Building a porch is a big task. Whether you’re looking for a place to gather friends or sit with your morning cup of coffee, you want your porch to mesh with both your style and the style of your house. Picking the wrong porch style can spell trouble for both your wallet and your peace of mind. The average cost to build a porch falls between $4,600 and $22,000, depending on scope and materials.
That’s why DYM Builders has put together a list of the 7 most common styles of porches so you can find the one that works best for you. Working with a professional such as DYM Builders can help you through every step of the process, from design to sourcing the materials to construction.
Wrap-around porches are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional. Instead of adjoining to just one side of a house, a wrap-around porch adjoins to at least two, hence the “wrap-around” part of the name. As a result, these porches are typically large and can accommodate several different seating areas. They can often be found on older houses, but are a popular style for new construction, too.
Because these porches require so much space, they will most likely be more expensive than a normal front or back deck. You’ll also have to accommodate more than one entrypoint from inside to outside — if the porch touches two sides of hte house, it should be accessible to both! That could mean taking down part of a wall to put in a door, which can get complicated. But the pay-off is certainly worth it.
Sometimes called a three-season room, screened-in porches let you bring the outside in… or the inside out, depending on how you look at it. These porches usually have three walls made of screens, windows, glass, or a mix. They’re typically covered by a roof, meaning you can sit out in them even if it’s raining. The porch’s screened-in nature also allows for use beyond just the summer months. If you live in a climate that can get rough in the spring and fall, this could be a good option to extend your porch’s usage window.
Because these porches require structures like walls and a roof, they are usually a more expensive and thorough project than a normal deck. However, if you already have a deck/porch or a sunroom, you may have less work cut out for you than starting with a completely blank slate.
Ground-floor patio (bungalow porch)
You may not know the design term for this kind of porch — a bungalow patio — but you’ve certainly seen them. Instead of being elevated like a farmer’s porch, these porches are built flat along the ground and usually constructed from stone, asphalt, or tile. They’re typically covered by a roof. But because the materials will be right on the ground, you’ll want to choose what works best with your location’s climate.
Typically upheld with beams, a farmer’s porch is the most common style of porch in the suburbs. You’ll usually see them made with wooden or composite planks, running the length of the house. Beams hold the porch off of the ground, while poles hold the railing and pergola or roof in place. While farmer’s porches can also be wraparound, they can also be confined to just the front or back of the house. You may even choose to have both. Your front porch can be a more relaxing environment, while your back porch can be for entertaining. Whatever you choose to do, you have lots of options with a farmer’s porch.
If you don’t have much room but still want a porch, a portico or stoop is your best option. These small porches provide steps and an entryway to your front door. Stoops are also budget-friendly options since they’re smaller and take less time and materials to construct. YOucan also use low-cost materials like concrete to make them. If constructed a bit wider than the doorway, you can still have enough room to place a small seating area. Or if you already have a stoop or portico in place, expanding it is a great option for a smaller project!
Balcony or second-story deck
Balconies are uber-romantic, but definitely not for the faint of heart. Because balconies typically do not have load-bearing beams beneath them, they rely on the structure of the house itself to keep them afloat. This is why they’re so difficult to build onto an already existing house. But if you’re going for a specific style, balconies can provide a lot of flair.
Elevated decks allow for a similar feel to a balcony without the extra headache. These decks do have support beams below them and are typically much larger than balconies. Second-story decks are perfect for split-level houses, in which your living room might be on the second floor. They can also provide great views — depending on where you live — or allow for storage/living space beneath them, too.
The difference between a porch and a deck is that porches are typically covered, while decks are not. Building a deck rather than a porch agives you more freedom in terms of space and shape, as you dont’ have to worry about building an awning or roof over it. Decks are commonly used in the backs of houses, since a covered porch is more aesthetically pleasing in the front of a home. You can still cover parts of a deck with umbrellas or tents. Decks are a great option for those who don’t want to worry about extending their roof, or those who want lots of outdoor space to relax.
A detached porch, or a patio, is completely separate from the house, but still uses some kind of flooring to create a defined living space. They can be covered with a pergola or gazebo, or left uncovered. You can also choose from several different types of material, from stone to wood to gravel. While they can be elevated, most detached patios are at the ground-level. This makes a great option for those who have lots of outdoor space on their property and do not want to worry about adding a structure onto their house.