If you don’t have a verandah you may think that adding one to your house would cost far too much, but this is not necessarily so. It is possible to get a verandah on a budget and it does not need to look ‘cheap’. Much depends on the materials used, but labour is a big part of the cost also. Another thing that might bump up the cost is the location of the verandah or patio – that is, if it is at ground level or raised high off the ground. The ground level one is the cheaper, since it will not need as much material to provide support and it need not have balustrades. Here are some tips to reduce the cost of the verandah.
- Use timber flooring if the verandah is above ground level. You may be able to access enough boards from a recycling centre.
- Use a polished concrete finish if the floor is at ground level. This is low maintenance, strong and durable. It is also ideal if you use steel support posts.
- Use roofing materials that have good spanning abilities to reduce the need for supporting framework. Steel is a good choice.
- Choose a low maintenance material for cladding if you have any. Not all verandahs need cladding, though some people like to fill in the ends to keep out wind and rain.
- Do some of the work yourself. Verandahs are a relatively easy project for a DIY handyman or anyone with the skills to do building or concreting. It can save a great deal on labour costs, but don’t forget to organise any council permissions.
- If you have a skilled tradesman friend, swap work with them or come to some other payment arrangement that is satisfactory to you both. You could even offer babysitting services for a fortnight while they go on holiday, in return for building your verandah.
- Find used goods to furnish the verandah. An old chair or table repainted may look fabulous. There are many bargains to be found online.
- If you hire a builder, make sure you get quotes from several so you can see who has the most affordable price.
- Make the verandah as wide as you can afford. A narrow verandah is not only annoying, it can be worse than useless in terms of using it as an enjoyable place to relax. If you have to turn your chair sideways to let someone go past, the verandah is too narrow.
Adding a verandah to your home may still seem expensive even if it is a budget one, but the enjoyment you will get out of using it will make the investment really worthwhile.