Living in Oahu is certainly like paradise most of the time, though we’re still prone to intense rainstorms during nighttime hours, not including rare hurricanes. As a result, you may want an enclosed area around your home where you can entertain guests without any chance of unexpected weather ruining a party.
While you might think of the term “porch” as an American tradition in outdoor design, Hawaiians call them lanais.
Defining What a Lanai Is
You can call a lanai an alternative to traditional porches or even a sunroom. Considering building a sunroom is far more costly; building a lanai is usually a smarter way to work on a budget.
Most people describe a lanai as being made of concrete and placed on flat ground adjacent to a home, even though they do have slight differences in porches seen elsewhere.
It’s possible to add various things to your lanai to make it work as an alternative to indoor/outdoor living.
Working with a professional drafting service, they’ll help you figure out what to add and the size you need.
The Budget for Building a Lanai
Typically, the cost of building a lanai is fairly reasonable, depending on the materials used. Some sources say you can build it for under $3,000, though typical patio enclosures often go into the five figures.
If you build the lanai yourself based off of plans from a professional drafting service, you’re already saving yourself money.
Regardless, when considering a DIY project on this level, you have to consider your skill level and whether you can get it done in a quality way. You can when you have an easy-to-follow plan with building permit issues worked out in advance.
How Big Should Your Lanai Be?
When you work with a drafting service, they’ll calculate exactly how large your lanai can realistically be. Certain Oahu building permits might not allow the size you want.
You’ll still be able to build a lanai on your property in most situations. The only exception could come from living in a flood zone. Should you live in one of these zones, building a lanai could become more complicated.
Since lanais are often made of concrete, having a flood could potentially and quickly ruin the materials used.
Design issues like these are easily worked out with a professional drafting service so you can make the best decisions on how to approach outdoor living spaces.
Adding Glass or a Screen Around Your Lanai
Most lanais typically have glass enclosures around them to make them feel like a hybrid outdoor-indoor room. Not all are designed this way, especially here in Hawaii. Only in colder climates would creating a glass enclosure around your lanai make more sense.
The weather here in Oahu is warm most of the year, with rains occurring occasionally in the winter. In this case, a screen might work best in your design. This makes it open to the fresh Hawaiian air while still protecting you and guests from an unexpected rainstorm.
Using Outdoor Furniture as a Second Living Area
The point of a lanai is to use it all year-round as an additional living area, or ADU (additional dwelling unit). Technically, you could even sleep within your lanai if you have a solid screen protection around you from insects and weather.
Many families add outdoor furniture on their lanais for entertaining guests. All of this can become a part of your lanai plan when drafting how it’s going to look.
Contact us at Owner Built Design, LLC to use our expert drafting services to plan out your lanai this year. We also help with engineering issues and building permits.