Verandah types & components

Find out what type of verandah you have and what you need to be aware of when checking its components.

Types of verandah

There are four main verandah types in the Wellington region.

Modern cantilevered verandah.
Cantilevered verandah

Cantilevered verandah

This type of verandah is cantilevered off the building (supported at one end only), usually on steel beams which are fitted with metal stabilisers (tie rods) secured to the building. Most cantilevered verandahs have:

  • an internal gutter where the building and verandah join
  • either concealed or surface-mounted downpipes, which discharge through a pipe in the footpath to the street gutter.
Post-supported verandah.
Post-supported verandah

Post-supported verandah

This type of verandah tends to be an older-style verandah with:

  • a timber or steel frame
  • corrugated iron cladding
  • the gutter on the verandah’s street edge
  • downpipes secured to the posts and discharging to the street gutter.

Suspended verandah

This type of verandah is suspended from the building, usually on a structurally-designed steel frame, although there are some examples of ones with timber trussed frames. It usually has the:

  • gutter along the front edge of the verandah
  • downpipes sloping back to the building and then discharging to the street gutter via a pipe in the footpath.
Modern glazed verandah.
Glazed verandah

Glazed verandah

This type of verandah can be cantilevered, post-supported or suspended. It is constructed of a structural steel frame with glass infills and a four-edge support, or fixed with a proprietary glass fixing system. The glass used in glazed verandahs is toughened or laminated glass.

Verandah components

It's helpful to understand what components make up a verandah, and the things you need to be aware of about these components.

  • Fascia board
    This is the board fixed to the outside edge and to the ends of the verandah. The gutter is usually fixed to the fascia and this is often where a sign is installed.
  • Fire escapes.
    Some older verandahs form part of the building’s escape route in a fire. People climb down the fire escape onto the verandah where they can be rescued. Check there is free access to the verandah with no obstructions from mechanical units, signage or any other structure, and keep the fire escape in good order.
  • Mechanical units
    Examples of mechanical units are heat pumps and air conditioning units. Before installing a mechanical unit on top of the verandah, get a structural engineer to confirm the verandah can take the additional weight. A mechanical unit must be fitted with seismic restraints fixing it to the building or verandah to prevent any danger of it toppling to the ground in an earthquake.
  • Rainhead
    This is a metal box-like structure at the end/s of the gutter. It allows large volumes of rainwater to move from the gutter to the downpipe/s and then on to the street gutter. If the rainhead is overflowing, it’s likely you have a blocked downpipe. Keep the downpipe clear to prevent this.
  • Return ends
    These are the ends of the verandah. Current legislation requires them to be at a 90-degree angle to the front of the verandah.
  • Soffit lining
    This is the ceiling, usually made of sheet material (e.g. fibrous cement or metal) fixed to the underside of the verandah. It is decorative and hides the main structural elements of the verandah.
  • Splayed corner
    A verandah located on the corner of a side street or service lane needs a small splayed corner to avoid damage from vehicles such as high-sided trucks entering and leaving the side street or service lane. Installing a splayed corner will change the look of the verandah or building. If you plan to do this, discuss it with us first, especially if you own a heritage building.
  • Stormwater control system
    This system is made up of internal or external gutters, downpipes, rainheads and in-pavement stormwater pipes. These direct stormwater to the street drain or road channel and prevent it from getting inside the building and causing damage.
  • Tie rods
    These are the sloping metal stabilisers that are fixed to the building, and to the structural steel members that support a cantilevered verandah. They hold the ceiling securely in place.