Lanai vs Patio: What’s the Difference?


What's the difference between lanai and patio

A lanai is a Hawaiian word that means “porch or veranda,” and it is often seen as the Hawaiian equivalent to a patio.

What’s the difference between lanai and patio? The term lanai can be used to describe various styles of porches, patios, balconies, and other similar structures.

In this blog post we will explore what those differences between these two outdoor spaces are so you can decide which one best fits your needs!

Is A Lanai A Patio?

Yes. A lanai is a covered porch, patio or balcony that provides an outdoor room or space. Sometimes it contains furniture to be used as an outdoor living space for dining, entertaining and other activities.

The materials of the lanai can vary greatly depending on where you live but most contain some sort of weatherproof material such as wood shake shingles or metal tile roof coverings so water doesn’t get in when it rains.

If your home has no place to dine outside during nice weather months this could provide just what you need!

Read More: Cost To Build A Pool And Lanai In Florida [Calculator]

What Is Considered A Lanai?

A lanai is a porch, patio or balcony that is part of a building. It can be attached to the main house but it does not have to be.

In Hawaii, they often refer to this as an “open air room” because people use them for outdoor living and entertaining space.

A lanai typically has some kind of solid wall or railing on at least two sides with one being open towards the view outside.

Depending on where you live, your property will most likely need a permit in order for you to build a new lanai so check with your local authorities before getting started!

If there are already railings around it then chances are good that all you’ll need is permission from whoever lives inside the home if you want access through the house as well.

What Do You Call A Patio In Florida?

In Florida, people often call a covered porch or veranda outside of their house “a lanai”.

The entrance to this area will have sliding doors so you can let in fresh air and enjoy nature even when inside your home!

It’s the same as saying “backyard”, but it isn’t always fenced off from the rest of the property.

What Is The Purpose Of a Lanai?

The purpose of a Lanai is to provide outdoor living space and can be used as an extension of your home, sunbathing area or just somewhere where you could enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family.

A lānai (pronounced la-ney) refers to any type of exterior open-air porch area on top of the floor at your house.

The Hawaiian language consists primarily of words derived from other languages such as English but has some terminology which was invented by natives themselves like Lani, Lahui & Kanaka ʻŌiwi.

What Is The Purpose Of a Patio?

A patio is an outdoor flooring that can be used for dining, entertaining or simply relaxing.

Patios are usually made of concrete but they can also be made out of other materials such as tile, wood and even grass in some cases.

A personal favorite to consider when considering the purpose of a patio would definitely have to include how it adds value to your home by creating extra usable living space.

Outside your perimeter walls where you could enjoy nature year round without having much effort involved with taking care of it like maintaining plants and lawns during their growing seasons throughout the entire planet’s weather patterns.

Can A Lanai Be Enclosed?

A lanai is an outdoor room that’s often enclosed by sliding doors or floor-to-ceiling windows. It can be used as a living space, dining area, entertainment center, and more!

Enclosure for your lanai depends upon several factors like the size of the enclosure, the number of walls you want to enclose (open-air vs screened), budget, and personal preference.

Can A Lanai Be Indoors?

Yes, A lanai can be indoors but it is recommended that a lanai is connected to the main living area.

Lanai’s are meant for outdoor use and should have some sort of separation from the rest of your home.

This will reduce drafts in colder weather, insects flying into open doors or windows, heat loss on cold nights, and give you better airflow during warmer months when opening windows allows fresh air to circulate throughout your house.

It’s also important to note how much direct sunlight comes through glass sliding doors which could potentially damage hardwood flooring if not properly protected with rugs or runners.

Why Do Florida Homes Have Lanais?

Lanais are a common feature to Florida homes. They give homeowners the ability to take advantage of their outdoor space as much as possible, by giving them an area for entertaining guests and enjoying the weather at night or during warmer months.

In many cases, they can even be used year-round! As well as have access from inside your home so you never miss out on any outside time.

An additional perk is that lanais also increase a property’s value when it comes time to sell your home.

Next to garages, pool houses, and decks, lanais are one of the most popular features in Florida real estate listings.

Cost Of Lanai Breakdown
Cost Of Lanai Breakdown

Cost Patio vs Lanai

If you’re debating the cost of a patio or lanai, then read on as we break down both options and let you know what type of costs to expect with each.

Lanai Cost

The labour cost for building a Lanai enclosure varies from $1,200 to $1,600. When you divide the price into square feet, it comes out to between $6 and $8 per square foot. The expense of the project will be determined by the materials you use.

Patio Cost

A professionally installed patio ranges from $2,363 to $5,909 on average, with an average price of $3,994. The national average for a professionally built patio is roughly $3,994, but the range begins at around $2,363 and extends up to about $5,909.

How Much Does It Cost To Enclose A Lanai?

The national average cost of enclosing a lanai is $4.46 per square foot, with a range between $3.76 and $5.16. The total price for labor and materials per square foot is $13.07, ranging from $11.35 to $14.79.


Both lanai and patio are outdoor spaces that provide a nice spot to relax with friends, family, or even by yourself.

But what’s the difference? Well, for one thing, there is no “lanai furniture” only “patio furniture“.

Resources: Charlotte County

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