Get inspired

Design Inspiration

The rise of porticos, pergolas and patios
Posted on 08 Jan 2024

As Kiwis, the love for outdoor living is deeply ingrained in our DNA, especially during the summer season. Despite our anticipation for outdoor entertaining, the unpredictable weather can occasionally dampen our plans (let’s not even mention last summer!). However, the solution to this challenge lies in the rising trend of covered outdoor decks, patios, and porticos in home design. Let’s explore this trend and the features that make these covered spaces a valuable addition to homes across New Zealand.

The Appeal of Porticos

The portico, a covered outdoor area, has become a standout trend in home design, captivating the attention of homeowners and architects alike. Beyond its visual allure, a portico brings a remarkable level of functionality to a home. This covered space serves as an architectural focal point, contributing to the overall exterior design of new builds.

One of the significant advantages of a portico is its ability to extend the indoor living area seamlessly. Homeowners appreciate the certainty of having a covered outdoor space for alfresco dining. Families love how they provide an outdoor play area for noisy children even on rainy days. The versatility of a portico is evident in its potential uses, from creating a cosy sitting area to serving as a welcoming space for entertaining guests.

Raked Portico in our Coatesville plan

Value add

Porticos come with a range of architectural features, such as vaulted ceilings and shutters which introduce visual drama into the home. The street appeal of a well-designed portico adds substantial value to a home, making it a worthwhile investment with potential dividends at the time of resale.

Energy Efficiency and Weather Protection

Beyond its aesthetic and functional appeal, a portico contributes to energy efficiency by providing shading to the home's windows and doors. This shading helps regulate indoor temperatures, offering a more comfortable living environment. Additionally, a portico acts as a shield against the elements, offering protection not only from rain but also from harsh sunlight and wind. To enhance this protection, some designs incorporate shutters or roll-down sides to shield against prevailing winds, ensuring year-round usability.

Raked Portico with Tongue & Groove Panelling in our custom plan


Pergolas are another great way to enhance an outdoor patio or deck. They also require less consideration and investment than a portico as they’re a freestanding structure which can be added to any outdoor space. At one end of the scale pergolas can be a very basic structure that provide an element of shade, with clearlite added to make it waterproof. On the other hand they can be decked out with sophisticated louvre systems complete with adjustable blades that tilt to allow just the right amount of sunlight in, and automatic rain sensors to keep the rain out. At the crux of this design feature is a desire to create space for all season entertaining and make more room for relaxation and rejuvenation at home.

Pergola render with BBQ & outdoor furniture

Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Flow

The trend of seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces remains popular and is one of the most commonly sought after features in new builds. Large sliding or bi-fold doors create a sense of continuity, maximising natural light and providing a lasting design feature that homeowners continue to desire. Creating a home that connects with nature and enhances well-being is a priority for home owners.

Portico feature in custom plan

Outdoor Kitchens and Alfresco Dining

The popularity of outdoor kitchens and dedicated dining areas is on the rise. These spaces now feature built-in BBQs, bars, countertops, dining tables and comfortable lounge seating, transforming the backyard into an ideal setting for alfresco dining and entertaining. This trend is all about spending more time with family and friends, and eliminating FOMO (fear of missing out) when playing host.

Sustainable and Native Landscaping

There is a growing emphasis on sustainable landscaping practices, with homeowners incorporating native plants to create low-maintenance outdoor spaces in harmony with the natural environment. Mass planting of hardy grasses is a popular landscaping technique which has the benefit or more time relaxing at home and less time working in the garden. This trend aligns with the importance of green spaces in promoting calmness and well-being. Generation Homes new builds come complete with landscaping which means your new home is ready for entertaining and relaxing!

At the end of the day, investing in outdoor living is about spending more time in nature and connecting with family and friends. The trend of covered outdoor spaces, particularly porticos, continues to redefine the way we design and utilise our homes. The marriage of aesthetics, functionality and energy efficiency in these spaces reflects the evolving needs and desires of homeowners in New Zealand. Whether seeking shelter from the elements or creating an entertainers haven, the popularity of covered decks and porticos is set to endure, enhancing the Kiwi experience of home living. So, let's raise our BBQ tongs and toast to a summer filled with outdoor enjoyment in our beautifully designed living spaces.

Raked Portico with Tongue & Groove Panelling in our Greenhill plan