Wrap Around Porch Ideas that Shout "Summer"!

Ahh! The iconic summer experience – relaxing in a swing on a breezy wrap around porch. Take a look at the beauties below, and you just may be inspired to add a cozy, beautiful porch to your own home.

Wrap Around Porch Pictures


Southern living. Here’s a bright and colorful wrap around beauty to be found in Natchez, MS. The photographer aptly captions this appealing image the “perfect porch . . . or the set for a great southern novel.”

robstutz/Wikimedia Creative Commons

Upwardly mobile. Here’s a lovely Queen Anne-style house featuring a gently curved wrap around porch … and a secret! Despite its elegant appearance, this was originally a nondescript single-story building. As the surrounding Missoula, Montana neighborhood grew more prosperous, the owner did some impressive DIY remodeling, adding a two-level porch, extra rooms, and a decorative turret.

inkknife_2000/Wikimedia Creative Commons

Made in the shade. Take a peek at this inviting wrap around porch, fronting a comfortably sprawling residence in Redlands, CA. Notice how the lush, tall-growing front yard shrubbery provides a winning combination of privacy and shade from the California sunbeams for anyone lucky enough to be relaxing here.

George Drastal/Wikimedia Creative Commons

Rustic beauty. You might think you’re looking at a modern take on the traditional wrap around porch. However, this Craftsman style rustic stone bungalow in Cascade, Maryland, is actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The deep, shady porch doubles as a porte cochere, offering visitors protection from both sun and snow as they enter this gracious home.

Carol M. Highsmith/Wikimedia Creative Commons

A piece of history. “Magnificent” is the word that springs to mind at the sight of this expansive wrap around porch on historic Purinton House in Morgantown, West Virginia. It features a hipped roof atop stately Ionic columns and is renowned as the site of President Taft’s World Wide Speech of a century ago.

Wrap Around Porch Benefits

  1. Additional living space. A wrap around porch serves as an outdoor living room, conveniently located right by your door.

  2. Breezy summer sleeping area. Create a comfortable nook for an afternoon nap or even overnight guest accommodation.

  3. Center for entertaining. You’ll have a great spot for hosting friends and relaxing with the family.

  4. Frame for a view. Spotlight a lovely vista, and enjoy it from the comfort of a patio lounge chair.

  5. Curb appeal. A new porch makes a house feel like a home to prospective buyers.

Wrap Around Porch Design

Wrap around porches come in a variety of styles. They may wrap around two or more sides of your house, be angled or curved, and be situated at ground level or higher.

There are a just few design “must-haves” to keep in mind. The perfect wrap around porch must:

  • allow easy access to your front entry (and possibly additional entrances as well)
  • measure at least 6’ deep for comfortable seating, up to 10’ deep for outdoor dining
  • coordinate with your home’s architecture and color
  • be equipped with safety railings if the floor is more than 30” above ground level
  • provide some shelter from the elements

Add a Wrap Around Porch -- Tips

Check state building code before you begin your wrap around porch addition. Obtain proper permits for the construction and any excavation required.

Find a reliable contractor to handle the job. While this is not typically a DIY project, you may be able to cut costs by doing part of the work yourself (for example, demo-ing an existing porch).

Design the underporch area for storage. Install a skirt to keep out animals looking for a cozy nest, but make sure that there is still plenty of ventilation to prevent rot.

Consider the cost to add a wrap around porch, which will vary according to:

  • square footage – depth times total length.
  • material. Usually wood -- natural, pressure-treated, or composite.
  • covering. Traditional wrap around porches are covered by a roof (supported by columns) which should match the home’s roofing. In a dry mild climate, you could cut costs by installing an awning instead.
  • details and amenities. This includes special touches like elaborately carved railings, ceiling fans, and/or outdoor-rated heating and lighting systems.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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