Design Ideas for a Back Porch

Written by sarah schreiber
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Design Ideas for a Back Porch
A back porch provides a spot to relax in. (back porch glider image by palms from

A back porch adds an attractive design feature to a home as well as a spot for you to enjoy a number of outdoor activities, from dining to unwinding with the family after a long day. Putting a back porch on your home adds to the property value as well. There are three main types of back porch designs; within the different types, there are a range of options you can utilise.

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Enclosed Porch

An enclosed porch, such as a screen porch or sun porch, gives you a degree of protection from the elements. Screen porches are separated from the outdoors by a floor-to-ceiling screen while sun porches feature walls punctuated with a number of windows. A screened-in back porch gives keeps the bugs away on hot summer nights while still allowing a breeze to blow through the area. When discussing a sun porch, the style is more an extension of your home and is totally protected from the outdoors. If the sun porch is included in your home's heating system, it is enjoyable year-round.

Covered Porch

Covered back porches also provide a degree of protection from elements such as blinding sun or rain, but are completely open air. A covered porch consists of a roof that's attached to your house and supported with columns, creating a shaded area adjacent to your home. The roof line for a covered porch may extend from the side of your home with a slope or it can be flat. When it's flat, you have the option of turning the porch's roof into a second-story deck for additional outdoor space. If you're aiming for a classic look to your home, turn the back porch into a wraparound porch that covers more than one side of the house.

Uncovered Porch

An uncovered back porch is similar to a deck. The back porch may consist of a slightly elevated wooden platform or a wide platform outside of your door with a set of steps leading down to the back yard. It may run the entire length of the back of a home or only be small enough for one or two chairs. Adding a railing around the uncovered porch gives it a more enclosed feeling. Those who enjoy gardening may prefer this type of back porch as it can offer a full-sun option for plants.


Regardless of the specific porch design you choose, you have many options in terms of style. For example, you can use various materials, like wood, metal or concrete, for the floor or railings. When selecting options, aim to blend the porch in with the rest of your house; the back porch of a modern-style home may have metal railings and a distinctive shape, such as that of a hexagon instead of a traditional rectangle, while a Victorian-era home's back porch may feature tall columns and ornate woodwork. Paint the porch to match your home for consistency and decorate your porch with furniture that complements your home's design style.

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