What Is a Porch?
A Porch is a structure extended from the main structure to form a shelter cover that is attached to the front entrance of the building or house. It is an element that can be included in your house plan to make it more functional. It also improves the aesthetical value of your house.
For those who are confused about What Is a Porch, let’s get a brief idea about it. The front area covered by the shelter at the entrance of the house is called a porch.
Can you imagine yourself sitting out in the open in the evening enjoying a cup of coffee or your favourite beverage while the cool breeze swept through your face?! Yes, you can enjoy yourself out in the open in a porch within your premises itself!
Whether you should opt-out for a porch or not for your home you can decide after going through this post. Here detailed information is shared and you can go through it to gather a preliminary idea about it.
Purpose of A Porch
- It is the first thing the guests can see at your home.
- It can add an aesthetic value to your home.
- You can enjoy outdoor times on a porch.
- It shelters you from rain and heavy winds.
- It adds to the grandeur of the home if designed properly.
Are Porch and Veranda Same?
Porch vs Veranda
No, the veranda and porch are not the same. The porch is a broader term and veranda is a type of porch.
A porch may be enclosed by screens on the sides while a veranda is an open air space with a roof. However, railings may be provided on the sides.
Porch demonstrates a more functional usage while veranda has limited usage options.
The porch can be considered as a projected room attached to the house while the veranda is like a gallery- open from sides.
Types of Porches
You cannot plan for a porch without knowing how many types are there. Different types of porches are prevalent in the market. Some of them are discussed below:
1. Open Porch
Open Porches are actually open- they do not have an enclosure on any side. On the base, it has a deck or slab made out of concrete or wood. However, on the top, it may be supported by a roof.
As the sidewalls are absent in this type of porch, it is more like an outdoor area. The roofing material is supported over the columns. Here you can enjoy the breeze and bask in the natural atmosphere.
In a hot climate, the temperature inside this shed is lowered by about 10-15 degrees as compared to the outside atmosphere.
How nice would it be to have a nice outing with your friends?
But, privacy is compromised in this porch because of its openness.
2. Front Entry Porch
Front Entry Porch is in the form of a small concrete slab just adjacent to the front door of the house.
This porch is a very simple place and it is not a place for you to relax.
It has a few steps that direct towards the main door of the house and some decorative elements are placed here to increase the aesthetic value. Chairs or plants can be placed in this space.
It is a budget-friendly option as less material is required in its construction.
3. Back Porch
As inferred from its name, a Back Porch is constructed at the backside of the home.
The design is similar to the front porch, just its location is shifted to the backside of the house.
It is covered and attached to the back door of the house. A kitchen can be connected to this porch and the porch might be decorated too. Back porch can be made a place to enjoy the outside views.
Unlike the front porch, a back porch offers considerable privacy. You can sit here without being disturbed by the commuting people or other sources.
You can add decorative elements to make it more attractive. Also, chairs or other seating arrangements can be placed.
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4. Screened Porch
In a Screened Porch, a roof is there while screens occupy all four insides of the porch. You can think of going for a screened porch if you want more living area. It can serve as an extension of the living room.
This ensures the circulation of air and at the same time, mosquitoes and other trouble-making insects are kept away. In summers, you can sit inside a screened porch and spend a relaxed time.
This is one of the most widespread porches because of its number of options. You can increase the functionality of the screens by making them controlled by a remote.
The enclosure of this porch can be made by either railing or short walls up to height around 3-4 feet can be constructed too.
The screening material can be fibreglass mesh- it is easy to install; however, it can tear up too. Another material is aluminium mesh- it will resist corrosion also, however, it may lose its colour sooner. Tightly woven screens are also available that can provide shade.
In roofing also, different options are available for you to choose from- skylight, gable roof, etc.
5. Farmer’s Porch
Farmer Porch is constructed in the form of a farmhouse. While it’s facing is kept towards the street so that the people can be welcomed inside.
Its width is kept equivalent to the front side of the home. It either is kept elevated or up to ground level.
The porch is covered and support beams are installed too. Even railings are installed.
The porch has enough room so that the people can get together and enjoy together.
Deck are open spaces outside of without roof. To make it appear warm, it is mostly made out of wood.
They are constructed at different levels and are surrounded by railings.
You can have an amazing view of the surroundings from the deck and also relax yourself along the way.
