Alfresco Vs Patio – What's The Difference?

Are you torn between an alfresco and a patio? Maybe you aren’t sure which is the right choice for your outdoor living space? Or are you unsure what the difference is between an alfresco and a patio? No matter your question, here at Apollo Patios, we can help.

Knowing the differences between an alfresco and a patio can be tricky, especially when upgrading your outdoor living space. Whether you want to enhance your outdoor entertaining or have a space for outdoor dining, patios and alfresco spaces can be wonderful options.

Our guide today looks at the differences between these outdoor living spaces, their maintenance, and the pros and cons to help you choose your outdoor extension. Let’s dive in.

In This Article:


What Are The Design Differences Between An Alfresco And Patio?

There are a few differences between an alfresco and a patio. Alfresco spaces, with their name coming from the Italian phrase for ‘fresh air,’ serve as extensions of your home, providing a living space that can be used year-round. They feature a roof covering a patio area installed under the existing roof line for a seamless look. You get the appearance of an extension without the high price tag of one.

An alfresco area usually features a paved or decked floor, creating the feel of an outdoor dining area while having protection from your home’s main roof.

Patios however, are usually open spaces that are typically concreted or paved and serve as outdoor spaces extending your home without paying for an extension. A patio space can be added anywhere on your property, next to your exterior walls or around a pool area, while an alfresco space is typically attached to your home.

Patio Front

What Are The Functionality Differences Between An Alfresco And Patio?

The function of alfresco areas is to offer an outdoor space that has plenty of protection. As the name implies, dining ‘al fresco’ is to dine outdoors in the shade or cool air. An alfresco area therefore often functions as a cooking and dining space, creating an additional cooking space in your home and offering a space that seamlessly blends the indoors with the great outdoors.

A patio in many ways functions the same way, however it is not limited to a cooking and dining space, and instead can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle. A patio could be used away from your home, or as a BBQ area or protection around your pool area – the options are endless. The best news is a patio is designed around your lifestyle and how you use your property.

patio functional

What Are The Maintenance Requirements Of An Alfresco And Patios?

Alfresco areas and patios have very similar maintenance requirements listed below for you to see.

Maintaining An Alfresco

As an alfresco area is usually an extension of the home it may not require much maintenance. However it is best to inspect your alfresco and gutters regularly and wash your alfresco down at least every six months. Blocked gutters can cause leaks and possibly damage external walls; it’s best to have your gutters emptied regularly to make this issue easily identified.

Maintaining A Patio

As with an alfresco area, you need to ensure you keep your patio clean and well maintained. Naturally rain assists with this process by helping to remove any build up of salt crystals or dirt that accumulates.

However, if you do not have much rain, your patio is sheltered or you are located near the cost where salt water spray is prevalent, it is recommended you wash your patio down with a sponge or soft cloth every six months or more to ensure that a build up of industrial dirt or salt crystals does not occur.

In addition, if you have opted for a concrete base known as a foundation, then you may need to use a pressure cleaner from time to time to ensure that the surface is kept clean and free from moss or dirt. As with any structure it is best to inspect and clean your gutters regularly to avoid any blockages.

You will be provided with specific cleaning instructions to best look after your Apollo Patios structure.


What Are The Benefits Of An Alfresco?

An alfresco has a number of benefits when added to your home. These are outlined below for you to view now.

They Make Wonderful Outdoor Kitchen Or Living Room Spaces

An alfresco area is perfect for a kitchen or living room space, expanding your home and giving you a space to drink your morning coffee. They allow you to create a sensational outdoor space that feels part of your main structure and attaches seamlessly visually.

They Can Be Used In Any Weather Conditions

An Alfresco can be fitted with accessories such as louvres, slats or awnings for added protection and privacy making it suitable for use in most weather conditions and providing year-round use of the area. You can enjoy outdoor dining in your new alfresco space without worrying about the rain, wind, or extreme heat.

