The Modern Home and the ‘extended backyard’

Date: 18.08.2015

The Modern Home and the 'extended backyard'

By Danielle King of Green Moves Aust.

If you were to review the current building industry research you'd find out that that homeowners are looking to stay in their homes longer and are likely to spend time renovating and/or extending into the garden/outdoor areas.   With this in mind, the Modern Home feature at the Build & Renovating Expo this year to focus on demonstrating innovative and realistic ways to make the most of your outdoor spaces.  And of course the focus is on sustainability, efficiency and affordability.

The aim is to show the 'not so traditional' but ever so practical extended back yard in a relaxed, and informative environment.    We showcase efficient, sustainable, even healthy building products to create functional, flexible extra rooms consisting of a granny flat, teenagers retreat and outdoor kitchen area.  Some of which are even Global GreenTag certified.

The good old 'Granny Flat' isn't just for the grandparents anymore. Gone is the dated interiors, the difficult to get around bathroom and the multitude of blankets required to keep warm inside in winter.  The upgraded model is constructed from Ozone Panel, an efficient, sustainable and non-toxic Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS), combined with highly efficient double glazed windows/doors from Paarhamer and LED lighting.  Together they transport the traditional 'Granny Flat' crooning 'Cooool!' into the 21st century.   It's now a highly comfortable, efficient and flexible space that's now a very desirable area in the back yard for any member of the family to enjoy, for any purpose.

That is unless you have teenage kids and a rather funky, steel box from Royal Wolf that is a shipping container.  This one is fitted and kitted with all mod cons (including insulation and a bit of sound proofing) for the kids/teenagers to hang out in. Sweeeet (teenager speak for Cool)!  Areas like this  can easily be transformed from kid's hangout, to office, to studio, to man shed, to … well anything you like really.  They can literally be 'dropped in' and 'moved out' as the need arises, or take it with you when you move!  That's flexibility.

Outdoors we have the Eco Timber decking area with kitchen area provided by BBQs Plus that extends that family living zone outdoors.  These kitchens can be tailored to suit your budget and can include everything from the BBQ to the kitchen sink! With such a great kitchen outside Dads are likely to want to do the cooking, works for me!

Other contributors showcased include IKEA (they have some great sustainable products), Pentablock, EcoBright, Living Holmes Vertical Gardens, Super Quilt insulation and Camberwell Bathrooms sanitary ware.

So whether you just want to see some great ideas or you're interested in 'the new norm' for the great Aussie Backyard, come and see what this year's Modern Home offers.  The focus is on clever outdoor room's ranging from kitchens to living quarters that provide flexible spaces, that are highly efficient, and that might even move with you.  This is the Modern Home.

Like last year, surrounding the Modern Home will be the free 'Speed Date an Expert' sessions.  This year including everything from planning through to landscaping.  Book early to lock in your times.

Bring your ideas, questions and plans to learn, collect ideas and see what can be done.  The Modern Home's 'extended backyard' can be experienced at the Build & Renovating Expo, 4th to 6th July 2014, at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.   We look forward to seeing you there, and you can book your tickets by going to the Build & Renovating Expo website at




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