Decks are costly. Its construction also needs to be well planned while it requires timely maintenance to keep it in a similar condition. Else, their appearance is daunted.
A permit may be required from the local authorities to build a deck in your premises.
The floor of the Patio is paved and it is kept at ground level only. But, the surface is levelled first. Moreover, its roof is also absent.
It can be detached from the house too- it is not necessary to construct it joining the house.
Also, its design is not necessary. This gives freedom with respect to size and design.
8. Detached Porch
As indicated by its name a Detached Porch is separate from the house- it is not attached to the main house.
For connecting it to the house, a separate pathway of either gravel or wooden is constructed. Alternatively, pavement can also be made.
A lot of flexibility is included in its design as it is a separate structure. It can either be kept open on the sides or its screens can be used to enclose the area. Or even glass walls can be used.
However, the cost is naturally more as it is constructed separately from the house.
9. Arizona Room
It is an extension of the main structure of the house, which is a feature of in Arizona houses. It is a semi-outdoor structure.
Their access is granted from the living room or kitchen. Large windows are also included in its design that can be opened completely.
Arrange the furniture as per your comfort and you can easily get rid of the heat without using air conditioners much.
10. Rained Porch
As understood from its name, it protects from the rain. The roof is extended for this porch. The roof is extended beyond the porch to ensure it does not get wet by about 3-6 feet.
Also, the extension is dipped at a certain angle so that the porch below is completely protected from the rain.
You can enjoy the rainfall in this porch without getting wet.
Portico is constructed in the front of the house entrance and the top is covered by the roof. Columns are constructed for supporting the roof of the portico.
It adds an aesthetic element to the entrance of your home as it directly opens to the front entrance of the home.
Moreover, you can make it as grand as you may like; or just keep it simple.
They do not serve entertainment purposes. You cannot gather in this porch.
Loggia is a luxurious element to enhance the exterior of your home. It is a statement construction found in all over the world in grand structures like palaces.
Loggia is kept parallel to at least one side of the house and is in the form of a corridor. A roof covers it while it has outer walls too.
Decorative arches or columns are used to support the roof of this porch.
Veranda is an open-air porch that is located on the front and sides of the house. It has a platform as floor and it is sometimes enclosed by railings. Its level is mostly kept the same as ground level.
You can enjoy the outdoors in the veranda.
Lanai is constructed mostly for the houses constructed in a hot climate. The design is original to Hawaii.
The design and concept are similar to the porch except it has wider living areas. A roof is attached. But, it lacks more than one wall so that the natural atmosphere can be enjoyed.
Screening or panelling is normally done to maintain the temperature inside the house. Panelling includes glass panels or plastic panels.
15. Wrap around Porch
Wrap Around Porch is one the oldest style of the porch.
It wraps your home- hence the name. Either the entire home is wrapped or a part of it is wrapped up. The wrapping starts from the front part of the house and turns at least one corner of the house.
The roof is kept but walls are not included in this porch.
Large and spacious porch is achieved by this concept. Different spaces can be allocated for different outdoor activities considering its large space.
Like you can dedicate a space for reading books if you prefer to read books. Or even a gazebo can be included at one corner. It will not only enhance the architectural element but also let you spend quality time.
Also, there is always a shady spot, no matter what time of day it is.
One important factor to consider in this porch is the sunlight. If not designed properly, the inside will become shady, as sunlight will not be able to reach at all.
But, they are expensive too considering such a spacious construction.
How to Infer What Porch You Need?
1. Decide Your Usage Season
- All round the year:
- If you are going to use the porch all around the year, then you need to consider for both hot and cold days.
- Leave out a space for the fireplace during the cold days while a fan can cool off the heat on sunny days.
- Retractable curtains could also be installed so that insulation can be achieved in winter.
- Summer season:
- If you are thinking to use the porch I summer season only, then adding ceiling fans would be nice.
- You can also increase the plantations around the porch so that they can reduce the heat.
- Huge and dense plantations should be done in the periphery of the porch so that they can provide shade while on the inside small plants can be grown.
2. Choosing Flooring Type
You can add flooring of any type that you want, however, familiarise yourself with its pros and cons first.
