Here’s Why You Should Hire An Architect For Your Exterior Design Project

Ozsun regularly collaborates with architects, strata companies, interior designers, builders, specifiers, and property developers for commercial and residential shade systems customization.

Working with an architect for your exterior design needs is a smart way to invest in your property and increase its value. As passionate and creative thinkers with very high technical skills, architects master the art of bringing beauty and solution-focused skills to the most complex outdoor living projects.

Jake French is the director of Shire Building Design, an architecture firm located in Gymea. He talked to us about his occupation’s merits and challenges, and his recommendations to create the perfect outdoor living area.

Hi Jake! Can you tell us a little about your business? 

Of course: we are a young and fresh architectural design firm focusing on small to medium-scale residential projects. Located in Sydney Sutherland Shire and currently consisting of a team of 5, we have a very collaborative approach to design and love designing homes for our wonderful and trusting clients.

How and why did you become an architect?

I was exposed to the building industry at a young age due to both my father’s and grandfather’s work. I have always loved architecture and design, as well as the interactions we have as humans within these spaces.

What is your favourite part of being an architect?

Client satisfaction! Yes, creating wonderful architectural spaces is definitely fun and interesting, but seeing clients enjoy our guidance throughout the entire design process, up to the final result is why we do 

what we do.

How do you integrate sun protection in your projects? 

It depends on the budget and the use of the outdoor living area. In various applications, we like to use external sun shadesThey can be a great option for both shade or privacy. 

Can you tell us a little more about your process?

Wusually like to include a variety of elements, such as extruded aluminium frames as a feature element to a façade, fixed timber or aluminium battens, louvered screens, etc. Horizontal awnings with battens, louvered roof systemsretractable awnings, and retractable roof systems enabling solar access or protection from the weather are also very valuable alternatives

The possibilities are endless with the extensive range of awnings available in Sydney, so clients can virtually create any space they desire with a vivid imaginationinspiration from the team, and guidance from their shade system installer.

What would you say is the most important feature of a good shade system? 

For me, I like when a shade system looks like it was always supposed to be there. We can take the building design to another level by incorporating the retractable awning or roof system from the start, rather than as an add-on or an afterthought.

Home automation and sensors (wind, motion, rain, etc) are also great additions for the client to control how they want to use their outdoor space. Blending indoor and outdoor living areas to create a third space and optimize entertaining opportunities is also a fantastic opportunity to look into if the situation allows it.

Book your free Lifestyle Consultancy with Ozsun.

Renovating or building in Sydney? Here is what you need to know about BASIX and how Ozsun has you covered!


Renovating or building in Sydney? Here is what you need to know about BASIX and how Ozsun has you covered!

Renovating or building in Sydney? Here is what you need to know about BASIX and how Ozsun has you covered!

What is BASIX?

BASIX stands for Building Sustainability Index. BASIX is an initiative that was introduced by the NSW Government to ensure homes are designed to be more energy and water efficient. Every development application for a new home must be submitted to Council with a BASIX Certificate.

Do I need BASIX?

You will need a BASIX certificate if you are lodging a development application in NSW for a new home or for any alteration and addition of $50,000 or more to an existing home.

What elements do I need to consider about my new home or renovation?

– Energy
– Thermal Comfort
– Water consumption

How can Ozsun assist you with meeting your BASIX requirements?

We have a huge range of external folding arm awnings, retractable roof systems, external and internal blinds which can significantly reduce the thermal heat generated by the harsh Australian sun.

External fabrics

External Fabrics – Reducing energy consumption and creating the perfect thermal environmentReducing energy consumption makes a significant impact on the environment. Exterior sunscreens are undoubtedly the most effective way of controlling sunlight. Sunscreens should not inhibit the advantages of glass – natural light, view and entry of solar energy in winter – but must avoid the creation of a greenhouse effect. The exterior fabric system controls the amount of sun radiation ie. before it reaches the window pane. The result is no dazzling light and no accumulation of heat indoors. Buildings using external sunscreens require less powerful air conditioning and the savings on costs, can be as much as 40% per year. Depending on the fabric choice up to 90% of the sun’s heat can be blocked by external screens.

The appearance of buildings, whether commercial or residential, is naturally important and with this in mind the Heliogreen range of external fabrics includes colours and finishes which compliment all architectural styles and façade finishes.

