Monday, July 11, 2011

A New Verandah

We always intended to have an undercover area outside the kitchen door. It is shown on our original plans as a future sunroom. However, time and money constraints meant it was put on hold when we started constructing our house in 1999. So up until this year we have existed without this key part of our house design.

Over the past 12 months we have focussed on developing a design for this undercover area that meets our needs (described in a previous post). The result is a multipurpose verandah (and pergola- yet to be built) attached to the northern and western walls of the house. We decided on steel construction largely because of the reduced fire risk but also because of the low maintenance, the wider spans that can be achieved and the ease of getting permits.
The verandah looks like it was always there.
As owner builders of our mudbrick house we gave serious consideration to doing the construction ourselves. However after thinking it through, we eventually decided to use a company that specialises in steel verandahs. Mike and Ken from Custombuilt Verandahs in Bayswater, did a great job. They worked with us to solve some of the complexities of the job and completed construction in a week (whereas it would have taken us several months). We are happy to recommend them.

We are now enjoying the benefits of the verandah (and wished we had built it years ago). Even now, in the middle of winter, it is very enjoyable sitting outside eating lunch or having a cup of tea as we look out over our garden and dam. The thermal mass of the mudbrick wall and the concrete patterned paving keeps the temperature mild (unless it is a cold wind). There are always dozens of birds to attract our attention in the garden, and our dog “Blue” enjoys watching them too as he reclines on the front door mat.

It looks spacious - but we have lots of ideas for using the area
The large undercover area has already proved to be quite handy as the weather gets colder and wetter. We have rigged up a temporary clothes line for drying sheets and given Blue plenty of exercise playing “fetch” with his ball.
We know that our verandah design works well in winter. We are now looking forward to seeing how it works in summer when temperatures climb to over 40 degrees. In the meantime we are working out the detail of the other ways to put this new space to work- but we will take our time doing that (between tea breaks).
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