Back Porch: Usually more informal than a front porch, a back porch offers more flexibility. A back porch can be a great way to connect your kitchen to the garden outside, a place to enjoy water or nature views, or a protected spot to watch the kids play in the yard.
Adding a cooking area or mudroom to your back porch keeps rooms inside clean and organized. If you love to garden, a potting shed, planters or window boxes are nice extras. Some back porches can be combined with a deck above so you have more than one way to enjoy the outdoors.
You can create different "zones" on a wraparound porch, with a seating area for guests and a lounge area with a chaise for reading and relaxing. You can even include a gazebo that creates a destination spot and adds architectural interest. In a country setting, a wraparound porch can also establish a stronger connection between your home and the surrounding landscape.
Screened Porch: If you enjoy breezes and the fragrances from your garden but don't want to worry about the bugs or harsh sunlight, a screened porch is definitely the way to go. Screens allow you to use your porch more often and make it better suited for more activities.
Many porch screens are made from fiberglass mesh (easy to work with but can tear easily) or aluminum mesh (resists corrosion but can discolor over time). There are also tightly woven sun-blocking screens that offer significant shading, pet-proof screens for homeowners with high-energy animals or children, and security screens made from heavy mesh steel mounted in tough frames for those concerned about keeping out intruders.
Make sure your screens are installed with good-quality support posts built or milled to accept screens. Planning ahead is key: You can save money and time and have a more attractive porch if you make design decisions for screens and storm windows at the start of the project.
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