To find out more visit the NSW BASIX website here or contact us for more information.
louvered-roof - Ozsun Shade Systems Sydney

Tips For Increasing The Liveability Of Your Outdoor Space In Winter

louvre roof 04Our Australian climate allows for outdoor living and fun most days. But with cooler weather settling in during the cooler winter months, staying outdoors – specifically on the deck, patio or other outdoor living area – may prove to be a bit much for even the hardiest soul.

If you’re one of those people who already make great use of their deck or patio in the summer months, why not consider using the following tips to enhance the liveability of your outdoor space and beat the winter chill with these ideas.

Add an Awning

The reason you’re not able to use your deck in winter is probably because it is directly exposed to the elements. Installing an awning over the deck will provide the much needed cover to keep out the winter chill. Awnings come in many different styles, designs and colours to suit your tastes and your home’s personality. Some awning styles, such as retractable awnings, retractable roofs, pergola awnings, louvered roofs, etc., allow you to keep cool in the shade during summer and block out the cold; but can still open up to let in the lower-set winter rays when you need more light and/or a little warming up.

Make Use of External Shutters or Blinds

If your patio already has an existing covering, be it an awning, louvered roof or pergola, you can provide protection from the winter wind chill by installing external shutters, shutters, or outdoor screens. These patio accessories are available in a wide variety of fabric and colours, making it easy to find one that blends perfectly with your home’s look and feel. They will not only help block the cold, but also make your outdoor area much more private.

Outdoor Heating

Another great way to make your patio or deck cosy and inviting this winter is installing an outdoor heating feature. With outdoor heating solutions, such as fireplaces, chimineas, fire pits, braziers, and radiant heaters, you can make your outdoor living areas warm and comfortable. What a better

louvered-roof - Ozsun Shade Systems Sydney

Louvered Roof

way to spend a winter evening than sitting near a warm, cozy fire, all bundled up and enjoying the crisp outdoor air?

Outdoor heating solutions can be found in many different design styles to suit the needs of your home. Some models can be powered through your home’s gas supply and there are electric versions, as well. When installing one, be sure to consider local council regulations.

Lighting for Ambience

Outdoor lighting can change the appearance of a patio dramatically and for the better, especially on those dull, grey, winter days. Proper lighting also adds to the feeling of warmth in the evenings. There are many options for outdoor lighting to customize your preference, depending on how the space looks and feels. For example, you may want to use overhead lighting for when you need visibility, like during a meal; or you might want to install dimmer lighting to create a lovely lounge-like atmosphere for relaxing. Or, if your space is large enough, you may want to consider creating illumination with lamps around the perimeter and using candles in the centre. The options are endless.

Extend Your Outdoor Entertainment Area With An Awning - Ozsun Shade Systems

Extend Your Outdoor Entertainment Area With An Awning

large-louvered-roof Ozsun Shade Systems SydneyOzsun, located just up the road from cosmopolitan King Street, Newtown are the shade system specialists. Ozsun stocks a comprehensive range of both contemporary and classic solutions for shading your windows and outdoor entertainment areas.

Ozsun not only stock the best German engineered quality blinds and awnings but also offer budget awnings and blinds.

“We not only stock the blinds and install them but also help out with the very first step – which awning will best suit your needs as well as looking good,” owner of Ozsun, Peter Warner says.

Both indoor and outdoor spaces have design requirements and needs. A professional consultant from Ozsun who specialises in lifestyle design will come to your home or business to view the space you would like to install the awning and give free advice. Read more

How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient With Blinds

sun shade systems-Sydney-Retractable Roof Systems

Retractable Roof Systems

The Australian summer is fast approaching, which means your electricity bill is about to increase thanks to the expected rise in your air conditioning needs. As a reasonable homeowner, you might want to consider ways and means of reducing your cooling costs this summer without sacrificing on comfort – such as, making use of blinds and awnings.

Use Blinds And Awnings To Make Your Home Energy Efficient This Summer

Tired of having the Australian sun blasting heat into your home?

Are you looking for ways to minimise summer heat gain in your home?

Sunlight and sun’s glare being absorbed into your Australian home is the primary source of summer heat gain. This heat build-up could force your air conditioning system to work harder and consume more energy – which, in turn, pleated blindscan send your cooling costs through the roof.