They Can Increase Your Homes Value

Correctly installed, an alfresco space can increase the value of your home. The additional living space is a popular feature with many buyers as it saves them the time and money of extending the house or doing any work to the outdoor space.

An alfresco space is ideal for buyers who want outdoor furniture or outdoor entertaining space and might encourage buyers to pay more for your property.

What Are The Drawbacks Of An Alfresco?

An alfresco space also has a few drawbacks, which we have provided below.

They Aren’t Suitable For Every Home

An alfresco space cannot be installed in every home; your ability to do so depends on your roof line and space available. Should your main roof not be suitable for the extension, you need to look at alternative options, like a verandah or pergola, which could offer some protection for an outdoor space.

They Can Take Time To Build

Like an extension, an alfresco takes time to build. How long it takes to build will depend on the time it takes to gain planning approval and construction time. Apollo Patios handles the paperwork, sourcing materials, and everything else for you to speed the process up, but installing an alfresco area still does incur some lead time so it’s best to start discuss with your local expert as soon as possible.

When Should You Buy An Alfresco Over A Patio?

An alfresco is a great choice if you want to extend your home and enjoy the perks of outdoor dining and entertaining from a structure that blends with your existing home.

Read more about building a custom-designed alfresco with Apollo Patios to create your dream outdoor living space.

Flat Roof Gable Roof Insulated Patio

What Are The Benefits Of A Patio?

A patio has several benefits listed for you to explore now.

They Increase The Living Space In Small Homes

Patios are a fantastic way to increase the living space in any home without paying for a costly extension. A patio can provide a next level of lifestyle, providing your home with an entertainment and relaxation factor, as well as a clever space for storage, family time and your children to play.

With a patio, you have a designated open space in your yard to entertain guests, allowing you to host parties without using space in your main house. An open patio space can also make small houses seem more spacious and appealing, offering a light and airy space for you and your guests to enjoy.

They Can Increase Your Home Value

A correctly installed patio can add value to your home, potentially contributing to a profit when you sell your home. The patio space can extend your home’s living space and provide a versatile outdoor space that will attract more potential buyers.

A beautifully maintained patio offers endless options for outdoor relaxation and can often provide buyers with a lower-maintenance backyard to maintain. These features can be attractive to potential buyers, allowing you to ask a higher price and appeal to more buyers. Plus, you have the option to enclose your patio, giving you a sheltered year round space with unobstructed views.

They Are Versatile Space

Patios are versatile spaces. They are ideal for such a range of things; from an outdoor kitchen, dining area, to personal gym space or play area for your children.

Single Skin Gable Patio Roof

What Are The Drawbacks Of A Patio?

A patio has a few drawbacks that should be considered, as stated below.

They Can’t Always Be Used Year Round

You would need to install louvres, slats or look to enclose your patio to make it usable all year-round. A mesh or glass enclosure for your patio will still allow you to enjoy the view from your patio but protect you from the elements.

Enclosing your patio does increase the overall cost of your project but can be done at a later stage, so it should be considered carefully before deciding if it is the right choice for your budget.

When Should You Buy A Patio Over An Alfresco?

A patio is a great option for properties of all different size, where there is room to substantially extend from the home. You should purchase a alfresco over a patio where you want a moderate extension that will expand from your existing home.

While both options are very similar, if you are looking for something free-standing or located away from your home, a patio is the preferred choice. Either way, the outdoor space you settle on is a place that will be perfect for casual dining or entertaining guests.

Apollo Patios can help you create a custom designed patio that will suit any size property and be versatile and functional for years to come.

All Weather Patio Gable Roof

Create A Custom Designed Alfresco Or Patio With Apollo Patios

Now that you know the differences between an alfresco and a patio, we hope you can see which option is better for your yard. Whether you want to create a unique dining area, extend your home, or add a versatile area to your garden, a patio or alfresco area can be the perfect option.

Why not create a custom alfresco or patio with the help of Apollo Patios? Our custom designs and high-quality materials will offer years of happy and worry-free use.

Talk to the Apollo team today

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