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Various porch styles can turn an ordinary front stoop into a livable space, though some simpler designs also offer an attractive, temporary stop for guests before entering a house. A wraparound porch, for example, offers plenty of space for leisure time, while a stoop style front porch offers just enough space for a visitor to stand. Other porch styles include the enclosed porch, which turns the open-air porch into an enclosed living space, and a three season porch allows the space to be used for most of the year, except for the coldest months.
The difference between an enclosed porch and a three season porch is insulation. These two porch styles are essentially the same in other capacities, but the enclosed porch will usually feature insulation so the space can be used year-round. A three season porch is usually only suitable for the warmer months, and even cooler months before the temperatures really plummet. The cost of building a three season porch is lower than that of an enclosed porch, though enclosed porches, sometimes called four season porches, are useful year-round, offering more convenience and comfort.
An outdoor porch is essentially any of the various porch styles that are not enclosed. These spaces can be small or large, covered or uncovered, and as decorative or simple as the homeowner desires. The original purpose of the front porch was to give visitors a covered place to stand, safe from the weather outside before entering a home, so the simplest designs usually only suit this purpose. Such porch styles can be made from wood, stone, concrete, brick, or even vinyl, and they will usually feature hand rails for added stability. An awning or canopy is likely to cover the front porch, and this awning can be made from canvas, wood, metal, or vinyl.
Wraparound porches are larger structures that usually run across most, if not all, of the front of the house; the porch will then turn a corner and run part of the length of one or more sides of the house. Such porch styles offer plenty of living space for the family or for guests, and many homeowners or renters choose to set up chairs, tables, or other furniture to make the space more livable and comfortable. In some cases, the wraparound porch may also be enclosed, making it suitable for use year-round. Others may feature screens that will keep bugs and pests at bay during summer months.
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