Porch is actually an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of specific porch styles. Each types of porch is similar in function, but each features a unique look.
A portico is a types of t porch that leads to the entrance of a building. Essentially, it’s a roof over a walkway, often with support from columns. Porticos were common in ancient Greece. So, if you’re still wondering what exactly a portico looks like, just picture the buildings featured in the movie Hercules. One thing is for sure—a portico makes for a grand entrance. You’ll often find them on historic, classically inspired buildings and homes.
Sometimes called solariums, garden rooms, three-season rooms, sun porches, or patio rooms, sunrooms are popular home additions that make a bright and versatile space for entertaining guests or lounging the day away. Sunrooms are essentially enclosed porches. They’re an extension of your house, but instead of being outdoors, they’re covered with glass or plastic panels. It’s sort of like a greenhouse where you grow plants. Because the room is protected from the elements while still allowing the sun to shine through in all its glory, it’s a cozy, light-filled space that you can spend time in all year long, weather depending. If you plan to use it primarily as a relaxation space, add some comfy couches and decorate with cozy rugs and throw blankets
Wraparound porches are classic home features you’ll often see on old farmhouses. As its name suggests, a wraparound porch wraps around an entire house (or at least the whole front and one side of it). It’s a narrow-covered area, typically the same level as the house, that can have multiple entrances, one from the front door, one from the living room, bedrooms, etc. Because wraparound porches are relatively large, they offer lots of space for decorations (hello, porch swing) and unbeatable scenic views. If your home overlooks the ocean, a wraparound porch is a must. You may not ever come inside.
The word “veranda” is Portuguese for porch. Verandas are open-air, roofed spaces attached to and level with a home, often partly enclosed by a railing. Like wraparound porches, verandas commonly extend from the front of a house to the side of it. Technically, wraparound porches are verandas.
In the United States, verandas are popular home additions in New Orleans and southern states. They’re also common in warm areas where residents need a breezy escape from the sweltering sun, like in Australia and India.
A back porch is a relatively informal porch variety, at least compared to porticos and verandas. Essentially, a back porch is an extension of a house’s floor into the outdoors. They’re great for connecting your kitchen to your outdoor garden or backyard. And they’re great places for parents to sit and relax while keeping an eye on the kids playing in the backyard.
Back porches are relatively protected and private, so they double as a storage space for water guns, footballs, and all your lawn games. It’s also a great place to sit back and enjoy the view from your property—but try not to think about needing to mow the lawn.