With rising property prices, lots are getting smaller, making it imperative for homeowners to maximise the use of the available outdoor space.

Modern materials are replacing traditional timber in outdoor spaces. Smaller lots challenge homeowners to make use of every inch of the space, which also means decking could extend to the fencing line. Premium fibre cement products are opening up new configurations to accommodate fire pits, BBQ surrounds, and poolside paths that could otherwise present safety and durability issues often associated with traditional timber.

James Hardie Australia product manager Christian Hansen, reveals how to create impressive outdoor spaces with a few Hardie ‘hacks’.

“Modern building materials have elevated the humble deck to well-designed, multipurpose outdoor rooms,” says Hansen. 

HardieDeck is compliant with bushfire zone regulations, making it a stylish material suitable for even the highest of attack levels.

“A split-level deck design can zone an outdoor room and highlight focal points and design features. A sunken fire pit is a great example of extending deck usability beyond the warmer months, made possible by premium fibre cement products, which are fire-resistant, such as HardieDeck.”

Multi-level decks and floating steps also help to create visual interest and define different areas of an outdoor space. When integrated with ambient panelled lighting, these areas have the ability to come alive after dark, making them ideal for entertaining or family get-togethers.

Smaller spaces can be designed to serve multiple purposes – for instance, a shelf extending from the railings or balustrades can be added to create dual-purpose functionality around the home. It can act as a breakfast bar, or a high-top bar table, says Hansen.

“HardieDeck hacks like these enable homeowners to maximise otherwise redundant spaces that can easily allow for better living, while retaining the wider look of their space,” explains Hansen.

According to Hansen, ensuring continuity is important when planning and landscaping a smaller space, particularly if wet areas such as pools, spas and jacuzzis come into play.

“HardieDeck’s premium fibre cement composition makes decks resistant to rotting from moisture and doesn’t warp, even under continuous cycles of water exposure and baking under the Australian sun,” says Hansen.

The screws that hold the decking in place use a concealed fixing system, ensuring clean lines while also removing snags that could potentially hurt bare feet. HardieDeck’s natural hue also fits in perfectly with stone pool surrounds.

Made from premium fibre cement, which is resistant to fire, rotting, splintering, and warping, HardieDeck offers the perfect alternative for timber and aluminium. More durable than traditional materials, HardieDeck is perfect for almost any home as it can be finished in a range of colours, making it suitable for any outdoor space.