- Easy construction
- Aids in camouflaging the imperfections
- Affordable option
- Cracks are easily formed
- Numerous options for colour and variety
- Facilitates easy cleaning
- Slippery surface, especially when wet
- Easy construction
- Strain resistant
- Improved aesthetic
- Yellow cedar or redwood are generally used
- Composites can be used to resist the termites
3. Choosing Screen Type
Times have gone when there was only plain mesh. At present, many types of meshes have developed and you can opt-out for the one you think best fits your needs.
- Ready-made fiberglass:
- Easy installation
- Abundant air circulation and visibility
- Pollen and other small particles may intrude inside
- Tightly woven screens:
- Screens like PollenTEC are tightly woven
- They trap the pollen particles
- The best alternative for someone who is allergic to pollen or dust
- Air circulation is reduced
- UV Filter:
- Best for areas that receive high-intensity solar radiations
- Decreased visibility
- Comes with cooling properties
4. Accessories Your Porch
Add some accessories to your porch to make it more functional.
- Ceiling fans:
- They are a great help in a hot climate.
- Also, it serves the ventilation purpose
- Even the mosquitoes are blown away
- In colder regions, adding a fireplace is a must as the porch is an outdoor structure
- Of course, you are going to make use of the porch after sunset, hence lights are necessary
- You can get a bit creative, and install some fancy lights like pendants or scones for they provide elegance to the porch
- How can a porch be complete without furniture?
- You can accommodate comfy seats for the porch. If space is constrained then you can just extend a corner and make a seating there.
- Do consult an engineer or an experienced contractor before going ahead with your porch ideas and design.
How to Infer What Porch You Need?
|1. Open Porch|| Has roof but open at sides.|
The flooring may be of concrete or wood.
Columns support the roof.
Helps in reducing the temperaturePrivacy is compromised.
|2. Front Entry Porch|| Simple construction- just enough to provide shade to the visitors.|
It is a small concrete slab adjacent to the main door.
Low budget option.
|3. Back Porch||Construction at the backside of the house.|
The kitchen or other living spaces can be connected to the porch.
Decorative elements and seating adjustments can be done.
Privacy of the occupant is preserved.
|4. Screened Porch||Covered by roof while sides are occupied by screens.|
Can be in the form of an extension of the living room.
Ventilation is achievedKeeps the annoying mosquitoes away.
Most widespread porch.
Fiberglass mesh, aluminum mesh, or tightly woven screens can be used on the sides.
|5. Farmer’s Porch||Constructed like a farmhouse.|
Facing is kept towards the street.
The width is similar to the front side of the house.
Level- ground level or slightly elevated.
The railing is installed around the porch.
Gathering can be organized.
|6. Deck||Open spaces sans roof.|
Wood is preferred.
Beautiful views can be enjoyed from the deck.
Timely maintenance is costly.
May even require a permit for its construction.
|7. Patio||Paved flooring.|
The roof is absent.
May be either attached to the house or detached.
More versatile with respect to size and design
|8. Detached Porch||Not attached to the main house building.|
A pathway connects it to the main house.
As it is a separate structure, the design is flexible mostly.
|9. Arizona Room||Feature of Arizona houses.|
Extension of main houses- semi-outdoor.
Kept accessible from the living room or kitchen.
Helps in keeping the temperature down.
|10. Rained Porch||Roofing is extended for about 3-6 feet.|
Shelters from rain.
The extension is dipped at a certain angle.
|11. Portico||Constructed in front of the house.|
Columns support its roof.
Can be constructed huge or kept simple.
Gatherings cannot be held.
|12. Loggia||A statement construction that is even found in palaces.|
Parallel to at least one side of the house.
Roof and outer walls are present.
Arches and columns both are added an architectural touch
|13. Veranda||Open-air porch located at front or sides of a house.|
Can be enclosed by railings.
Mostly kept at ground level.
|14. Lanai||Originated from Hawaii.|
Design is especially for hot weather regions.
Living areas are kept widerRoof is present more than one wall are absent.
Screening or paneling is done.
|15. Wrap around Porch||One of the oldest styles.|
Either the entire house or part of it is wrapped by the porch.
Dedicated spaces for different outdoor activities can be allocated.
A shady spot is present irrespective of time.
Careful design is required so that the inside of the house does not become devoid of sunlight.
If you are someone who loves outdoor activities or loves to bask in nature, you can consider having a porch around your home.
Different Types of Porches can also add an element of elegance to your home and increase its value.
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