One effective way to keep your home’s interior cool and your bills in check is making use of shutters, blinds and awnings. These window coverings and shading accessories provide an easy, yet practical method of boosting energy efficiency in your home and can save you money on cooling and air conditioning costs this summer.

But, how do blinds and awnings cool your home?

Shutters, blinds and awnings help control summer heat gain by controlling the heat and sunlight that enters through your windows and/or entryways. They block the sun’s harsh rays; control glare; and reduce heat gain substantially. By so doing, they help optimize interior energy efficiency whilst protecting your home’s interiors from UV damage.

Windows are responsible for the largest proportion of heat entering a typical Australian home in summer. In fact, uncovered windows absorb, or will let in, around 40% of the unwanted heat in a home. To deal with this considerable heat gain that could leave a huge dent in your wallet, you should seriously consider using blinds and awnings.

Interior blinds, including roller blinds, vertical blinds, Helioscreens, cedar blinds, pleated blinds and Venetian blinds, are extremely effective at stopping or reducing the transfer of heat through the windows and other openings. In fact, some blinds – specifically reflective blinds – have been shown to reduce heat gain by up to 45%. These window coverings reflect the sun’s heat or glare, thereby insulating your windows and saving you energy and money on your bills. What’s great about them is that they’ll still allow you to enjoy natural light and the privacy for your home.

cedar-shutters - OZSUN SHADE SYSTEMS

Cedar Shutters

Shutters, such as basswood, Thermo 25 and cedar shutters, are particularly great for summer shading. These window treatments are not only stylish, but they have also been proven to help reduce indoor heat gains by up to a whopping 85%! These window coverings will definitely keep your home cool whilst also providing the much needed protection. What’s more, you can use them together with curtains to enhance insulation in your home. Shutters that feature movable or fixed louvers will facilitate ventilation and allow natural light to enter the room while blocking out much of the sun’s radiation. That means you don’t have to compromise on comfort to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Another effective way to cover your windows and entryways and enhance energy efficiency in your home is installing awnings. Awnings have been shown to block out up to 77% of the direct heat gain coming from the sun through windows. They regulate the amount of sun’s heat that reaches your home’s facade. By installing well-made and well-designed awnings, you can significantly reduce heat transfer to your house with immediate effect. Retractable awnings are particularly great as you can always roll them up during the cooler months to let the sun warm your home.

Whatever option you choose – be it blinds, awnings or shutters, you can prevent a great deal of the sun’s heat and glare from entering your house, reducing the load on your AC and extending its life. Reducing the load on your AC can save you up to 30% on your power bills; leaving you with more money in your pocket! You’ll also be able to make your small but important contribution toward saving our planet.

Shutters, blinds and awnings can be effective on any window opening in your home or business premises, regardless of whether or not they receive direct sunlight. They are available in a wide range of design selections and there are even custom options that can be fitted to any shape window or door, including rounded and angled windows, arches or any unusual shapes.

The UV blockage offered by these window treatments helps prevent or eliminate the risk of sun damage to your window coverings, carpets, furniture, artwork, etc. They even hold heat in during the winter.

Why not try them today to see for yourself!

awnings sydney

How Awnings Can Make Your Home More Sustainable.



‘Sustainability’ is a popular buzz word in the media right now, alongside other phrases such as ‘green living’ and ‘eco-friendly’. We all understand that these terms revolve around making choices which protect our environment. The news is saturated with reports of the recent plastic bag ban and major restaurant chains phasing out the use of plastic straws.

Of course, all individuals can do their part by recycling, remembering their reusable shopping bags and avoiding products with excessive plastic packaging. However, for those looking to make an even bigger impact, the focus shifts to our homes.

For the majority of Australians, home is where they spend most of their time. Unfortunately, it’s also where we pay the power bills! Decreasing the amount of energy we consume at home benefits our bank accounts, and more importantly, the planet. There are around 2.8 million households in New South Wales – if each home was run with a focus on sustainable living, the positive impact on Australia’s environment would be enormous.

How can this be achieved? Simple steps like switching off lights in empty rooms and choosing energy-efficient appliances is a great start. The next step is to examine the price of heating and cooling. Many Australian homes were built decades ago, often without the same environmental design principles we adhere to today. These homes are not built to keep out the heat. As the summer sun pours in through the windows, the A/C goes on earlier, runs longer and works harder.

