Do's & Dont's Of Veranda Design


Do build to the area you are in

Look, my view is you’ve got to build to the area that you are in. And it all depends on the house you are attaching to; if you are attaching to the house. And you can’t do any design on any house because all houses are different

You can’t read a catalogue and you try to morph whatever is in there unto your house. Chances are it is not going to work. So it is the recommendation of the company that you take the opportunity to talk to one of the design consultants. Collectively we have had more than 40 years experience in this, so it is not like we don’t workshop these things through

Do fit your Budget

So it is not just that. Sometimes you’ve got plan A, plan B, plan C. And perhaps the client’s budget comes into what we are doing.

Do take into account light, heat, and height 

What I like to guide clients on is how much light they want into their home, how much heat gets in there. And I think an important factor is the height of the veranda. The higher they get, the more wind they suck in.

Don't make it too high

And if I could say just Rocky, sometimes if your veranda is too high it has an inhuman aspect to it. Like we are moving to a large cathedral and the roof is right up there you are just not feeling comfortable. It doesn’t feel like you are in a room.

Do build within permit requirements

I think the big note too is building within permit requirements. Because all of a sudden you are doing what could be a simple structure, but a small adjustment here or there will soon make it a very clean process when doing permits. Otherwise it could just drag out forever and a day. A lot of money can be spent for very low gain.

Do take into account each person's desires

To me what a lot of people are worried about is the light and I think if you design something without taking into account each person’s desires it will be awful having a structure go up and they are upset about it.

Do take into account future plans

It’s not about just now, it’s also about future plans. Because if you go and put something that becomes a corner stone. And I guess if you have big elaborate plans I guess it is always important to look at the bigger picture

Do be careful of laser lights on a west facing area

Not just light, but controlling heat as well. A lot of people actually have said they get upset because it is west facing. But if you want to block out the heat a simple thing most people do to do is actually put up laser light. But that could be very hot on a west facing area.

We have newer technology that we can let in light without heat. One thing that is probably the most problematic product in the past, weather-plast

Inevitably we’d go out to a client’s house and they’d say we hate this veranda, it is just too hot. And often on the other side of it we are receiving a call from someone who wants to put in a laser light veranda. In all but very few cases, most of the times, laser light will radiate heat. What I don’t like about laser light is it doesn’t stay looking new for long.

Clear laser light, frosted laser light is another product.

Don't spend money on things you don't need

I always try and save the client money where I can. If they don’t need to spend the money, I am not going to ask them to do it. A small well- planned space is far better than a big space that does nothing.

I am a strong believer in saying don’t do more than you need. Otherwise it becomes a storage area.

It should be to scale. You know simple is usually best


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What Warranties Do I Get With A Veranda

The warranties that protect our types of structures are 15 years structural and 10 years workmanship.

Workmanship guarantee

You can rest easy with our workmanship guarantee. With other firms that employ subcontractors, you ring them up after 8 years and say after a heavy rain that 'there's a leak, what do I do?' They say we’ll give you Johnny’s number. You ring him

What about other companies warranties?

Out there in the field there are companies that have come up over the last year or so. They are offering a 15 year product warranty, and haven’t been around in business for a year. How the heck can they offer more than that as a warranty?

We have been in business for more than 10 years

Our own building teams

Because we use our own building teams all you have to do, with the slightest complaint, ring up our office. We’ll send out a tradesman to fix it. End of story.

Stratco guarantee and our own

I think the other big thing too is although the 15 years comes from Stratco against the system - Stratco also ask us to give 12 months for our work. But we have upped that to 10 years, which is unheard of, 10 times what’s asked of us. That is a big stamp to say we know what we are doing.

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What Is The Process Involved In Building A Veranda

That is a very good question We get asked it a lot. Do I build the deck first? Do I do my concreting first? Do I do my roof first? What is the process?

Is it the same process as building a home?

Most people believe that the process is the same as for a house, where you do your foundation and then you build the walls up from that. Not the case with a veranda. Because a veranda is self sufficient and is its own structure.

Should we do any landscaping or flooring first?

