Australian heatwaves are getting more severe by the year. Brisbane and Sunshine Coast took a beating in January. Thankfully, you have more than half a year to prepare for next summer’s heatwaves in South East Queensland. While it is essential to drink plenty of water and service your air conditioning unit, you can also turn to a few property upgrades to feel more comfortable next summer.
Any structure that extends the shadow of your Sunshine Coast house will keep it cooler. An attached carport will not only provide parking space for your car but also create a barrier of cooler air that can help insulate your home against the warmer air. The extra shade will prevent the ground near your walls from heating up, allowing your house to stay a little bit cooler.
Sunlight isn’t just hot — harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation comes with it, and chronic exposure can lead to skin cancer and melanomas. A carport will protect you from UV exposure until you get inside your car. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure your car has protection. Your car’s windshield should automatically come with UV protection, but you will need to take your car to the shop to have its other windows treated with UV film.
Like an attached carport, a patio extends your house’s shadow. A patio will allow you to stay outside without getting exposed to UV radiation. Staying inside the house all the time can give you cabin fever, and a bit of air once in a while can do you good. Patios also make excellent spaces for entertaining guests, allowing you to make full use of your garden while minimising the mess inside your house.
Patios come in many forms — with only your imagination and the ability of your contractor as the limit. A wide patio is a good option to make your house appear bigger, increasing its resale value. Be sure to choose materials that can withstand the changing weather and surfaces that are easy to clean.
A Shade Tree or Two
A large tree outside your house can provide significant shade from the sun. While it would take years to grow a tree from scratch, some companies provide grown trees (five years or older) for a fee. Maple and Ash are particularly popular because of their appearance, but you can also select a fruit tree so you can have a few pickings every year. Grown trees can be a bit expensive, so expect to pay $1,000 to $2,000 (depending on the size) for the tree, its transport and replanting. A full-grown tree can increase your property value by up to 10 per cent, and the extra oxygen it produces won’t hurt. A tree in your backyard will also make you a bit happier. Studies have shown that just staring at a tree for a few minutes can relieve stress and balance one’s mood.
Australia’s heatwaves will probably only get worse. Make the most of your time and take measures to make your house cooler before December comes again.