New England may as well be called “The Land of Many Porches.” Bridging the gap between your home and the outdoor world, large, inviting farmer’s front porch styles and airy screened in back porches are a common sight among both our rural and suburban neighborhoods. Our short summers make us eager to soak up every last drop of sunshine we can and our sense of community has us craving a place to gather with friends.
If the long winter has you considering adding a new porch to your home to take full advantage of sunny days, you’ll first need to know your options. Whether you’re looking for an open space to entertain guests, or a cozy, quiet space to curl up with a good book (or both!), we can help you decide. Take a look at the different styles of porches below to decide which style best satisfies your needs and desires.
First, let’s clarify what exactly a porch is, compared to a patio or a deck. A patio refers to an outdoor space that is directly on the ground, whereas a deck is usually raised by some sort of support system. Throw a roof over a patio or deck and you’ve got yourself a porch. Now for the different styles of porches…
A front porch creates a welcoming entry for guests and is great if you want to keep up with the neighborhood and enhance your sense of community. One thing you should consider when deciding on the location is the time of day you most plan on using your porch. If you’re a morning a person and want to sip on your coffee while watching the sun rise, you’ll want your porch to be on the eastern side of your home. If you plan on eating dinner on your patio under the warm glow of the evening sun, the western side of your home would be best. The farmer’s porch is a very popular front porch option in New England and can be seen on many a street in Montgomery County. This style of porch is wide and inviting. Simply add a couple of rocking chairs, a swing or a hammock and your front porch is something straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel.
A back porch tends to be larger and more functional than a front porch. When designing your back porch, you want to think about how it connects your home to your yard. It can be a great transition from your kitchen to your garden and, depending on where you live, can offer sweeping views of nature or water. A back porch also offers you more privacy than a front porch and makes a great place to entertain friends or family on warm summer evenings while the kids play in the backyard.
A wraparound porch gives you the best of both worlds. It’s a great way to extend your home into the surrounding landscape and also gives guests a passageway from your front door to the backyard without having to walk through your home. One thing to keep in mind is that a wraparound porch shades the inside of your home, so be aware of how your home’s natural lighting will be affected. With a wraparound porch, you’ll likely have enough room to create different zones, such as a large area for entertaining guests and a cozier nook on the opposite end for reading and relaxing.
If you enjoy the sounds and smells of nature, but don’t like the bugs that come with it, a screened porch is your best bet. The most versatile type of porch, a screened porch allows you to enjoy the summer breeze and spend time outdoors without having to be entirely immersed in nature. It also allows you to enjoy your porch more often if you turn it into a three-season porch by adding sliding glass windows or removable acrylic panels. You can also simply add shades in the summer to block out harsh sunlight and keep your porch even cooler. A screened porch is also better protected from rain, so you have a great place to watch a summer storm light up the sky.
There is no wrong decision when it comes to choosing a porch, it all depends on your preferences and how you want to use your porch. Whether you’re still on the fence, or you already have a design in mind, Kitchen and Bath Depot is always here to help. View our inspiration gallery to take a look at porches we’ve designed in the past and feel free to contact us with any questions!