Open or Screened-in Porch: Pros and Cons You Need To Know
Whether it's a front or back porch, there's a certain charm in it - for most people, their porch represents an extension of their living space. It's an area of your house where you usually spend your lazy afternoons and hot summer evenings, looking at the street and people passing by, or you enjoy the view of your backyard, full of flowers and trees.
In the last years, most porches were screened-in, but lately, there has been a big demand for open porches. Both choices have their benefits, so it's up to you to decide. But it won't harm you to check out what you can expect from each of them first.
Be Careful Before You Start The Actual Work
Before you make a choice about what type of porch it will be, be aware of the fact that the porch needs to address your needs in order to work out great for you. For example, maybe you'll want a porch with a wooden floor with posts and a roof, especially if it's a front porch - you want it to look welcoming and cozy.
However, you need to know that designing a front porch is a lot more complicated than you think, and it will greatly influence the look of the front side of the house, but also its function.
When the choice is made, make sure you spend some time just sitting on your plan. Maybe you'll come up with a better idea, or somebody else will point out an oversight. Just sit and have a professional to determine if your idea can be appropriately realized.
Another thing that's important to mention is - if you want a porch just to gaze at the stars, then maybe an open-slat on the roof or a pergola should be included in the design, too.
Screened-in Porches: Pros and Cons
This type is more frequently used for the backside of the house, as it provides privacy. They are a more real part of the house than open porches because there is a sense of a closed space, with glass and doors, as well as space heaters that are installed inside of it. You don't depend on the rain and wind and bugs and insects are not your concern.
Of course, having screens means more money that needs to be spent and also the obstructed view in some cases. If you install the screens on your own, it could be really frustrating, especially if the screens are sagging.
Open Porches: Pros and Cons
They are in general far more popular for the front side of the house. The reason is simple - it gives a sense of warmth, while the wide stairs invite the guests to come in and enjoy. It is an additional living space, but it will be limited to weather conditions, of course. Naturally, it is cheaper than a screened porch, as you don't need to install fiberglass screens and doors.
Thanks to the open space, you can also grill there because there is no glass to keep the smoke in. The floor area feels bigger without the walls, and if it’s connected to a deck, they create a smooth transition from one space to another.
Still, the weather controls how much time you spend on the porch, and let's not forget the rainy season - additional space is needed to store the furniture usually kept on the porch, but a lot of people use services such as Wollongong storage to put away furniture used during specific seasons.
If You Can Afford It, Why Not Both?
If you don't care about the amount of money you spend on relaxation, then consider building a wrap-around porch. It ensures you more than just one view and you can also choose what part of the porch to spend a certain time of day on, as shades don't look the same on the different sides of the house.
With a wrap-around porch, you can enclose one side of it (the best would be to enclose the side where the rain usually strikes) and leave the rest of the porch open.
Another option (a cheaper one) is to add shutters to your screened-in porch so that you are protected from the cold and rainfall, but you are also able to swing them open and let the fresh air in when the weather is nice. The whole porch can be enclosed by windows, so you get a "hybrid" between an open and screened porch.
Movable walls are also a nice trick - easy to open when you want to have a view and easy to close if you need some privacy or the weather is bad. If you add a fireplace on one of the walls, it will create a cozy atmosphere without having to move all the way outside.
There are various combinations available - the screened porch, the open porch and several options somewhere in between. Think carefully what you want from the porch and how much time you would like to spend there - and you'll get your answer.