While it can seem like finding the differences between a deck and a porch might be minute, the fact is that they deserve careful consideration. Indeed, knowing the pros and cons of each can help you decide which one is better suited to your lifestyle as well as your expectations. These are further explored below.
It might seem counterintuitive but many of the same advantages cited when it comes to choosing a deck over a porch can be seen as disadvantages as well. For example, decks put you right in the outdoor elements. You can easily enjoy the breezes and sunshine that make spending time outside worth it. You can also grill out easily on a deck without worry that smoke could become an issue.
These same pros can also become cons if the weather doesn't cooperate. Rain will mean that you can't eat or entertain on a deck. During the height of summer, you might find it too blistering hot to stay out on your deck and enjoy yourself. However, there are options to help you deal with unwanted weather conditions. An oversized deck that is large enough for a screen house is one such option. The use of tables with umbrellas and pop up canopies is another option.
Porches have a long history and have long been a popular item for homes. They offer many advantages that can be felt both from within the porch and the interior of your home itself. The most visible pro to choosing a porch is the fact that it offers a roof to provide shade while you and your family enjoy the outdoors. Because porches are also often screened, they can keep out unwanted insects while still also capturing the breezes.
Porches also give you a more complete sense of privacy. By their very design, porches provide protection for the floor against the elements and reduce the time and effort needed to maintain it.
Other advantages of building a porch instead of a deck include keeping the weather -- in the form of rain and sun -- away from the windows of your home. This means that those interior rooms will likely be cooler -- both in the summer and winter. The screens can also make the porch itself seem too closed-in, cold and dark. Skylights and removable screens can help counteract these disadvantages.