Wrap-around open verandahs were part of the traditional look of an Australian house, and formed an important part of the entertaining space. Unfortunately over time many of the wonderful verandahs got demolished, as people grew reluctant to maintain sagging structures or simply wanted an updated 1970s styled house. If you are looking to restore your houses appearance with a verandah, here is how to go about the project.
1. Check how the old verandah was removed
As part of the tearing away of the verandahs, many houses had new more on trend entranceways constructed. Unfortunately many of these entrance ways, arches and pillars where constructed with asbestos bearing materials. It is worth getting the materials of any 1950 to 1970s additions assessed for asbestos before they are removed.
Examine the line of where the floorboards used to be attached to the main house structure. You should be able to see if the floorboards were sawn off, or if there has been external capping applied. The neatness of the removal can affect how easily a new verandah can be attached to your house.
2. Measure out the verandah size
Measure out the planned verandah size, and spray paint where you plan to installed the posts. Run over the area with a small dozer or compacter to ensure that the ground can adequately support the weight of the new structure. The ground may have shifted around the house, so even if used to support a verandah you still need to ensure that it is flat and solid now.
3. Dig out the posts
Dig postholes every 4m, and reinforce the base of each post with concrete poured into the hole. Allow the concrete to set before starting the next step.
4. Attach rafter and bracing to the house
Working around the house attaching heavy rafters and galvanised steel bracketing. You may need several lengths of rafter depending on the length of your house. Rafters are usually available in multiple of 1.2m. The weight of the rafter and bracing will depend on the type, length and thickness of wood you will use for the decking.
5. Attaching the decking and sunshade or roof
Now work around the house laying the decking beams from house to yard, radiating outwards. Once you have fully attached the decking it's time to attached the roof or sunshade of roof so you can use verandah year round.
If you are not a confident DIYer this can be a challenging project. Consider consulting a verandah builder for a quote and you may be surprised how quick and affordable the job can be.