Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

What happened to the screened veranda?

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In my travels throughout the city I notice that some new houses being built have that old-timey look with verandas across the front.

Unfortunately, I have yet to see one that is screened. There is a refreshing, comfortable, and casual look about these houses. For me they are much more attractive than those with a façade consisting mostly of double garage doors.

These homes take me back to the time when most houses had screened verandas where we could get some fresh air without being harassed by mosquitoes. On hot summer days parents would sit back, mosquito-free, and watch their kids playing, allowing them to be part of the street activities.

Those without screened verandas often built smudges to drive the pests away. Often people out for walks would use a leafy branch to brush away the pesky critters. I wonder why more houses are not being built with verandas, screened verandas. it seems like such a sensible and inexpensive method of helping to enjoy our summers.

I realize that many people build gazebos in their backyard, but that is not as convenient as a protected leisure area attached to your house where you can traipse back and forth for tea, coffee, or a cool one. Some people have attached sunrooms but they are usually behind or at the side of the house. Neither of these allow you to enjoy and be part of the goings-on your street as well as exchanging pleasantries with neighbours out for a stroll.

Often verandas were a good storage site for an older chesterfield, which came in handy when you, as a teenager, came home late and didn’t have your key. For girls being escorted home from a date it was a good place for a little surreptitious smooching. If there are good reasons for not building screened verandas, I wish someone would explain them to me.

Ron Buffie is a community correspondent for Transcona. Email him at ronbuffie@shaw.ca

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