By Svenja Gernoth

Many say that first impressions last and since the exterior of your home is the first place people see, now is the perfect time to give this often neglected area a makeover. From the surface of your driveway to luxurious wooden decking on your patio area, renowned companies are offering an array of products to perfectly suit your lifestyle and budget.

Corobrick clay pavers embody all the wonderful qualities of fired clay, providing both function and form to complement all design styles. “As clay pavers have low absorption properties, changes in appearance consequent to atmospheric and dust pollution are subtle and seamless,” notes Peter Kidger of Corobrick.

Materials such as sandstone and slate remain ever-popular choices for patio areas and pool surrounds. Lars Nielson of Natural Stone Warehouse notes that quartzite, one of the hardest stones available, is very fashionable at the moment due to its impressive durability and contemporary metallic sheen. Companies such as The World of Marble and Granite offer an attractive range of options from travertine pavers in a variety of colours to striking cream rectangular marble ones.

In terms of landscaping, experts note that many discerning home owners are opting for water-wise and low maintenance gardens.Eddy Rube of Plantscapes advises removing specific areas of lawn that struggle to grow in shady areas and rather introduce low maintenance beds with water-wise plants and ground covers.

In the spirit of going “green”, innovative creations such as solar lights to illuminate the garden come not only without the hassle of wiring, but create a beautiful ambience for lingering summer nights. Furthermore, you can minimise your carbon footprint with solar water heating systems for your pool, such as the ones supplied by Hudu.

A refreshing pool perfectly complements the outdoors of any home. Dirk Stassen of Whale Pools says in terms of pool maintenance, the most important part is to regularly check the pH of the water and then treat it accordingly with chlorine. PowerPlastics Pool Covers supplies a diverse range of covers for pools and Jacuzzis.

With a market full of products to make your exterior spaces aesthetically pleasing and functional, updating and improving these areas will not only add value to your home, but ensure many hours of outdoor fun.