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How a verandah can improve your home sustainability

Whether your home is among the gum trees or not, a verandah is an iconic addition to any Aussie family home. But are they the same as a patio or pergola? Why might you want to add one to your sustainable home?

Let’s quickly explain the difference between the types of outdoor structures and then look at why a verandah might be the right choice for your home.

Is a pergola or patio the same as a verandah?

While verandahs, pergolas and patios are all outdoor structures that can give your home a much-needed covered area for enjoying time outside with family and friends, they’re not exactly the same thing. Here’s how they’re different.

verandah - may be found at the front, rear, or sides of your house, and is attached to the ground level of your home. Typically covered with a roof, a verandah is a space that transitions from the inside to the outside of your home.

pergola - is typically a freestanding, open or semi-enclosed structure and can incorporate elements of your garden’s foliage into the design.

A patio - usually positioned at the back of the house, it’s a paved outdoor area that is typically a space for dining or recreation. It may have a roof or not be enclosed at all.

To decide which one is right for you, you should think about what would best suit your home, your environment, your family and your lifestyle. Do you experience a lot of harsh sun or rain and need a roof? Do you need your outdoor space to be enclosed (perhaps even with a gate to keep small children or animals wandering outside)? What activities do you enjoy outside?

Key reasons to add a verandah to your home

A verandah is a great choice to help you enjoy an indoor/outdoor lifestyle Aussies are so famous for. But as well as providing a comfortable space to enjoy some family time and fresh air, verandahs offer a number of other benefits you might not have thought about – for you and the planet.

  • Extra living space: A verandah is an ideal additional entertainment area for you and your family to enjoy, offering much needed shade during the day and a spot to enjoy the breeze on summer evenings.
  • Shading and energy reduction: Shading, like a verandah, is an important part of keeping your home insulated by blocking direct sunlight. A verandah can keep your home cooler over summer and, as you’ll be less inclined to reach for your air conditioner, it can also reduce your energy bills. All in all, the more time you spend on your verandah, the less time you’ll spend inside in the air con.
  • Get close to nature: A verandah is the perfect place to house your outdoor plants and watch them flourish. But you and your plants probably won’t be the only ones enjoying your new verandah. Your verandah could end up attracting a host of local wildlife like birds, butterflies and bugs.

Sustainable products to choose when you build your verandah

Before you build your verandah, you might like to consider how your choices can help make it sustainable - there might be more options than you think. Here are a few.

Ethically sourced wood: Timber is certainly a timeless and stylish option for your verandah. You can buy wood from sustainable sources, so you don’t have to worry about impacting natural forest growth. Take a look at Responsible Wood’s database for certified, sustainable wood products and suppliers.

Reclaimed wood: If you’re after a rustic look that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg - and is a sustainable choice - reclaimed wood can be a great option. This is wood that has been salvaged and upcycled from buildings or structures like ships and wine casts. 

Bamboo: Bamboo replenishes itself very quickly and is grown without the need for pesticides or fertilisers. It’s also extremely resilient and strong, making this material a smart choice for your verandah decking. 

Recycled plastic lumber: A clever alternative to wood, recycled plastic lumber is made from, you guessed it, recycled plastic. These materials are flexible, insect proof, mould resistant, and hold up well in the harsh Aussie sun.

Green roof: If you’re after an alternative to the traditional verandah roof, consider a green roof – a roof covered with plants. These beauties have a host of benefits including increased biodiversity, better insulation, and they can even extend the life of your verandah roof. 

Solar panels: Looking for other ways to make your verandah and home more sustainable? You might also like to consider adding solar panels to help reduce your energy bills even further.

If you’re thinking of adding a verandah to your home, discover how a Brighte loan can help.

The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.