Porches: Open or Enclosed?

Make the very most of having a beautifully decorated porch in your home. Take our advice, and you'll be sure to leave all your guests open-mouthed.
Porches: Open or Enclosed?

Last update: 05 November, 2018

The coldest months of the year are far behind us, giving way to warmer weather. One way to make the most of the good weather is by spending time on our porches.

Whether open or enclosed, porches are great places to enjoy a summer evening or dinner with family or friends.

Porches have their advantages and disadvantages. Love them or hate them, everyone has an opinion on them.

The porches we all know from American movies have had their day. While undeniably beautiful, they have now given way to more modern and sophisticated porches, which have lost none of their functionality or charm.

In today’s article, we’ll tell you all about porches, and let you know which we prefer.

What is a porch?

The first thing we think of when we hear the word porch is those old American movies. Those enormous houses entirely surrounded by a porch with an overhanging roof, a porch swing, and a rocking chair. And decorated with plant pots full of flowers.

And what an amazing first impression they made on anyone who came to visit!

Leaving the Hollywood porch to one side, real porches are a room that sits between the patio or garden and the inside of the house. They can also be at the back of the house.

Porches are also known as “galleries” and can be open or enclosed.

The best thing about these spaces is that they form a link between different rooms in our homes, and can even be considered rooms in their own right. 

Open porches will allow you to enjoy a hot summer's day.

Enclosed or open porch?

There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to choosing your porch.

The materials you want to use, the location of the porch, how you’re going to decorate…

One of the most common questions is whether to have an enclosed or an open porch.

In this section, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of each, so that you can choose the one that best suits you.

The open porch

Open porches are usually attached to the front or the back or the house, leading out onto to the garden or patio.

Generally, open porches are two-story structures. The upper story normally has a balcony, and the floor of the balcony naturally forms the roof of the porch.

Obviously, this isn’t always the case, as not everyone who has a porch has a two-story house like the one we just described.

So, there are other ways to design and build an open porch. The most common way is by using a pergola or canopy.

The biggest advantage of the open porch is that they allow us to enjoy nice weather and fresh air.

However, this is also their biggest disadvantage, as they offer no protection from bad weather.

Another disadvantage is that because they are open, we can’t use them or air condition them as if they were an annex room in our house. Rather, we have to take precautions and take care of them as if they were any other outside area.

In spite of these two disadvantages, there’s no denying that open porches are perfect if you live somewhere where the weather is good all year round.

In our opinion, the purpose of this type of porch is to have somewhere that looks good, rather than somewhere you can use all the time, as you’ll probably only be using it occasionally and not on a daily basis.

Open porches are a great option if you live in a warm climate.

Enclosed porches

Enclosed porches can also be attached to either the front or the back of the house. However, you can also find them on the sides of houses.

One of the main advantages of enclosed porches is that they protect us from the elements. So, whether it’s hot or cold, you’ll be able to use your porch.

However, if you don’t have good air conditioning to deal with extremes of temperature – both hot and cold – your porch could easily become unusable.

Another of the great advantages of enclosed porches is that you can install air conditioning so that you can use them as if they were simply an extra room, like an office or a dining room. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the view while staying protected from the elements.

The main disadvantage is that they can be more expensive, as installing air conditioning or enclosing them is difficult.

Enclosed porches can be made from:

  • Glass
  • Walled pergolas
  • Folding doors
Enclosed porches will allow you to keep cool in summer and warm in winter.


We believe that an enclosed glass porch with folding doors is the most practical type of porch you can buy. This is because it allows you to open the doors whenever you want, and close them when you need to.

However, both types of porch, open and enclosed, offer many advantages that will allow you to make the most of this incredible space, whether it is nice weather or a family get-together.

The most important thing to consider when deciding which to choose is what you’ll be using your porch for.