Three Backyard Ideas for Winter Building Projects

Three Backyard Ideas for Winter Building Projects about the garden magazine

It’s the great Australian dream to have a outdoor entertainment space. Somewhere to BBQ on Australia Day, enjoy cocktails or a few beers on a Sunday afternoon or just watch the kids take a dip in the pool. Winter is the ideal time to schedule in a building project, getting your entertainment space ready for the warmer months and endless Summer entertaining. Here’s three backyard ideas for winter building projects that you might wish to consider;


Whilst there are a number of steel/metal pergola options on the market, some even delivered to your door in DIY kit packs. Nothing compares to the simple elegance and rustic appeal of a timber pergola structure.  Built to order, using materials that emphasis your homes unique character, such as recycled or industrial fixtures. A timber pergola area can quickly become the most desirable location to soak up the morning sun and enjoy a cup of coffee with jam on toast.

Bring colour to a timber pergola area by planting flowering climbing plants around the post supports. If you know you want to plant climbers from the start, have the supporting frame specifically designed to assist climbers to twist and twirl around the posts for effect. Popular climbers include;

  • Wisteria for purple
  • Bougainvillea for hot pink, purple, yellow, orange, white and red
  • Jasmine for white and fragrance
  • Climbing rose for soft pinks and fragrance
  • Mandevilla for red and pink
  • Dipladenia for dark red

climbing flowers for pergola areas Backyard Ideas for Winter Building Projects aboutthegardenmagazine


Timber decks is a easy edition to the home as an outdoor entertainment area. Supported by freestanding posts, a deck can be as high or as low as required. Being timber, they can be stained to compliment the garden and home colour schemes and feature glass, wire or even timber railings. Building a deck is not a cheap build project, so make sure in the plans you have considered; required space for cooking, outdoor furniture, the size table for entertaining (bar areas etc), outdoor pizza oven and luxury extras such as outdoor spa. A deck can become the favourite family space during the Summer months.

Pots and containers are an easy way to introduce colour to a deck. When designing the deck, consider making the ‘watering job’ easy, by pre-planning were pot plants would be situated for irrigation purposes. An irrigation system will save you time and if on a timed system, your plants will never be forgotten. Popular potted plants for decks include;


For small yards or high-density living areas, a balcony extension is a wonderful option to open an indoor space to natural sunlight and colour. Balcony’s spaces, whilst small, if situated on the correct side to optimise the suns natural course, can be a lovely spot for a small table and chairs, even a location to grow a vegetables garden! 

It’s important when considering a balcony extension the structural requirements of such a build. This project is not suitable for the home handyman and should only be carried out by an experienced licensed builder.

Popular potted plants for balconies include;

Three Backyard Ideas for Winter Building Projects about the garden magazine

General Considerations

Before you grab the hammer and start knocking together a new pergola frame or shovelling dirt to dig postholes, you need to tick a few boxes;

  1. Check with your local regarding permits, required plans and licenses. If rules are not followed it will impact on the resale value of your home. So do it right. 
  2. Consult with a Structural Engineer. Ensure that the building is structurally sound to handle the edition. 
  3. Consider using a licensed builder. Whilst the allure of saving dollars by DIY maybe attractive, it could cost you dollars down the track. A licensed builder will do the job right from the start and in many causes will even guide you through the council permits, drafting plans and consulting with the engineers. 
Tips on Buying the Right BBQ

Martin James Builders are experts in renovations and extensions in Melbourne. They can confidently work within your existing boundaries, to your budget and with your own ideas to help you add significant value to your home by updating your outdoor entertainment areas to a standard that exceeds your expectations.

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