Outdoor living spaces are important to our lifestyles and a sought-after feature in homes. The focus of outdoor living projects today is usually a backyard deck or patio – a private space often having an elaborate outdoor kitchen, spa or pool, fireplace and elegant lighting.

But is there anything more iconic to American residential architecture than a porch? Just the thought of sitting in a porch swing or rocker with a cool drink on a warm summer night makes you feel relaxed. The nostalgia of porches is undeniable.

outdoor living: porch

Exterior remodeling by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

Many homes in Northern Virginia are in an architectural style that is compatible with having a front porch. Or they already have a porch that is in need of repair. Adding or updating a front porch can be a renovation project that is relatively inexpensive per square foot, and immediately enhances a home’s curb appeal. It also adds a “stop and smell the roses” dimension to your life.

Colonial Porch

The deep porches of colonial homes were built to help cool the home, protecting the front rooms from the scorching summer sun. Today they evoke Southern hospitality with their refined, symmetrical design and classical-style columns.

Front porch by Merrill Contracting

Front porch by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

Farmhouse Porch

The more casual farmhouse porches are simple and unpretentious. They often wrap around the sides of the home, providing maximum room for family and friends to kick back comfortably. Details include a painted wood railing and a trellis or some lattice work. The look is complete when you add cozy wicker furniture and hanging planters.

Front porch by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

Craftsman Style Porch

As the name implies, porches in Craftsman Bungalow style feature a more natural, handcrafted look, with stone or brick trim on thick, prominent square or round columns. Often oversized, they were designed to act as an extension of the modest interior living space of an Arts and Crafts home. Mission-style furniture or Adirondack chairs complete the look.

Front porch

Merrill Contracting & Remodeling Project

Postscript: The Back Porch

We don’t want to end our discussion of porches without at least a mention of another homeowner favorite: the back porch. While having a different look and vibe than a front porch, they nonetheless provide a cool respite on a warm evening. A place to relax with more privacy and a view of your backyard landscape and the family at play. Back porches are more likely than front porches to be screened-in, giving the extra advantage of keeping the bugs away. (So feel free to turn on a light and read while sipping that iced tea.)

outdoor living: screened back porch

Screened porch by Merrill Contracting & Remodeling

Whatever the architectural style of your home, if you’d like to explore the outdoor living possibilities of adding a porch, front or back, we can help. We know that one of the most important things is to have the porch design blend in with your home’s architectural style and not look tacked-on.

Contact us today for a consultation on whatever project you have in mind!

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