Deck and Patio Blog

3 Porch Design Options to Connect to Outdoors

February 16, 2016

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A porch is sort of a transitional area between the indoors and the outdoors. It can be added to the front or to the back of your home, and it’s up to you to decide how much outdoors you want to allow in. Our Maryland porch contractors are here to offer you a few ideas on choosing the ideal porch design for your needs.

Simple Outdoorsy Porch

A porch by definition is a “covered area adjoining the entrance of a structure.” “Covered” is an important part that makes a porch what it is. Without any sort of cover you just have a patio, deck or terrace. You can opt to build a porch with a permanent roof or install retractable awnings. These types of cover offer shade in summer, as well as limited protection from rain. Of course, if there is a storm with sideways rain or if it’s cold outside, you would probably prefer to stay in.

This simple open porch design puts you closest to nature, while making your time outdoors slightly more comfortable. Unfortunately, bugs can still fly into such a porch, and wildlife can also enter your outdoor oasis. If you would rather have this space all to yourself, consider other design options.

50/50 Screened Porch

A screened porch is a perfect mix between the indoors and the outdoors. You get the breeze, the sounds and the experience of being outside, but without the annoying bugs, birds, squirrels and other critters. The screens will also offer a slightly better protection from rain both for you and for your outdoor furniture.

Another benefit of a screened porch is its versatility. You can use it as an outdoor dining space, a lounge, a reading nook or a place for gardening. If you have indoor pets that are not allowed outside, they will also like being closer to nature.

Enclosed Porch

An enclosed porch is more of an indoor space because it’s closed off an all sides. However, the common approach is to feature large glass windows and sliding doors to allow maximum sunlight in. Despite the similar appearance, an enclosed porch is different from other rooms in your home. It will be colder in winter and warmer in summer because the HVAC system is typically not extended to the porch. You can add screens behind the glass windows, so that you can open them up in summer and feel the air. Or you can keep the windows shut and install a ceiling fan instead.

Speaking of winter, if you add a heat source, such as a fireplace or an electrical heater, you could enjoy your enclosed porch all year round. If you think about it, winter is actually the time for enclosed porches. You can get as close to the outdoors as possible without freezing your hands and dragging in sleet back into the house.

Interested in implementing any of these porch ideas? Give our Maryland porch contractors at North American Deck and Patio a call. We’ll be happy to help you narrow down your new porch design and get it built in time for the summer!

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