Creating Your Lanai: the Thrifty Method

Florida’s outdoor lifestyle is a major reason many people move to the Sunshine State each year.

Its gorgeous beaches, world-class attractions and temperate climate are other factors, but the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors year-round is simply irresistible for most home buyers, particularlyCreating Your Lanai the Thrifty Method those from colder climates.

No matter why you’re headed here, being able to walk out your back door and fire up a grill in January while wearing short sleeves, probably sounds pretty good.

Part of the process of building a new custom Florida home is deciding how to configure that outdoor living space. When you build with us at ICI Homes, a lanai — a covered, hard-paved outdoor living area — is included in each floor plan.

And, here’s where a lot of us will have to get creative. Some of us can install a backyard-sized koi pond without having to consult a budget. Most of us can’t or shouldn’t. Here’s how to get the versatile outdoor living space you want for your lanai without blowing your home-building budget.

Start here

Every potential ICI Homes customer can take advantage of our complementary customization consultation. It’s offered at a critical junction in the home-buying process — at the beginning, when you’re deciding how much house you want, what kind of house to build, and where.

Once you know your neighborhood, schedule your customization consultation. You’ll meet with one of our talented floor plan designers who can help you select an ICI Homes plan, tweak one you like, or design something uniquely yours — often at little or no cost.

The key? Telling our designer as much as possible about how your household uses a house, your needs, wishes and must-haves.

That includes your lanai. Since each ICI Homes floor plan comes with a lanai appropriate to that home’s square footage, ask our designer about enclosing that outdoor space with screens or sliding glass doors. Or, leave it open as a versatile gathering and activity space.

Add a small summer kitchen. (Many of our opens in a new windowinventory homes already come with a rough-in for a summer kitchen.) Perhaps a fire pit safely beyond the roof overhang, with room to pull up outdoor seating. Maybe a small fountain is more your thing.

The key is communicating with our designer, who can sketch out your ideas AND keep your budget happy.

Lanai suggestions

Ceiling fans are indispensable, both as cooling and air-stirring devices. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes nowadays, and a fun design can add some thrifty flair to your lanai.

Durable, comfortable outdoor seating is worth shopping and waiting for; try sales geared around national holidays. Moisture-resistant materials give you more bang for your buck by allowing seating to be used under the lanai roof, and pushed outside onto a patio area.

Good lighting is important for both safety and ambiance. Reading on your porch at night requires a good lamp. Scones and solar path lights can add atmosphere and act as guides.

Ready for your custom Florida home? opens in a new windowTalk to ICI Homes here.