A Guide to Verandas and Wrap-Around Porches

A gorgeous veranda porch, wrapping around the corner of a home

Architects, home improvement designers and realtors, especially in the south and west of the country, will often talk about how much a veranda adds to a home in terms of utility, style, and, indeed, home value. But what is a veranda, what kind of benefits does having one offer, and how can you make the most out of yours? These are all pertinent questions for potential house buyers or someone looking to improve their home. So let’s start by taking a closer look at the first of those ‘what is a veranda’?

What is a Veranda?

The name veranda itself is from the Portuguese ‘varanda’, which probably originates from the Spanish ‘barranda’, meaning railing or handrail. This isn’t a surprise as both countries are very warm, and the Spanish architectural styles were imported to the southwest and places like New Orleans. So verandas were always very common in the warmer parts of the country before air-conditioning was invented. Still, it was from the late 19th century and on, during the picturesque movement, that the idea of making the most of outdoor space really took off, and verandas became a must-have for homes all over the US.

Today a veranda describes an open air porch, at ground level or slightly above it, that has a covering extending from the house. This differentiates it somewhat from other types of outdoor structures, such as a deck or patio, where the overhead covering is optional. As we saw from the roots of the word, verandas often have railings running along their edge, which give an impression of enclosure without affecting the veranda’s open-air nature. The idea of a veranda can often be interchangeable with that of a wrap-around porch as you guessed it, the veranda may wrap around more than one side of the house.

What is a Veranda: The Benefits

A Welcoming Entrance

Walking up to your house (or any house), the building can come across as forbidding or unwelcoming if it has no exterior details. However, with a veranda with furniture, personal items or screen walls, it seems more like an extra room of the house that you or any guest is arriving straight into. This domestic veranda room can also mean that crossing the threshold into your home isn’t actually necessary, and you can meet and talk with people comfortably and politely outside.

Enjoying the Fresh Air

Among the many benefits of having a veranda is how it allows you access to the fresh, outside air in all kinds of conditions. If it’s hot and stuffy inside, but you don’t want the aircon blasting, then the veranda is the place to go, even if it’s raining outside, with its super durable permanent covering, the veranda is still a great place to chill out, in the open. A veranda screen enclosure also allows you to take in that fresh air without having to worry about insects swarming over attracted by the lights.

Great for Entertaining

Entertaining guests at your home can be stressful if you’re worrying about how tidy your home is before they arrive or how untidy it’ll be after they’re gone. A veranda then becomes the perfect place to host people, out in the fresh air and with no fear of spillages on your carpet and of course, there can always be through-flow between the inside and outside. Installing a veranda screen enclosure keeps unwanted guests, i.e., bugs, away from the party and adds a layer of privacy to your outside space to make it even more relaxing.

Extra Square Footage

As an addition to your home, at the least, a veranda adds extra space to what can be considered ‘yours’. This provides its own personal comfort and gives you and your loved ones more area to move around or hang out in. Interestingly though, it also adds value to your home, with this extra footage counting as living space.

A Relaxing Space

Most of all, what a veranda delivers is a perfect ‘do-nothing’ space, it’s not an office, bedroom or kitchen, just a peaceful place to sit out and enjoy in whatever way you want. Your space is yours to do with as you wish. It can be somewhere you watch the world go by and chat with neighbors, somewhere quiet you go to read or a place where everybody comes to meet. Wrap-around porches or spaces with a veranda screen enclosure can also deliver a greater sense of privacy.

Getting the Most Out of Your Veranda

You can do so many things to make your outside veranda space yours in terms of decoration and furniture. It could be a swing seat, a table set for dining or working, or even loungers and a TV to create an outdoor screen room. It’s also possible to create the perfect veranda for all seasons with veranda screen enclosures to keep out the worst of the weather and bugs or winterproofing with heavier-duty screens and a sliding door. There are numerous ways you can alter or decorate your own veranda to make sure it is exactly the outdoor space you want.


Tracing its history back centuries, the veranda is a staple architectural feature, especially across the south and west. A veranda is a versatile outdoor space that can be shaped as you wish so that it becomes one of your home’s favorite spaces. This could be through furniture, how you decorate or with a veranda screen enclosure to protect you from the elements and annoying bugs.

Whatever you wish to do with your veranda, why not talk to the experts to see what your options are. Screenmobile has been helping homeowners across the country to create the veranda of their dreams for decades. To find out more about how we can help you get the most out of your veranda, you can read more here or get in touch with your local Screenmobile operator.

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