What is a Lanai?
By Harden Custom Homes 19 Apr 2019

Newcomers to Florida may hear the word “lanai” to describe a feature of their house but may be unclear exactly what a lanai is. Often a lanai is contrasted with a porch, patio, or veranda. The word itself is Hawaiian, meaning patio or balcony, but it has come to have a slightly different meaning in the housing market of Florida, more contrastive with patios. Although lanais are not unique to Florida, they are quite common in Florida’s sub-tropical climate. When you’re designing a custom home, it’s important to understand the differences between these types of structures and spaces so that you can get exactly what you want in your new home.

Generally, a patio is a paved or hard surface on the exterior of the home without a roof, while a porch or veranda is a wood-floored area attached to the house with a roof over it. A Lanai combines both of these. Generally a lanai has a roof over it and is incorporated into the floorplan because of the roof, but it has a solid floor, often concrete, and is usually enclosed with screening or even glass. Often a lanai is furnished as if it were another room in the home that happens to be more or less outdoors and giving a nice view on the landscape. Most Floridians opt to have a screened lanai, as pictured above just to keep any debris, bugs, or anthing else from entering their outdoor space or pool.

A lanai might even be a large space big enough to house an in-ground pool. Because it’s entirely screened in, the pool deck is almost like another room in the house. People will often set up lounging chairs and tables, and the pool will connect to the rest of the house with sliding glass doors. Like other lanais, this becomes another living space in the home, even though it is more exposed to the environment.

So when you’re designing your own new custom home, be sure to consider whether you want a lanai. With Florida’s amazing year-round weather and outdoor culture, a lanai is a great addition to a Florida home. Be sure to contact Harden Custom Homes to discuss your options. Call us today at (239) 205-5075.