Since moving into our country home close to five years ago, one of the most urgent tasks was to put a roof over the veranda, which we did a little while ago; however, there were still aspects that required attention. Firstly, while the veranda was well under one meter from ground level, I didn’t like the fact that it didn’t have a balustrade; as I preferred to err on the side of safety. Secondly, I also wanted to partially enclosure the veranda, because the prevailing weather blows cold wind and rain from one end (see photograph below), and when it’s not raining, leaves take over, producing a constant mess. In the long term, this isn’t good for the veranda and anything within. So with this in mind, we finally got moving on finishing off what we started some time ago.
However, things have taken a lot longer than expected, mainly because I’ve designed and re-designed things numerous times (in my head), as you only really have one chance to get things aesthetically (hopefully) and building regulation right. I didn’t want the veranda to be completely enclosed, so that it would retain an open feeling and that light would still get in (being south facing), but I did want parts of it enclosed so that it would provide a weather proof entertainment area and to allow for some style and comfort. The first step was to build frames onto which the inside and outside panelling could be attached. This involved a simple framework and the outside was then covered in cement sheeting to provide a durable surface for painting, as well as a good fire resistant surface. This semi-enclosed area would then be able to provide warmth and overall comfort, especially during winter, as we could finally use the Chiminea again.
The next stage involved panelling the inside, but before I did that, I wanted to complete the middle ‘open’ sections that would provide a feature for the veranda and a degree of openness. This was actually quite simple and involved using left over hardwood from the veranda roof construction and lengths of rebar (reinforcing bar) that is normally used for concreting. The rebar was left out in the rain for several days so that it became fully coated in rust and then I applied some HiChem Motospray Rust Converter (I love this stuff), which gave the rebar a beautiful, dark, patina type finish. It worked a treat on the rusty Chiminea as well. The idea here was to have two panels looking somewhat rustic and giving an open feeling to the veranda, though I’m not sure that’s what our hounds think about this arrangement.
Once the centre sections were complete, there were two other aspects that needed to be finished off before the internal panelling was installed. These were, painting the cement sheeting and installing the tops onto the ‘balustrades’. I decided to use 140mm wide Merbau decking for the tops, to give a contrasting colour to the rest of the setting, being a dark red to the lighter hardwood. All of the exposed timber decking has been coated with Intergrain Ultradeck stain as it really brings out the colours of the timber and is so easy to work with compared to regular stains, and it provides a very hard wearing, weather-resistant, coating. The cement sheeting was coated with Wattyl Solagard Natural Stone Finish.
So with the external walls completed, the internal panelling could then be tackled, as well as the hearth for the Chiminea, which I’ll cover in Part 2. So many things still to do, including cleaning the outside stonework once summer arrives.