Your house is missing something. Is it a deck? A porch? The battle against indecisiveness has begun.
First – Let’s clarify.
A deck is located behind your house in your backyard. It is usually uncovered.
A porch is located in front of your house, or it wraps around your house. It is usually covered.
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but it’s important to understand the distinction so you can determine what it is that you want.
Now, you’re probably wondering: why add a new section to my house? The simple answer: every house needs room to relax outside. You need a place to sit down in the fresh air with your family or a book. Adding a deck or porch to your house is how you’ll accomplish that.
Follow along as we guide you through the different decks and porches, with their benefits and various designs, so that you can overcome your indecisiveness.
Decks and Porches: Why Bother?
Whether you choose an open deck or a closed-in porch, you’re going to see a bang for your buck. The benefits are impossible to ignore. Let’s go over some of them real quick:
- Decks and porches increase the value of your home. Are you thinking about moving? This type of addition has the potential to drive up your home’s resale value.
- They make extra space for entertaining guests outside the congestion of your interior home.
- They help you spend quality time with your family.
- They are an investment you can be proud of without feeling like it wasn’t worth it.
- They give you a getaway space where you can sit, relax, and read your favorite book with a cold beverage (especially great on those nice weather days and nights).
Ready for a Decks and Porches Design Breakdown?
You’ll find that there’s not just one type of deck or porch. In fact, there are at least five types of decks and porches. The only exception here is that one works with decks only. Let’s go over four of these options you have.
These are more elaborate than some of the other options. They are usually built on houses with two stories or more, and the deck/porch is often attached to the second story or higher. These require railings or stairs for safety purposes, but designing these can be a simple, fun process. Take a look at these railing design ideas to see for yourself!
The raised design is the best choice if your property has a flood risk or if you have uneven land.
Freestanding deck design
This deck-only design rests independent from your house. It is the best option for those who have an older house or are dealing with coding restrictions. These decks are self-supporting and not attached via a ledger board, so you can still have that deck you want despite those pesky coding rules.
The cool thing about freestanding decks is that they can be placed anywhere in your yard. You’ll be able to relax while looking at the 360 degree view of your backyard oasis!
Also known as a multi-story design, these decks and porches have at least two levels, which are connected by stairs. This design allows you to have even more space than your yard would allow alone. It also gives you access to multiple floors of your home.
The only downside of this approach is that the upper level(s) require extra support, which will take up room below. However, this gives you an opportunity to make each level a distinct, separate space. Picture yourself barbequing for your guests on one level and giving them a place for relaxing and talking on the other.
To clear up any confusion, multi-level decks and porches are not the same as the two-story design explained above. These are designs involving varying levels within one single space. They work for almost all homes, regardless of whether they’re single-story or multi-story. Each level in this design remains a part of one floor of the house, usually the ground floor.
This design is perfect for parties or other social gatherings because it allows guests to interact with each other regardless of their location. This is different from the multi-story design where people wouldn’t be able to do this from different floors. The only exception is if you want to yell “marco – polo” with someone on the opposite level as you.
The other benefit of the multi-level design is its great fit for uneven yards. You can design your deck to contour with the slope of your yard, so you don’t have to deal with that unpleasant need to flatten the terrain before building.
Those are just a few of the different designs for decks and porches. Do you feel any more confident in what you want to build for your home?
Hold your horses for a minute. There’s still more to consider!
Materials Used to Build Decks and Porches
When you know the design you want to go with for your open deck or enclosed porch, you should start considering what material you want to use for its structure.
You have several options, and it really depends on your desired aesthetics. You may want to go with a wood structure, but have you considered whether you can keep up with its maintenance? Perhaps you’d prefer the lower maintenance alternative: a PVC/composite material. Knowing how much time you can devote to your deck will help you narrow down which type of material will work best.
Alternatively, you should consider where you live and what kind of weather you endure throughout the year. For example, if flooding is common, you might want to consider waterproof material. If you want your deck to last, you need to take the right steps from the start.
What Do You Want to Do Next?
Only you know what you’re thinking, and only you know what you want to do next! All we can do is give our recommendation:
Continue your quest for decision-making by finishing your research. With our Everything-You-Need-to-Know guide for your deck purchase, you’ll get much more information about this process – maybe more than you’ll need. We want to give you everything so that you are no longer lost in the abyss of indecisiveness, and you’ll be ready to decide in no time.