Sydney Awnings

Retractable awning

The solution is surprisingly easy: add some awnings to your home. A retractable window awning gives you control over the sun as it enters your home. Keeping Sydney’s ferocious summer out by protecting the windows lowers the inside temperature. The use of effective shading like an awning will dramatically reduce the heat generated by direct sun. In turn, the cooler temperature inside decreases the need for air-conditioning. Well-designed awnings can reduce the cost of a home’s electricity bills by up to 25%.

A folding arm awning is a particularly good choice for households aiming for a sustainable lifestyle. These awnings can simply be mounted onto the face of a building and are easily installed by an OzSun expert. They are excellent for blocking out the summer sun but can be retracted during colder months to allow the winter sunshine in. Opening your home to the sun during winter utilises its warmth and cuts back on the costs of heating. A flexible option like the folding arm awning gives you the ability to manipulate sunlight and shade to the advantage of your home, no matter the season.

If asked to picture how saving the environment looks, nobody would answer “glamorous”. But ‘sustainable’ doesn’t have to mean ugly. Choosing the right awning for your home can add street appeal, as well as value. Scroll through the OzSun gallery for some inspiration and see how an awning can make your house more attractive.

You could also visit the Office of Environment & Heritage website for more ideas about designing an energy efficient home.

It’s Time to Install Your Awnings Now for Summer

groovy seniors on beachAh, summer: the season of endless blue skies, lazy late nights and delicious food. While winter’s in full blast, daydreaming about those warmer days is very tempting. But in the midst of a fantasy of beach weather, it’s easy to forget about the negative aspects of summer. Oppressive heat and painful sunburn might seem a small price to pay in exchange for the end of winter, but it will be a different story come January.

If you’re already lost in thoughts of summer’s pleasures, perhaps it’s time to get organised! Everyone wants to make the most of summer by idling the warm days away in their own backyard. What could be better than inviting your favourite people around for a BBQ? Enjoying the great outdoors and the company of friends is an Australian tradition.

However, so too is nursing a vicious sunburn afterwards. Too many Australians are familiar with the painful, bright red skin and the peeling that shortly follows. We all understand the risks of sun exposure, but tend to brush that knowledge aside in favour of enjoying some time outdoors. It’s actually an unnecessary risk.

Installing an awning can make outdoor spaces infinitely more usable all year round. Fixed awnings are

sydney awnings

Retractable Awning

practical and incredibly durable. It’s like adding an outdoor room to your home. The awning provides shelter and shade from the harsh sun, while still allowing the fresh air to breeze through the space. The area allows family and visitors to spend time outside enjoying the summer weather with significantly reduced exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Creating a large, shaded area gives kids and pets a safe place to play outdoors, and makes a perfect location for the adults to host gatherings.

Outdoor Umbrella                Outdoor umbrellas are another way to make your outdoor spaces more welcoming. The heavy duty umbrellas are designed for Australian conditions – neither harsh sun nor strong winds can best them. They offer a more flexible option than a fixed awning, as they can be taken down when you want to absorb  some vitamin D. They also work well for pool areas, making a shady spot to slather on the sunscreen before a swim. Where the awnings blend in, the umbrellas stand out! A colourful umbrella creates a cheery feature for your outdoor space, reminiscent of a café or a resort.

Some may think it too early to be making preparations for summer. If you’re after the best possible shade solutions for your home, it’s important to leave enough time to make your plans and consult with an expert. OzSun specialists can give you advice tailored to the needs of your family and your home to ensure that your shade systems work for you. Get everything installed before December hits and your home will be ready to welcome all of your Christmas guests.

While ensuring that your home has sufficient shade is an important factor of sun protection, everyone should still slap on some sunscreen before heading outdoors. Remind your family and guests to help keep them safe from the harsh Aussie summer.

All Seasons retractable roof system at night, Sydney

Providing shade for your home with awnings

The Australian climate is harsh and unforgiving, particularly during the summer months. All Australians are taught the importance of slip, slop, slap from a young age to protect themselves from the sun. What we don’t learn is that our homes require sun protection as well.

Designing a home with adequate shading has many cost-saving and environmental benefits.

awnings sydneyDirect sunlight generates heat, which is great during winter, but far less desirable in summer. Using effective shading can block up to 90% of this heat, thus reducing the need for air-conditioning and saving money on the power bills.

