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What Are the Different Types of Porches?

Here in the Carolinas, the word “porch” might immediately call to mind a sprawling southern rocking chair front porch. These days, a porch is not a porch is not a porch.

There are more types of porches than you might have considered. Archadeck of Charlotte builds them all! With more than 30 years in the porch design and building business, we can bring your idea of the perfect porch to fruition, no matter the type of porch you desire.

collage of five pictures showing porches

What are the different types of porches?

5 Different Types of Porches

Are you looking for a more beautiful entrance into the front of your home? Maybe you are looking for that southern rocking chair porch. Doe a porch have to be attached to your home? Have you wondered if there is a type of porch, which will allow you four seasons of usability? Read on!

1 – Front Porch or Portico

Friendly Carolina neighborhoods rejoice in a communal front porch, where family, friends, and neighbors meet, or we can offer a salutation to passers-by. A front porch can offer a space of respite or gathering and will indeed add designer appeal to the front of your home. Embellished with rocking chairs, seasonal décor, and custom lighting, your new front porch can become the talk of the neighborhood. At the same time, a simpler front entrance portico design can put your home’s best face forward. Porticos can increase your home’s character and charm with architectural elements, such as stately columns, a custom ceiling shape and finish, and a custom roof design.

Portico and Front Porch Ideas
Front porch and portico

2 – Pavilion or Covered Patio

A pavilion is a detached porch, which can also be called a covered patio. Pavilions are popular for expansive backyards or those with pools, where the roof shelter will facilitate comfort and protection beyond the confines of your home. Amenities you might find in a backyard pavilion are outdoor fireplaces, built-in outdoor kitchens, lighting and ceiling fans, or radiant heating, which make the space super-functional. A pavilion can become your backyard home (a few steps away) from home.

pavilion/ covered porch/ patio with fridge and outdoor furniture
A pavilion or covered patio design can offer massive function

Also read: 3 Great Uses for Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits

3 – Open Porch or Covered Porch

The terms “open porch” and “covered porch” are interchangeable. This type of porch offers a roof for protection from rain and sun, with open sides for full breezes and a feeling of airiness. An open porch can be a front porch or back porch or can refer to a porch that is attached to your home, or one that is detached like a pavilion. Open porches also often feature electrical components, such as lighting and fans. Your open porch can offer many hours of enjoyment each year, with a multitude of personal uses and opportunities for entertaining.

covered but open porch with high ceiling
Open porch design cathedral ceiling and open gable

4 – Screened Porch

As the name denotes, a screened porch is a covered porch, which has screen-covered openings. Screened porches are very popular for their added protection from the elements, insects, and rodents. Screened porches are often used for outdoor living rooms and dining rooms. These also often include outdoor fireplaces, and all electrical accommodations for TVs, lighting, heating, and fans. Homeowners also often include an accompanying grill deck, which furthers the function of a screened porch for an outdoor dining venue. In our temperate climate, your screened porch might also be called a 3-season porch or 3-season room, especially if it includes a fireplace.

screened porch with chairs and barbecue
Screened porch design with grill deck

Also read: Should I build a composite deck?

5 – Multi-Season Porch or Sunroom

A multi-season porch, often referred to as a 3-season porch or 4-season porch, is also often called a sunroom. Though the term “sunroom” typically refers to an actual room addition, which includes framed walls, insulation, and some sort of HVAC accommodation to make it usable year-round. A muilti-season porch can also be used in all four seasons but includes the addition of vinyl windows to screened openings, rather than insulated walls. Adding VersaPorch windows, along with an outdoor fireplace can create a 3-season or 4-season porch, which is usable for at least some days in three or all four seasons. In warm months, these vinyl window systems can open up to about 75% of the screened opening to allow for maximum airflow. Your multi-season porch with VersaPorch windows can be especially useful in the springtime allergy season, keeping pollen at bay.

4-season porch/ sunroom with couches and fireplace
Multi-season porch with VersaPorch windows

Are you searching for a porch builder near you? Archadeck of Charlotte is ready to help you design and build the perfect porch for your home and family! Call us at (704) 850-6104 or email us at