When you want to build a veranda, you are often interested in the building materials, the glass surface or the type of layout. However, it should not be forgotten that the exposure of the veranda is another central criterion to be taken into consideration, if one has the choice of where it will be installed.
Why is this so important? Because the exposure of the veranda or pergola allows you to benefit from more or less sunshine and to capture heat or, on the contrary, to take advantage of a space that keeps a relatively cool temperature.
Anyone planning to install a veranda must therefore take the time to study multiple criteria before carrying out their project.
The advantages and disadvantages of different orientations
It is commonly accepted that there is no ideal exposure for custom-made verandas, since every point of the compass can offer advantages, but is not without compromises.
A south-facing veranda offers maximum sunshine from morning to evening, even in winter. However, this also means that the temperature can rise quickly in this room.
A pergola or veranda positioned to the north is less interesting from a brightness and heat input point of view, but it avoids overheating.
A glass extension exposed to the east offers a good compromise: the sun’s rays shine in from the morning until noon, but the veranda is in the shade and sheltered from the heat during the rest of the day.
A veranda built on the west side of the house makes it possible to enjoy the sun during a good part of the day, especially in the afternoon.
Verandah exposure according to living area
It is thus fairly easy to understand that climate partly determines the direction of the extension. In the South of France and globally in the whole South of France, it is often preferable to choose to take advantage of the morning sun, and thus to orientate the veranda to the east.
On the other hand, in regions where the sunshine is weaker, in the north-west of the country for example, a veranda orientation to the west or south is possible.
In the coldest areas of the country, in the mountains and in the northeast, it is advisable to avoid the northern exposure and to capture a maximum of heat by orienting the veranda to the south.
North exposure is rarely recommended, as its advantages are limited. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon to find north-facing verandas in warm regions, or simply when one does not have the luxury of choosing one’s location.
Regardless of the region, however, it is still important to rely on the advice of the veranda manufacturer to whom the project is entrusted. His experience in installing verandas in the geographical area will always be a significant asset in order to obtain the most suitable exposure according to the sunshine, but also according to the winds.
The choice of the orientation according to the use of the verandah
Beyond the climate, it is also what you want to do with this additional room and the layout of the veranda that are important when choosing the exhibition.
Indeed, if the veranda is to be used mainly as a winter garden, it seems more interesting to opt for a south-facing construction, which will provide a soft warmth during the coldest periods of the year.
If you wish to make your veranda a living room, a real extension of your interior space, it is preferable to choose a western (or even eastern, depending on the climate) orientation. A kitchen or dining room will thus have a good solar contribution, while having a limited need for heating.
For a custom-made veranda or pergola that you wish to use as a source of energy for the rest of the house, choose a western orientation instead. This is called a photovoltaic veranda, which has solar panels on its roof to convert the sun’s rays into electricity. It is therefore necessary, of course, to capture as much light as possible for the device to be efficient and profitable.
If an extension is being built to create a work space (office, workshop, etc.), the northern exposure can be a good solution, thanks to constant luminosity and protection from the high summer heat.
The solutions to benefit from an optimal comfort according to the orientation of the verandah
Since it is not always possible to choose the exposure of the veranda or because one wishes to benefit from a room as pleasant as possible, it is necessary to know that the disadvantages of the orientation of the extension are not a fatality.
Indeed, to guarantee a good insulation against heat and cold, one must be careful to choose a quality manufacturing material (thermal break system when choosing an aluminum veranda for example). It is also important to play on the glass surface and thickness of glazing for insulation and sunlight, double glazing being the minimum required.
To protect yourself from heat and sunlight with a south or west facing veranda, it is also recommended to have veranda blinds or roller shutters installed. They can be connected to a programming or light detection system for temperature-optimized opening and closing.
Some custom-made verandas are even equipped with an air-conditioning system.
Many other elements can make a veranda even more pleasant, regardless of its orientation. This is why it is important to entrust the work to a recognized pergola designer or veranda manufacturer, who will be able to propose the most suitable solutions according to the region, needs and budget.