area of the home offers the best of inside and outside living, with no
downside except for the need for occasional cleaning and maintenance?
The answer: a
screened-in porch. No matter how small it may be, a porch lets you
live large. Few home experiences approach paradise quite like an
afternoon curled up in a wicker rocker, reading a good book, or an
evening of al fresco entertaining with your favorite folks.
But if you think
of a screened-in porch as just a home add-on, you might not be
thinking big enough. Top-rated contractors who provide outdoor living
solutions say porches increasingly are becoming a focal point in many
They tell our
consumer services research team that porches are trending larger and
more luxurious, with high-end features like well-appointed outdoor
kitchens and massive stone fireplaces. Other trends include
eye-catching ceilings and floors. Flooring options range from tile to
tongue-in-groove hardwood. Ceilings may be finished in an open-rafter
style or with wood planking.
presently porchless but crave the experience of listening to the
patter of a summer shower from the cozy comfort of an Adirondack
chair, be aware that adding a porch will cost from a few thousand to
tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and style.
you have a porch but haven’t yet prepared it for the season, you may
need to expend a little sweat to be sure it remains a no-swat zone.
Take time to inspect the structure and screens. Consider hiring a
well-reviewed handyman to re-stain the wood or repair screening. Our
team found that a handyman is likely to charge $50 to $100 to replace
are a few ideas for decorating a porch:
reputable electrician to add a ceiling fan and lighting, so you can
use it at night and during the hotter times of year.
with comfortable seating and a place to dine. You can spend as much or
as little as you like, with options ranging from matched outdoor
furniture sets to paint-your-own garage sale finds.
and flowers that complement your furnishings and house color.
plug-in water fountain, wind chimes and other features that add to a
porch’s sensory delights.