What is a Lanai? Differences with Veranda, Patio & Porch

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What is a Lanai? Differences with Veranda, Patio & Porch

Let us guess: You never heard of the word “lanai”, unless you come from Hawaii or Florida, or you have lived there for a long time. Now you are wondering, what is a lanai?!

The term “lanai”, which sounds so cute, originated in Hawaii. It is more commonly used in tropical areas such as Florida, the Sunshine State, etc. Lanai means “open shelter” (meaning a tree-shaded place where you can sit outside).

Okay, back to what you came here for: What is a lanai?

Lanai means a hard-surfaced floor that is typically set up like an outdoor room. In the right circumstances, porches, patios, and verandas could all be labeled “lanais”. Again, a lanai is usually connected to a backdoor rather than the front door of your home. Most of the time, it is covered in glass.

Wait, what? Glass?

Yeah, you read it right. But don’t worry. Even though when we think of glass, we immediately think of something that breaks easily, this is not the case. Lanais typically feature strong glass, hard to break or even damage. So, yeah, we are safe!

What is a Lanai? Differences with Veranda, Patio & Porch

Origin of the term Lanai

The phrase Lanai comes from Hawaii and Hawaiian architecture has been inspired in most cases with the aid of using Victorian patterns from Great Britain and French Creole features, as well.

A standard Hawaiian residence frequently has one connected to the living area, which serves as an extension of the home’s indoor space—and it also works as a separate room with many home windows and doorways for airflow throughout.

These lanais tend to look more like porches than anything else, due to the fact they don’t simply connect to the residence/house at all.

Since Florida, for example, is an area of infinite summer, it is no marvel that its outdoors usually function with a lanai.

What is a lanai used for?

  • A Lanai can act as a second living space with more than enough room
  • It offers residents an extension of their house outdoors
  • It is perfect to stay safe but comfy during rany days

Similarities and differences between Lanais, Patios, Verandas and Porchs

What is a Lanai? Differences with Veranda, Patio & Porch


Patios are typically paved at the floor level, rather than porches and verandas. They are flat areas that have been paved on concrete to create an outdoor living area and can be used for dining, working on projects, or relaxing.

Furthermore, a patio won’t be directly connected to the building but instead placed near it. The maximum fundamental shape of a patio is a paved floor withinside the yard, fabricated from numerous materials.

The paved area may be protected and enclosed, however, this may not make a distinction in defining it. If screened, it will function as a sheltered outdoor oasis. Furthermore, with some heating, a patio with screen enclosures will provide a unique outside experience in the colder months.

A patio is an outside residing area set along or close to the home, eating place, etc. A floor level of pavers, brick, stone, or concrete creates an open-air room that’s perfect for relaxing, eating, or entertaining.

Why would you wrap this space as a patio display enclosure? Well, glass covered patios let you continue enjoying the screened area while simultaneously providing a pleasant degree of haven and separation all year round.

But now and then, they will additionally be extended if you’re constructing it above some other floor like your basement!

Do you want to get more specific? Here’s a list of the best known types of patios:

  • Pea Gravel Patios
  • Brick Paver Patios
  • Stone Infill Patios
  • Wood Patios
  • Clement Patios
  • Free Standing Design

What is the difference between a lanai and a patio?

In the Hawaiian Islands, a small porch or covered deck on an outdoor area is referred to as a “lanai”. Any patio, veranda, or porch may be referred to as a lanai in a more general sense.

On the other hand, the word implies a larger area that could be thought of as an added room outside the house. Like other exterior extensions, lanais are connected to an entryway and have a roof covering them.

What is a Lanai? Differences with Veranda, Patio & Porch


A porch is constructed in front of the house entrance. It is an outside extension on the same floor level as the interior. Porches can frequently be enclosed for safety from the weather, insects, and different outside factors.

Porches may be founded at each the back and front of your house. There are severe styles of porches such as:

  • Screened-in
  • Gazebo
  • Sunrooms
  • Front Porch
  • Back Porch
  • Open Porch
  • Rain Porch
  • Detached Porch
  • Screened Porch
  • A Portico etc.

While it sits outdoors, it can be enclosed with the aid of using framing, column, or partitions. In addition, there’s a roof or protection that offers coloration and a haven withinside the porch area.

