Porch Vs. Deck: Which Is the Better Option?


Curb appeal is an important feature of any home, and your outdoor spaces all play a part. These outdoor spaces can include open lawns and backyards, or decks and patios. Decks and porches, in particular, can make a home more functional, valuable and attractive. Both features are very similar, with subtle differences that can make choosing between them challenging. So, what are decks and porches, and how do you choose between them?

Differences Between Decks and Porches

Both decks and porches are outdoor additions to your home, with both leading directly outside. A deck is typically uncovered and added to the back of the house, while a porch is covered and typically added to the front. Decks can be included in your desert-like landscaping and can be used for recreational purposes. They may also have additions such as an outdoor kitchen, longing area, fire pits and different furnishings. Porches are an extension of your entryway and are accessible via the front steps. They can be used as a lounging area, reception for guests or to just watch street activity.

Construction and Installation

The construction and installation of decks and porches are very similar, with the difference being the overhang that is typically added to a porch. Homeowners have to consider whether their roof overhang is enough for the deck, or whether the contractor needs to add an extension.

You can replace one with the other through conversion, but the addition of a new porch requires a new roofline which is the material that encloses the underside of ceilings and eaves. This means a new porch is costlier and more challenging to install.

Since the deck is exposed to the elements, contractors take special care to use materials that last long. In cases where wood is used, waterproof treatments are also applied. Because they are covered, porches might use flooring material that cannot be used on a deck.

Type of Flooring

Decks are usually made out of pressure-treated wood. The material used for the flooring and other parts such as the railings and privacy walls can be different depending on the homeowner’s preferences.

While pressure-treated lumber is popular, composite decking, which uses a blend of wood and plastic, has become very popular. The material used for such a construction is resistant to scratches, chips and dents. If you want a deck that will last for decades without the fear of it being destroyed by elements and pets, you can a hire deck builder St Louis who will provide you with the option of composite decking.

While porches are made using the same materials as decks, a major difference is that their flooring is typically finished much better. Because porches are covered, they do not succumb to the elements as decks do.

Safety and Security

Because porches and decks lead to the outdoors, homeowners must think carefully about the safety and security of their pets and kids when they install them. Gates can be installed on decks for additional safety, but that might be cumbersome in the case of a porch. However, porch gates are still an option.

Both decks and porches serve different purposes, and this is why they cannot be compared directly. Perhaps you might want to choose one over the other due to additional costs or to increase the usable space in your home but adding one or both will still serve you well.

Sandra Ruiz
With a Master's in Environmental Design from Yale University, Sandra Ruiz has dedicated 15 years to reshaping living spaces. Her career started in urban planning, then transitioned to home renovation, where she has left a mark. Sandra became part of our team in 2020, quickly establishing herself with her innovative approaches to space utilization and energy efficiency. She is passionate about hiking, often drawing inspiration from nature for her designs. Her approach seamlessly blends practicality with aesthetic appeal, making her a go-to expert for homeowners and design enthusiasts alike.

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