I have recently published two articles which is charting the progress of my own home improvement project. You can read Part One here and Part Two here.

Up to now, I have removed plaster from a back wall (not an easy job), taken an old conservatory down and taken up some very well used and partly rotten decking. This is the before and after:

The builder starts on Thursday, building up a squared-off, Indian stone patio area with steps, and is now relaying a path you cannot see on the above pictures in the same material. There’s plenty to do, including laying some turf in place of old flags.

My choice of product to put on the new patio is the rather sexy new Verandah product from Prefix Systems. You can find out more about it by clicking here.

But after taking down a conservatory, some might wonder why we haven’t chosen to go for a new one. There’s a few reasons.

Two people

We live in a three bedroom house and there’s only two of us. The old conservatory suffered the same perennial weather problems and in the end became a dumping ground for us. We really only use a few rooms in the house, and we didn’t want the new one, no matter how nice it was, to become just another dumping area.

Even if the old conservatory was in a state to be used, our own personal habits mean we probably wouldn’t have used it anyway. We eat in our kitchen/dining room which is a good size. We relax in the lounge where the TV is. We wouldn’t really feel inclined to use a conservatory, new or old, to do said things.

Entertaining

One of my biggest draws for going for a Verandah is that it creates a brilliant area in which to entertain. The patio area is going to be a pretty decent size, and will easily take our bar, outdoor table and chairs and patio heaters for the colder months. The Verandah creates an environment where we can entertain friends and family all year round, and yet be outside to enjoy whatever weather is outside.

Where the Verandah is going to go is in quite a sheltered area anyway. That side of our house is often protected from the weather as it usually comes from the other way. We also have fences both sides. It will create quite an enclosed yet open area, and should be easily comfortable all year round.

And perhaps more than anything else, given the reasons stated above, we just wanted to go for something different. A glazed extension isn’t the only option in the world when it comes to outdoor living solutions. I saw the Verandah product for the first time at the FIT Show in April and it immediately stood out to me as a very good alternative solution for people who want to make the most of their garden space, but don’t want something as heavy duty as a new glazed extension.

Appeal

It is hard to deny that the Verandah has genuine appeal. It is perhaps the best looking glazed canopy solution on the market right now. A mix of traditional and modern aesthetics which can be tweaked to one extreme or the other. It’s certainly not a posh car port!

Even our fitters have asked to see the finished article as it’s something they all would like to have on the back of their properties.

Once a few installations have been completed, including my own, I think the Verandah has massive potential. The appearance is spot on, and the pricing point is right too. I have recently priced up a medium sized one, and personally I thought that it was very reasonable given the quality of the product. This is an important factor if Prefix want to make this a success. It has to be at a price that’s affordable for most, and I believe it is.

So those are my reasons for going for the Verandah and not a glazed extension. Do you think I’ve done the right thing? How do you think it will look when it’s done? All comments welcome via the section below.

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