Why might you enclose a porch? A screened porch can maintain bugs, particles, and ultraviolet radiation out. This makes your porch enclosure even extra fun and pleasant.

It can offer privateness whilst concurrently being open sufficient for airflow or a few mild while not having an excessive amount of exposure at once!

What Makes a Porch a Lanai, other than the ground floor?

The term “Lanai” is typically used incorrectly when referring to a covered deck or veranda or another similar structure, yet neither of these names implies a roof or protection. The Hawaiian word Lanai, which translates to “Porch” in English, is the source of the Lanai, which is a porch with a roof.

A home’s covered porch is referred to as a lanai. Due to the considerable number of year-round residents in Hawaii, it is a feature of the majority of residences.

What is a Lanai? Differences with Veranda, Patio & Porch


A veranda is a form of porch that stretches alongside one complete facet of the residence, with a roof and walls. Some verandas can even go around the corner and embody numerous sides. An opportunity call for this extension is a wraparound porch. It is used for anything, from access to entertaining to storage!

A veranda is a porch, however not every porch is a veranda. That is because a veranda is an extended porch that extends alongside one or greater aspects of a domestic or building. Screening a veranda supplies a precious dwelling area and a perfect spot to experience the outside regardless of the weather.

It may be small or huge and enclosed like a porch or open like a balcony (with posts instead of stable walls).

Verandas are typically connected to large homes however regularly they may also be freestanding and constructed one after the other from the real home itself.

Some verandas are enclosed whilst others have a door or display that may be used for privacy. This means that there are two main types:

  • Open Concept
  • Enclosed Design

What’s The Difference Between Veranda and Lanai?

“Veranda” and “lanai” are frequently used interchangeably. A veranda is typically an open gallery or covered porch that is found on the front of a house and is not connected to any room. If a lanai doesn’t have its roof, it may nonetheless be similarly open on all sides.

Why do you need a Lanai for Your Home?

There’s too much humidity with the weather, or there’s a bug symphony out in full force. Sporadic storms are difficult to forecast, or a sunburn seems unavoidable.

You don’t have to be content with admiring the blue skies through shady windows, despite whatever summer traps are holding you back from embracing the sunny aspects of the season.

Instead, look for structures like Florida’s lanais that combine protection from the weather with a feeling of being outdoors to give you the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the outdoors from your living space, without really going out.

Does it matter where you live?

Lanais are typically found in Florida, Hawaii, etc, but there are no rules. A lanai depends on your taste. If you have enough space outdoors and you like them, why not get them?

What is the difference between a sunroom and a lanai?

A lanai is often an addition to a house or apartment that is constructed on an exterior wall to give the residents greater room. A sunroom will also be attached to a house or apartment complex, but it will stand alone and be surrounded by glass outer walls.

How much does a screened lanai cost?

Whether or not you’re merely screening in an existing structure will also affect how much it costs to install a screened-in lanai. Make sure to conduct thorough research to discover the greatest price because a screened lanai may also be referred to as a patio enclosure.

The typical cost of constructing a full patio enclosure is about $16,000. Of course, this cost might differ significantly according to size, design, and other factors. If you want more customization for your new screened-in lanai, budget somewhere between $1,600 and $3,000 or more. The typical price of a full-service screen company, including installation, ranges from $22 to $75 per square foot.

In addition to providing a sense of solitude, an enclosed lanai is a wonderful way to keep insects like biting flies and mosquitoes out of the house. Florida has a lot of screened lanais because of the state’s high humidity and abundance of flying insects. This does not imply that you must live in Florida to appreciate the elegance and practicality of a screened-in lanai. Look for screen materials that, based on the environment where you live and other considerations, will keep up well. The full-service screen company will help you in selecting the one that will best suit your needs. These are some of the most used materials:

  • Aluminium and stainless steel
  • Fiberglass
  • Vinyl-coated polyester
  • Copper etc.

Did you decide what to do with your outdoor space already?

We hope we helped you understand better the terms above and that you have finally made up your mind about the type of furniture you are going to choose for your outdoor space, the screen enclosures, protection features and other elements. We are so excited already!

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I'm Andrea, a decor and interior design expert who loves to share her tips and tricks for creating a beautiful home. I believe everyone deserves to live in a space that makes them happy, and love helping others achieve that. I'm always on the lookout for new trends and ideas to share with her readers. Can’t wait to help you create your dream home!