by Roelf Nel

Whether you’re dreaming of a modest retreat where you can connect with nature or an elaborate space built for serious outdoor entertaining, there’s a verandah to fit your home, lifestyle and budget. Verandah’s can be built in nearly any shape, size, colour or pattern you can imagine. It’s a place where you can seek peace and quiet, have fun with the kids, welcome and chat with neighbours, or have a simple breath of fresh air. It’s truly another extension of family life. Before you start pouring concrete or laying pavers, learn the basics of a well-built verandah, then discover the latest trends in flooring, lighting, furniture and more.

Verandahs don’t have to be constructed of cement or stone. Other building materials include classic wood, natural slate, sandstone, granite, brick, a wood composite and even porcelain.  In addition to traditional pine or cedar floors an increasingly popular choice is ipe, a Brazilian hardwood that is an incredibly strong wood, resistant to insects, rot and mold. Ipe is moderately priced, however, installation can be more expensive than other wood floors, because it’s more time-consuming given the very dense wood, which requires pre-drilling.

Although choices seem endless, concrete is the most common and surprisingly still the most versatile flooring option. Poured concrete can be shaped into just about any pattern and colour. It can be swirled and scored, tinted a subtle or bold colour like red and blue, shaped into patterns or even formed into stone-like shapes.

You may be thinking what about pavers? Interlocking paver stones have been gaining a fan base in recent years. They are four times stronger than concrete and easy to remove and replace should something go wrong underneath the verandah, like a burst pipe, offering a good low maintenance option.

Most people think of a verandah as a strictly outdoor space, perhaps with an umbrella table set up for shade. But you can always add extra protection from the elements with a retractable awning, canopy or going all out by adding a patio sunroom. Depending on your budget and space, your options are virtually endless when it comes to outfitting your patio. You may consider a fireplace, a water fountain or an outdoor bar. Seat walls are currently a functional and artistic trend for verandahs. Look for furniture with cushions that resist moisture and mildew. A lot of chairs, sofas and tables these days have non-rusting aluminum frames that resemble wood and wicker but are much more weather-friendly.

These top five accessories are worth consideration:

  • A large piece of outdoor art, hung above the sitting area.
  • A new outdoor rug to finish off the look of comfortable, stylish living space.
  • Bright outdoor pillows that pop against neutral furniture.
  • Twin urns on either side of the steps, filled with seasonal plantings. Fabulous-looking urns will draw visitors into the space from the outside, and outside to the verandah from the house.
  • Curtains made from outdoor fabric can be drawn to block afternoon sun or pulled back and tied for a homey look.
  • Coloured potted plants add life and creates and enhances your personal space.

When choosing lights for your verandah, think about purpose. Path lights can safely lead the way from a verandah to a driveway, uplights can highlight landscape focal points or architectural features and specialty lights, such as rope lights, torches and lanterns, can add ambiance. Remember, it’s no longer the old style black plastic lights, but the copper lantern with stained glass that’s hanging on a shepherd’s hook instead.

A right combination of lights will make your verandah safe and inviting. Bright standard-voltage lights can ward off possible intruders at night, while low-voltage lights provide a soft glow for entertaining, plus they’re easier on your electric bill. Investing in energy efficient bulbs is another great way to cut down on lighting costs in the long run.

Remember, verandah memories are the kind we keep forever. Have fun in yours.

Visit our Pinterest board and get inspired by what others have created.

About Buildforce
We take the uncertainty out of building your dream home. After getting divorced and starting a new job, building your dream home is the most stressful thing you will do in your life. We at Buildforce provide advice, train and assist architects, builders & other building professionals in mediation and arbitration proceedings on a daily basis. As a result we have been able to compile a panel of competent, honest & talented architects & builders that we regularly work with. We want to promote and share the services of these trusted individuals with you to ensure that the uncertainty is removed from the process of building your dream home

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