Having a discussion in NJ as to what a lanai actually is.

Asked by Rdvwbugl, Toms River, NJ Fri Aug 23, 2013

Is it the part that overhangs, and protects from rain, or is it the entire screened in area?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Pamela Civitillo’s answer
Pamela Civit…, Agent, Rotonda Englewood Port Charlotte, FL
Mon Jan 20, 2014
Lanai is covered and usually screened and you can use for extra living space, entertainment area etc.
Some are not air conditioned, some are.

Pam Civitillo, Realtor
Becky Borci Realty, LLC.
0 votes
Chad Vogt, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Tue Sep 24, 2013
A Lanai is typically covered, and protected from the rain. A Lanai is also usually screened in or has been converted to a fully enclosed room.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Aug 23, 2013
Homes in St Petersburg, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Dunedin and all around Florida often advertise a patio, porch, veranda or lanai. What’s the difference between them?

A patio is typically an outdoor space adjacent to a residence that is paved and does not have a roof. It may use pavers, brick, stone or concrete (if it’s made of wood, it would typically be called a deck). It’s used for relaxing, recreation or dining. In Spanish style homes it may refer to the interior courtyard. Many masonry homes in the St Petersburg area will have patios, especially smaller ones.

A porch is an extension to the exterior of a house, generally at the same level as the floor inside. It usually has a wood floor and generally has a roof. It may be on the front, back or side of the home and a home may have multiple porches. The sides may be open, screened, glassed or have lattice. It can be utilitarian, to protect you from the elements while you’re waiting to enter the home or a place to take off your boots or garden shoes; it can be the size of a room, with furniture for relaxing or dining. The materials and style are generally compatible with the house it’s attached to. Frame homes in older St Petersburg neighborhoods like the Old Northeast and Kenwood will typically have porches.

A veranda or verandah may be a large porch that’s a room for entertaining or it may be a gallery running along one or more sides of the home, roofed, perhaps with a railing. Often a verandah will wrap around a house – think Victorian or New Orleans style here – perhaps on the front and both sides. Verandas aren’t as common in St Petersburg but there are occasional Victorian style homes and some of the 1920s Mediterranean style homes will have them.

A lanai is less frequently defined, and often as a roofed porch or verandah. Actually it’s the Hawaiian word for patio or balcony. In Florida we wouldn’t use lanai for a balcony. A lanai is a typical term in a tropical climate and generally is furnished like a room. It may have removable panels of glass, screen or plastic and would usually have a hard surface floor, similar to a patio. Lanais are found in many Pinellas County neighborhoods – think of the masonry waterfront homes in Venetian Isles, Broadwater and Yacht Club Estates. Most recently build homes do have a lanai. Some builder whould argue a proper lanai is beneath the same roof as the main house. These would exclude Florida rooms or any flatroof appendage to a house.

Like so many terms, these will mean different things in different parts of the country. Not only that, even in the same city you’ll find the terms aren’t used consistently. In Florida, including Palm Harbor, Clearwater, and Dunedin, real estate, the terms patio, porch and lanai may be used to describe the same space, depending on who is doing the describing. They all however imply expanded seasonal living space.
0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Fri Aug 23, 2013
There are different types of lanais here in Florida. Typically most people think of a lanai as a roof covered area enclosed with screens. It is connected to the home by one wall and the three sides are screened. You can have patio furniture and usually a ceiling fan where people sit to enjoy the fresh air, have dinner, play cards, sit by the pool, etc. A lanai can have screens, vinyl windows, or acrylic windows too. If it has vinyl or acrylic windows then people tend to use them more often like 3 seasons. Some people have extended lanai's that do not have a roof over, just a cement pad with a screen enclosure over it similar to a screened enclosed pool. It definitely it a must for some people when looking for a home. It provides extra outdoor living space that is kind of like an extension of your home.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
0 votes
Then is the screen that encloses the lanai, and the pool, called a cage?
Flag Fri Aug 23, 2013
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Fri Aug 23, 2013
[lah-nah-ee, luh-nahy] Show IPA
noun, plural la·na·is. Hawaiian.
a veranda, especially a fully furnished one used as a living room.

La·nai (l-n)
An island of central Hawaii west of Maui. It developed as a pineapple-growing area after 1922.

I guess as long as your veranda is on an island west of Maui, you're good to go! LOL!
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more