Outdoor living for life

Chris Cooke
Chris Cooke

After an unprecedented wet start to 2024, consumers are now looking to make the most of their time outside. From an opportunistic trade perspective, outdoor living solutions are set to be one of the big growth areas too as Chris Cooke, director of Prefix Systems, explains.

The British have an obsession with the world outside and we are the leading country within Europe when it comes to barbeques despite the fragile nature of our climate. More recently, the growth in pizza ovens has further provided us with an excuse to live and entertain outside, as sales of Ooni’s among other brands have soared.

Furthermore, there’s also a growing trend for outdoor kitchens as barbeque and pizza oven areas are extended into spaces dedicated for the preparation and cooking of food. According to a recent article in Good Homes magazine, which references a recent study by Uswitch, ‘they have become one of the UK’s most popular home improvement projects.’

But what if the weather forecast is mixed?

This is where the outdoor living sector for canopies, pergolas and Verandah’s comes into its own. These are three-season solutions that not only protect from wind and rain, but with solar control glass or adjustable louvres can keep excessive sun and UV exposure down to a minimum. Sat on either an existing patio or decking area, these solutions are a modest investment with little impact on the main fabric of a property and are the perfect bolt on to any property.

For our trade partners they are very quick and easy to install taking as little as a single day and like all of our best-in-class product solutions, are backed with exemplary customer care, training and advice. As our valued customers will testify, we’re the perfect partner for the trade when it comes to outdoor living solutions, proving a true one-stop shop solution.

The Verandah now enjoys a next generation S2 roof with either aluminium or PVC-U cappings as part of the exceptional design credentials. Elsewhere in the structure, aluminium is used widely with the options of traditional detailing for a period inspired design or something that’s more contemporary with square posts, covers and brackets.

From a structural perspective, Verandah can go down to a pitch of 5 degrees with a maximum projection of 4m and there’s the option of a gutter or overhang detail. Given that Prefix Systems was the first roofing company to offer a wide range of finishes in glazed roofs, Verandah too also enjoys a near limitless range of RAL colours to choose from with additional laminates finishes also available.

The Verandah system is also highly adaptable and can also be used for walkways in domestic and commercial applications, as well as being perfectly suited as a robust canopy or car port.

But our range of outdoor living solutions extends further with the option of a pergola, which is a more contemporary solution featuring a louvred roof detail. These can be provided with electric options allowing for the tilting of the louvre panels in the roof to moderate light, shade and airflow. There are further options for lighting and sliding glass doors to provide more of a real room feel.

The Good Homes article mentioned earlier went further and added that ‘a basic setup starts around £5,000 and more elaborate designs can reach £20,000 or beyond.’ Which begs the question, wouldn’t you want to maximise your opportunities to cook and dine outside and furthermore help protect the area from the elements!

The outdoor living market in the UK is set to enjoy considerable growth in the years to come, which means that the sales potential for Verandahs and pergolas is vast too. The former can also be configured for walkways and even cost-effective car ports as a best-in-class system design and backed with the exemplary customer care that is part of our DNA at Prefix Systems.