There are many shade solutions that can add to a home’s visual appeal and increase its market value. Houses have different requirements depending on factors such as the climate and the orientation of the home. It is important to consult an expert in addition to conducting your own research. If you’re uncertain as to what kinds of shading would work best for your home, seek advice before locking anything in.

For a permanent shading solution, durable fixed awnings such as carbolite or canopy awnings are an excellent choice. They are designed to endure the harshest conditions and are built to last. A fixed awning provides generous amounts of shade without obscuring the view outside.

Larger awnings can also add extra space to your home by functioning as an extra room. The awning is a sturdy shelter from the weather which still allows fresh air to flow through. Fixed awnings are a great option for families with young children or pets, as it provides them with a protected place to play outside all year around.

However, fixed awnings aren’t suitable for all homes – they’re fantastic at blocking out the sun, but come wintertime

sun shade systems-Sydney-Retractable Roof Systems

Retractable Roof Systems

it can become a disadvantage. In cooler climates, retractable awnings are just as effective at shading the summer sun, but can be tucked away in winter when sunlight is elusive.

The appeal of a retractable awning lays in the degree of control it gives you. It can be extended as needed to keep the heat out but let light in, and adjusted accordingly as the sun moves overhead. Retractable awnings are an incredibly flexible option which can be customised to suit homes in any climate.

When selecting the style of awning, it’s important to consider which direction the sunlight enters your home from, as well as the angle.

During summer, the sun tends to stay higher in the sky than it does in winter. This means that, with clever design, you can add an appropriately sized fixed awning which blocks out the worst of the summer heat but still allows winter sunlight into your home.

For less predictable or cooler climates where absorbing winter sun is a higher priority, retractable awnings can provide sufficient shade during the day as required.

There are many ways to achieve a cooler home before you switch on the A/C. Providing your home with plenty of shade is a great way to cut costs on power bills and make your home more sustainable.


Awnings as home window fashion

Regardless of whether we follow the latest trends, it’s almost impossible to avoid being influenced by fashion. It’s not as simple as updating your wardrobe with new season looks! Fashion reflects the most popular aesthetics, not just for clothing and beauty, but our entire lifestyles.

This, of course, includes home décor. The way your living space is presented can speak volumes about your character. A person whose home is filled with heavy lace, floral prints and wooden furniture is very different to someone who fills their home with flat-pack furniture, sporting trophies and naked lightbulbs.

Just as clothing styles change, so too do homewares. Rose gold may be the height of fashion now, but all those shiny metallic accents will be embarrassing in a few years time. Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to avoid your house becoming a fashion disaster!

It’s all about balancing the timeless with the on-trend. For essential features like paint, flooring, lighting and large furniture, stick to tried and true classics. Durable, classic furniture in neutral tones provides a solid foundation that can be added to. With features such as artwork, manchester and small furniture, go wild with colour.

As tastes change, it’s easy and affordable to replace the outdated pieces and change the look of the room.

Windows can be difficult to style, because they need to be attractive from both the inside and the outside of the home. It’s important to get the colour right to strike a balance between both the indoor and outdoor palettes.

ShuttersTimber shutters are a great option because of their stylistic versatility. They blend in with the existing features of any style of home, and come in a range of colours.

Basswood shutters come in 15 standard colours and can also be finished with a stain or custom paint. With resistance to warping and cleverly designed joints, the shutters are also incredibly durable.

Flexible and practical window dressings are functional and can be toned in with the rest of the room, allowing for more decorating freedom.

Some homes incorporate the surrounding environment into their design. It can be an effective way of blending modern comforts with natural appeal. Of course, the effect is wasted if you can’t see the great outdoors! To bring the beauty of nature inside, the windows should be free from distractions.

Simple roller blinds look contemporary and tidy – modern design frowns upon the cluttered look, so the lack of Sydney Awningsobvious hardware is a fantastic benefit.

The blinds can be rolled all the way up to maximise views and are hardly noticeable. They can also be dropped to any point to control the amount of light entering the room.

Roller blinds are a neat and highly practical choice which won’t detract from the appeal of the other décor in the home.

Fashion can be fickle, but the Australian sun isn’t. Choosing the right window styles will keep your home looking modern but still provide you with privacy and sun protection.