Porches becoming large, luxe

  • By Angie Hicks
  • Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:34pm
  • Life

What 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 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 homes.

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.

If you’re 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.

Meanwhile, if you have a porch but haven’t yet prepared it for the season, you may need to expend a little sweat.

Take time to inspect the structure and screens, if you have them.

Consider hiring a well-reviewed handyman to restain the wood or repair screening. Our team found that a handyman is likely to charge $50 to $100 to replace damaged screens.

Meanwhile, here are a few ideas for decorating a porch:

Hire a reputable electrician to add a ceiling fan and lighting, so you can use it at night and during the hotter times of year.

Furnish it 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.

Add plants and flowers that complement your furnishings and house color.

Consider a plug-in water fountain, wind chimes and other features that add to a porch’s sensory delights.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care; www.angieslist.com.

&Copy; 2014 Angie’s List

More in Life

Lots to see in Upper Skagit, even if the eagles are elusive

A guided hike through a mossy old-growth forest more than makes up for a lack of raptor sightings.

Shopping cart showdown: Which stores have best food prices?

Jennifer Bardsley compares Fred Meyer, PCC, QFC, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, WinCo and Whole Foods offers.

Take a closer look: Winter gardens share gifts in subtle way

Go on a neighborhood walk this month to enjoy the seasonal beauty offered by a variety of gardens.

Samish Flats in Skagit County prime turf for winter birders

This spot is great for birdwatching because of the mostly flat land, marshy areas and open water.

Outdoor classes and activities in and around Snohomish County

GET OUT Christmas bird count: Volunteers are needed for the Everett-Marysville Christmas… Continue reading

Relationship do’s and don’ts: Lessons from 40 years of marriage

Paul Schoenfeld reflects on what he’s learned about relationships after four decades with his wife.

Making it through the holidays on 4 legs and 4 wheels

1. Driving safety Here are some travel tips from the Red Cross… Continue reading

The top 10 albums of 2017: From Jay-Z to St. Vincent

This year saw an upward trend in music industry revenue due to the popularity of streaming services.

Snohomish County book calendar

Jennifer Wilhoit Noon to 1 p.m., Jan. 13, Edmonds Bookshop Wilhoit will… Continue reading

Most Read