range of barbeque options, ranging from easy to manoeuvre kettle barbeques through to lavish 6-burner stainless steel models. If you're working anywhere within a $400 - $2,000 budget - their range will have something to suit. 
If you really want a top of the range barbeque, there are fantastic models on the market for around $10,000 - think durability, easy cleaning and, most importantly, chef-quality grilling.

Barbeque costs

$400 - $10,000+

Pizza ovens

Pizza ovens bring a little rustic charm into any outdoor eating area, and nothing compares to the taste of a freshly cooked wood-fired pizza.
When most people think of pizza ovens, an outdoor luxury on the pricier side is likely to come to mind. However, your dream home-made pizza can be achieved within a surprisingly feasible price range. 
With prices falling between $800 - $4,000+, there are plenty of residential options to suit all budgets. Costs increase according to the size, materials and functionality of the ovens.

Pizza oven costs

$800 - $4,000+ (excluding installation)

Heating up

New Zealand weather is notoriously fickle, even in summer, so outdoor heating is always a welcome addition to any outdoor room. 
Whether you're looking for something basic or grand, there is a huge range of outdoor heating options to choose from.
Gas heaters are a portable option sure to keep your friends and family warm, year-round. Basic but high-quality area heaters can be found for around $400+, while smart-heating solutions start from $800+. There's also the choice of electric heaters, with high-quality models starting from around $300.
If you're hoping for more ambience than an electric or gas heater has to offer, an outdoor fireplace might be right up your alley. Gas fires can be purchased or custom made, either as an installed fireplace or a tabletop fire. Double-sided fireplaces are growing in popularity, offering both indoor and outdoor warmth and aesthetics. And, of course, there is the option of the classic firepit - providing a warm hub for social gathers. If an outdoor fireplace piques your interest, you'll want to set aside at least $1,500, with built-in options ranging from more like $5,000 - $10,000+. 

Outdoor heating costs 

$400 - $10,000+, excluding installation

Outdoor flooring

If you want to create a year-round outdoor eating room, you will need to have suitable flooring and ceiling in place. Slate (from $15 per 300 x 300 tile - or $60 per m2) is an excellent option outdoors as it is texture and slip-proof – it can get cold in winter but is ideal for the warmer months. Porcelain is non-porous so it won’t absorb water, making it practical for outdoors as no sealing is required. Pricing starts from around $100 per m2 from The Tile Depot.
But let’s think outside the square, not just for floor application, but also walls! We love the idea of a funky tiled feature wall that goes right through a living room and carries all the way through to an outdoor BBQ area. It’s a great way to add a wow factor and make your room feel bigger.
Or why not consider tiling an outdoor bench? Due to the non-porous surface, food prep is made easy and cleaning after a BBQ, simple!
Wooden decking is a popular option in New Zealand – it works well for raised areas and by swimming pools. Vitex is a durable hardwood (from around $400 per metre square, installed) suitable for this purpose, but make sure it has been sourced from a sustainable source.
It’s also important not to put excessive weight on decking – some of the in-built kitchen appliances will be too heavy for this type of flooring.

Outdoor flooring costs

From $200 per m2, installed.

Outdoor coverage

Shelter is also important, especially given the unpredictable nature of New Zealand summers. For outdoor rooms, opening louvre roofs are an attractive option, as they offer shelter from the rain and sun and can be angled to make the most of the conditions. Louvre roofs really allows you to maximise the use of your outdoor area and can be teamed with outdoor screens for a full outdoor room solution.
If you prefer a seamless look, your roof can be matched with your home’s existing roofing material. This is particularly effective when the entire roof is being replaced during a renovation. Louvre roof kits start from around $8,000, while custom installations fall around $25,000+.

Louvre roof custom installation costs


Furnishing your outdoors

Outdoor furniture offers homeowners the opportunity to inject their unique aesthetic in outdoor living spaces - your choice and furniture pricing will ultimately depend on your style and budget. Standard outdoor lounges and dining sets start from around $1,000, however, custom furniture will require a higher budget.

Outdoor furniture set costs 


Get inspired

Now that you have an idea of your budget, check out these gorgeous outdoor renovations to get a better idea of your taste and style:
A complete home renovation in Glendowie
Deck and Joinery Replacement

Get in touch with Refresh to discuss your home renovation project

If you would like to discuss outdoor options and ideas, please use the enquiry form alongside to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.

*Note: the costs presented in this article are rough estimates only and are subject to change. For a quote accurate to your specific project, please contact your local renovation specialist.
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