Awnings, verandas and other easy additions - Grand Designs Magazine
LED lights on a glass veranda by SBI

5 functional additions for your home exterior

Easy updates like verandas, carports and solar-powered garage doors can make a big difference

Promotional Feature By Lorraine Crighton-Smith |

Update your home exterior with simple updates like awnings and verandas, or solar-powered garage doors, to increase your living space, create additional storage and improve your home security.

1. Add a veranda

Verandas are a great way to enhance the look of your home and create an ideal place to sit and relax with family and friends — whatever the weather. It’s an easy way to add more living space and to embrace indoor-outdoor living and al fresco entertaining all year round.

With timeless appeal, you can find a veranda to suit your home and lifestyle: glass verandas, Victorian verandas, contemporary verandas and verandas with lights. You can also select a wall-mounted (lean-to), freestanding or a Cantilever veranda – but it’s best to discuss your options with a specialist, such as the family run SBI Ltd (Sun Blind Installations).

Glass veranda on a brick house in Wimbledon

Weatherproof your outdoor dining space with a veranda. Photo: SBI Ltd

2. Add an awning

A luxury, retractable awning can look smart and create shelter from the heat of the sun — protecting your home from overheating during the summer — or a passing shower. SBI Ltd, based in Kent, can provide new awnings as well as repair existing ones across England and Wales.

As well as own-brand awnings, SBI Ltd stocks brands including Weinor Awnings and Markilux Awnings. Large awnings and awnings with lights are also available.

red awning over a patio area adjoining a large kitchen-diner extension

An awning adds shelter from both the sun and rain. Photo: SBI Ltd

3. New garage door

If your garage could do with a spruce up, replace your old ‘up and over’ to a solar-powered roller garage door for convenience and security. Durable, safe and strong; SBI Ltd’s roller garage doors are made-to-measure and come in a range of colours and finishes.

solar powered roller garage doors on a double garage

Solar powered roller garage doors are convenient and secure. Photo: SBI Ltd

4. Consider a carport

An elegant alternative to a garage, a carport is useful for protecting your vehicle from the elements and provides a sheltered outside area – handy for storing bikes, bins or undertaking DIY, even if it’s raining. Try transforming it into a sheltered spot to entertain friends outside when barbecue season begins.

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright first coined the term ‘carport’ when describing a cantilever overhang in the first of his Usonian home designs, back in 1936. The team at SBI Ltd can supply and install top-quality carports both lean-to, freestanding, and cantilever carports.

a carport attached to the side of a red brick house

A carport will protect your car – and you – from the elements. Photo: SBI Ltd

5. Security shutters

Is improving your home security on the agenda this year? Installing a burglar alarm and CCTV is useful but taking additional steps to step your home security can help to reduce your risk of burglary. Security shutters are an easy way to increase the security of your home. There are three types available: manual, hard wired electric and solar powered. The experts at SBI Ltd, who can supply and install your security shutters, recommend opting for a durable material, such as aluminium.

SBI Ltd, established over 21 years ago, covers all aspects of awning, veranda, carport, shutter, garage door, supplies, installation servicing, and repair work in England and Wales. To find out more, visit