A retractable roof from Aalta Australia helped create a protected outdoor space at a Manly residence, while transforming their backyard into a light-filled extension of the home. The family, consisting of two young adult boys and an aging grandmother, loved the outdoors and wanted to create a space outside that was level, comfortable and protected from the weather.

The family had recently renovated the home to open up the living area, upgrade the bedroom and bathroom for their grandmother and build a modern kitchen. Being passionate about her environment and with an extremely green thumb, homeowner Kathryn wanted her indoors to flow directly out so that she could always feel a part of her garden.

The outdoor area was previously covered with a low polycarbonate permanent ceiling with two very small sliding doors leading into the house. The area was always dark since the south-facing backyard saw very little sunlight.

During the renovations, the existing polycarbonate roof was dismantled to make way for the new Aalta Papilio retractable roof. The new sliding doors expanded the width of the building while the 5m wide x 4m projection roof installed above the doors opened up the vertical space. The retractable roof slopes upwards, allowing more light in and creating a larger expanse.

In winter, when the sun is low, the roof is retracted during the day to make the most of the warmth of the sun. In the evenings, the roof is closed and a gas heater provides warmth and ambience to the courtyard area, making it a great place for an outdoor party, even in deep winter.

In summertime, the retractable roof allows for shade all day long and can be retracted in the evenings to provide airflow and capture the easterly breezes prevalent on the beaches.

Recalling that the old roof was really low, and really hot in summer with nowhere for the hot air to escape, the customer said the new retractable roof has turned the outdoor area into a light, bright and breezy space. Additionally, when it rains, they can still use the area as they are protected.