For others, the cabana is party central. It is a feature that can be all things to all people. It might be an outdoor kitchen or an entertainment nirvana with multiple televisions appearing from nowhere and a sound system to knock the socks right off guests’ feet. Fireplaces, heat lamps, fans and shade screens are all are possible inclusions that can make your cabana a comfortable space for family or guests, regardless of the weather or circumstances.
By any name, the two can serve the same basic function. The advantage to an attached covered patio is convenience and accessibility from the main living space. An attached covered patio can truly become an extension of the home, often accessed through sliding doors, or in some cases specialty pocket or folding doors.
If it is detached and simple with a lightweight roof, you might be able to design the structure yourself. Just make sure you check with your local homeowners association and planning department for setback and height restrictions before proceeding with your plans. In most cases, covered structures and cabanas require a permit from your local building jurisdiction.
If the covered structure is attached to your home, it is imperative that the structural components of the design properly coordinate with your house. Special attention needs to be given to the possible differential movement of the structure in comparison with your home, and this is usually addressed by using the same foundation type as the residence, and properly executing the roof attachment and related waterproofing.
Typically these details will be defined by a structural engineer and will vary based on individual circumstances. Whether the structure is attached or not, some cabana designs may require steel posts and beams (these are often clad in wood to create the proper design aesthetic) in addition to substantial foundation systems.
These features relate to the complexity of the project, of course, but can really make an impact on the usability of the space. In addition to fireplaces, we have had many customers use built-in heating lamps of both the gas and electric variety. These, when combined with a fireplace, can make the covered structure a year-round space, even in cold environments.
Fans and screens are also common additions, making the outdoors bearable even on the most sweltering days. The options described above often involve multiple professionals, such as electricians, plumbers, masons and low-voltage-media experts, who all need to be properly guided and managed.
In other cases, especially when constructing a freestanding cabana, this new structure allows homeowners to take their backyard style in a new direction. A cabana can stand on its own, in either a more rustic or modern style than the main house itself. This is a good place for you to seek guidance from a designer or an architect, especially if you are at all unsure of your preferred aesthetic direction.
This is in addition to the time for planning the structure. The design stage might take months if you are working with a busy architect or designer, and the permit approval stage may very well take six to eight weeks, and that’s if the plans and details are properly submitted and all goes according to plan.
Enjoy. When planned with proper forethought and constructed sensibly, an outdoor covered structure can really make a difference in the way you enjoy your yard and live your day-to-day life. I was speaking with a client the other day who said he was surprised how much he uses his outdoor structure. The covered patio has become his preferred spot for sitting down after a long day of work and sipping some wine, unwinding while watching the game on his television over the fireplace.
The cabana can be your main entertainment space, your primary dining area or your oasis for relaxation no matter what Mother Nature has in store. Like our client above, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by how much you use your new space, and just how much you love it.