As soon as the sun rises, along with the warm weather, you would want a place where you can enjoy the summer climate but, at the same time, be in the comfort of the shade. A cozy transitional lanai can do that and more.

If you live in a predominantly cold climate, you’re probably unfamiliar with a lanai. Especially when all you know about a semi-outdoor space is a porch or patio. What’s different about this Hawaiian structure is the appeal that it can add to your home. And with One Handy Haole Services in Hawaii, you can make your dream lanai happen.

You might be wondering, “What is a lanai?

The term for this architectural staple began during the 19th century and pertained to a rear porch under an extended roof line with foundations supporting it. The lanai was commonly seen in residential and commercial buildings all over Hawaii until it became popular in other tropical countries. Soon, every home with a warm climate incorporates a lanai as a staple.

Typically, a lanai has an enclosure with one side open or at least fully covered but with an access opening. The latter helps for better air circulation, especially when the weather’s inviting. A lanai often serves as a secondary living room due to its elements built for the outdoors. From the furniture and furnishings, a lanai is more suitable in warm climates. Adding one in a cold region might defeat its purpose.

The Different Indoor-Outdoor Areas of a Home

Flooring installation in-progress

It’s understandable to confuse the transitional lanai, porch, patio, and veranda. Here’s what makes them different and other vital characteristics you should know of:


A porch is found at the building’s entrance. It is an outdoor space despite being covered since it doesn’t have any screens, windows, doors, or walls surrounding it. But sometimes, homeowners put up a screened porch which is kind of similar to a transitional lanai. It helps protect homeowners from insects flying around the outdoors.


A patio is typically paved and sometimes, elevated by a few steps as it’s built on ground level. One of its distinctive features is the lack of covering, even from above like a roof. Patios are also usually found at the entrance. They’re not necessarily built to connect to the building but rather, they’re placed near it. But even if a patio becomes covered, it hardly counts as a transitional lanai.


The veranda is similar to a patio. It’s a partially covered space where the elements of a porch and deck are combined. A veranda is a bit larger than a porch to accommodate more furniture. It’s also built in a way that is not separate from the rest of the building, unlike a patio.

What sets the transitional lanai from the rest?

The transitional lanai is distinctive from the rest because it’s pretty much a combination of all the areas mentioned above. It has the enclosure of a porch and veranda, plus the elevation of a balcony. However, the latter doesn’t always apply because a lanai is mainly built on the ground.

One of the best things about a lanai is the privacy it brings into the room, not because it’s beyond entry level. A lanai also features a lot of materials like concrete or cement. In this structure, the style, size, and purpose may vary. The only crucial thing is the abundance of furniture and the function of the space as a secondary living room.

Why should to add a transitional lanai to your home?

Outdoor space of a residential home

Relaxation in the outdoors is the ultimate goal of a lanai. Homeowners can entertain guests or spend intimate time alone or with loved ones. A lanai is commonly associated with being in harmony with nature. And as modern architecture continues to evolve and derive from various global influences, the charm of having a lanai grows even more among homeowners. Having a lanai at home is correct regardless of where you live, as long as the weather accommodates. A space for yourself is crucial for your well-being, and a lanai can be a solution for peak relaxation.

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