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A veranda is an area connected to a building that offers semi-enclosed outdoor space. The main parts are the posts that provide structural integrity and the roof, either sloping or flat. Other parts include the balustrades between the posts. As verandas are of relatively light construction, you don't normally need to provide foundations before starting to build.
Verandas need posts at regular intervals to support the roof. Ornamental posts -- rather than straight, square wooden posts -- make an attractive addition, providing both structural support and aesthetic appeal. Consider using circular posts, cast iron supports, Corinthian columns, posts with fluted details or posts that taper from bottom to top. You don’t necessarily have to dig to sink posts into the ground. Some posts have bases that you can simply bolt to an existing concrete surface. As for concrete posts, these can be fixed in place on beds of mortar.
A roof of glass panels will allow more light into the veranda than a slate or slatted wood roof. Verandah Living recommends using 6 mm toughened safety glass. Fix framed glass panels between roof beams and adjacent to each other to maximise the glazed area. PVCu panels are a suitable alternative, being lighter and less expensive than glass. A sloping roof will shed rain, whereas rain will tend to sit in puddles on a flat roof. Fit flashing between the wall of the building and the top edge of the veranda roof to prevent rain penetration.
You can leave the spaces between the posts empty or follow the trend of fitting half-height balustrades between them. Picket-type balustrades are popular. These consist of individual vertical members lined up in parallel. However, you can have a lattice design, if you wish, where the pieces form an ornamental criss-cross. Solid panels are another alternative. To fit wooden balustrades to wooden posts, drill and screw through the side rails of the panels, directly into the posts. To fix metal balustrades to metal posts, use ornamental metal brackets or hoops with screw fixings.
Choose a south facing wall for the sunniest veranda, or another wall for a shadier spot. Think about covering the floor area with decking or tiles. You can raise the floor level by laying a bed of wooden bearers first. Consider adding decorative infills in the corners between the tops of the posts and the front roof beam. Take your inspiration for the design of the veranda from a particular style, such as Victorian, colonial or modern. If you decide to tile the roof, you might want to track down the same tiles as the ones on the house roof, to create a consistent look.
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