We like to go before any other landscaping or flooring is done The only time you may engage somebody to do flooring first is if potential preparation is required, such as:

  • There is an old concrete slab that needs to be ripped up
  • There is a very unlevelled ground and we are going to have to cut in to get the levels right.


But if we get to go before the concrete and decking it it does it gives you a better finished product. We get to go down into earth and put on our own fittings. Then the carpenter will come and build a deck around that. The concrete will finish up around us. Rather than having to bolt on to concrete; which although it can be done, and we do it quite often on existing concrete, it is a nicer finish if you haven’t actually done the concrete beforehand.


Decking you can never attach to. The decking structure was never built for a wood lift with our design and attachment methods. So we would have to actually lift up your deck so that we can go down into earth and then you’d have to engage your carpenter to come and build around.

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Timber vs Colorbond Steel Veranda

Statco colorbond steel

Install a veranda works exclusively with Stratco designed and engineered colorbond steel, that   is sourced from blue sculpt steel right here in Victoria. It’s a local product.

You wouldn’t even consider something like timber against that, Is your home worth it?

Wood is organic, and doesn't last as long

When we are getting down to basics, wood is an organic material. And I don’t care how it is prepared, cut, dried, treated, painted or coated, it is an organic material. By its very nature it is going to start reacting with the environment straight away

My view is that you actually can’t get the hardwood that you used to get 18-20 years ago. A lot of these structures after 4 or 5 years are rotting in places. And there’s been plenty of places that I’ve gone out to where we’ve had to pulled down structures that have only been up 5 or 6 years. So it ends up being the less cost effective choice, because you are going to end up replacing the whole structure.

Fire code and other issues

A couple of other things with wood that really stand out with me. Since 2006 most of Melbourne has been under a really strict fire code. A lot of the fringe areas around the bell ratings, you can’t build a timber product outside a house under a bell rated area. It can’t happen. And here’s the other one, the mere nature of having to paint it, there’s a texture on it that insects could crawl over. It’s a very hard for a spider to get a spider web going on a Stratco veranda.

Steel is a better look, and lasts longer

They always look a lot cleaner don’t they?

For the years that I’ve been doing this I would probably replace a timber structure weekly, go out and quote I mean. I don’t think I’ve ever had to go out and replace a steel veranda. And that speaks to the longevity of a timber veranda.

Like a colorbond fence. You do a timber one and you know that you are going to have to replace it whether colorbond finished or not, six weeks, six months or six years old

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How Much Does A Veranda Cost

What does a veranda cost?

A lot of people, when they get us out to look, have no idea about the cost of these things. I can say that maybe the most cost effective design is a flat roof. And it will cost more if you are doing gables or curved roofs because there is more steel involved. And a curved roof will often go up in one day, other roofs can take longer, 2-3 days. And that can be reflected in the cost.

It is a bit like asking what is a car cost. Do you want a Toyota or a Ferrari? You get what you pay for. But I think it could be stated right at the start. We are not talking hundreds of dollars. We are talking in the thousands of dollars. Everyone seems to know what a swimming pool is going to cost them, what a top barbecue is going to cost them. You do get what you pay for with a veranda.

Bigger verandas

And it is worth mentioning that the bigger those things become, the more cost effective it is. hat does not mean it is getting cheaper as it gets bigger. It is just costing less per square metre. There are also quite a few different factors as well; like height and all these other things .


That is why we actually need to come out and look at the area. And then we can basically make an assessment and price it up accordingly.

Does my house affect the cost?

In some instances your house alone can really dictate the cost, such as:

  • type of the house.
  • the height of the fascias.
  • are you on a slope?
  • do we need to we need to use structural columns?
  • what the house is made of?

How do our costs compare?

In the open marketplace our customers get the fairest price. At the end of the day, we are in a very competitive industry. And most of the time, the costs right through the industry are pretty much more of a muchness. We are very competitive with our costs

Many customers say to me that 'the quality way outlasts the price'. That is the same old saying, 'you pay for what you get'.

Quality is more important than price


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