Build the Porch of Your Dreams

Welcome to the 637th Metamorphosis Monday, a blog party sharing fabulous Before and Afters!

Porch season is almost year-round here in the south. If you live further north and design your porch with a fireplace, you may even be able to enjoy some time on the porch during the wintertime. The design of my screened porch was kinda serendipitous, coming together after several months of talking with contractors and pouring through a ton of “porch” books.


Adding on the porch all started when I just couldn’t deal with my poorly designed old deck any longer. The deck badly needed to be replaced but I wasn’t eager to spend $$$ on an area I never enjoyed due to the brutal sun that beat down on it from noon until sunset every day.


The deck was so hot in the summer, you couldn’t walk across it barefoot for even a second. See that door on the second story over to the right in the photo below? The afternoon, west sun that shone down on my deck each day was so brutal, it actually melted the substance (not sure what it’s called) that held the panes in place on that door. The day I discovered one of the panes (in what was a fairly new door) had slipped down due to the west sun cooking the door all day, I knew there was no way I was replacing the old deck with just another deck. It was time to think about adding on the screened porch I was forever dreaming about.


If you’ve been thinking of replacing an older deck and would love a porch (screened or not) below I’ve linked several posts that I think you’ll find helpful as you plan and design your porch. Speaking of screening, since we have mosquitoes here in the south big enough to saddle up and ride, I really wanted my future porch to be screened-in. Also, I wanted to be able to sit out on the porch at night without fear of a giant bug finding its way onto the porch. We have some big, big bugs here in the south that especially love to come out at night. If you only plan to use your porch during the daytime, you may be fine without screening it and adding some good, strong ceiling fans overhead instead since mosquitoes don’t like super windy conditions.

Here are three previous posts with detailed answers to many of the questions I often get about adding on a screened porch. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask those in the comments below.

(Click the post title links below to access that particular post.)

Screened-in Porches: How Much Do They Cost to Build?


9 Great Features Every Porch Needs


Springtime Means Porch Time:  Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions


Love porches? You’ll find a lot more inspiration for all things porch here: Porches.

Spring Table Setting with Honeysuckle Centerpiece


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Thank you for such complete information which helped me last year. Here in CT we chose a sunroom rather than a screened porch after we saw the havoc snow played on our neighbor’s screened porch. However much of the information you described was very useful. We think the sunroom is the best part of our home and with baseboard heat we put our Christmas tree out there and it was perfect. You really do a fabulous job giving such complete information on anything you do or recommend.

  2. Elaine Evans says

    Your porch IS the porch of my dreams lol and could thank you enough for sharing this I am ready to retire and looking to redo the Granny Pad I am moving into Great timing ! Thanks, follower from almost the beginning E

    • Thanks so much for being a follower for all these years, Elaine! Appreciate that so much! Happy retirement! Exciting times ahead! 🙂

  3. franki Parde says

    That IS a loved porch by one ( you) & all (us!) KUDOS!! franki

  4. Brenda S Lawrence says

    Since I’m originally from the south, I’m a huge fan of porches. I love to porch sit! lol I love to read on the porch, needlepoint on the porch-although with old eyes, that is a thing of the past for the most part. And I just love to sit and watch wildlife on the porch. Problem is, I don’t have a porch. I have a patio. It’s my dream to have a screen in porch, but doubt I will ever see one. So I romanize over yours Susan! Hugs, Brenda

    • I hope you get your porch, Brenda. I never expected to finally get mine but since that deck was a disaster and not really very usable, I decided to do the porch instead. It really wasn’t that much more than the deck would have been, although I’m not sure how prices are now. I’ve heard that wood prices have shot up…not sure why.

  5. It must be wonderful to have such a beautiful porch, to have all that room for relaxing and entertaining—and napping! :0). I love the way you decorate your porch for the changing seasons.

    • Thanks so much, Elena! The porch is so different from the rest of my home, it gives me the chance to decorate in a more playful way. Napping is always high on the list of things to do on the porch. 🙂

  6. I love that porch. I have a small screened in porch that needs the screen replaced because of raccoons ripping them and some dry rot. I know what you mean about the direct sunlight. The paint fades and the doorknob gets really hot. All summer it beats on my front door. All winter it warms someone else’s.

    • Oh my gosh! Raccoons can be so destructive. They raid my birdfeeders every night, stinkers! Yes, that sun is hot, especially that west sun!

  7. I really appreciate you taking the time to host this charming party!! Thank you!!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  8. Thanks Susan! I know it’s hard for you to imagine your house before you built your beautiful porch! We built an outdoor fireplace and pizza oven 2 years ago and now our patio functions like an extra room, and it’s where we entertain almost year round…

  9. Susan, it’s apparent that you put a lot of thought and consideration into the design of your porch, and the results are certainly beautiful. Your porch is such a fun place to play — you get to decorate with the seasons, you can entertain on the porch, you can relax and read with a cup of tea, or even take a summer nap. 😀 All of life can be lived on that porch, it seems.

    My question is, now that you’ve been living with it for quite a while, is there anything you would do different, any changes you would make were you to be building another? Thanks. 🙂

    • Great question! I would love for the porch to have been a tad wider, maybe 2-3 feet wider and I did discuss that with my contractor, but unfortunately, that would not have worked well on the back of my home and would have thrown everything else off. If I ever move and add a porch to another home, if possible I’ll make it a couple of feet wider and maybe a foot or two deeper. I’m thankful that I was able to make it as large as it is, though–because I really like having a separate seating and a dining area.

      • Yes…you really do have it great with the separate seating and dining – and I love that you have room for a hutch. That really makes the porch special!

      • Thanks, Susan. I suspect that like me, you are the type of person to think things through so thoroughly that you pretty much are happy once you’ve made your decisions.

        I did wonder if you were satisfied with the dimensions or would have preferred it to be a smidge bigger. We could always use more space, right? (More space to decorate, or fit another perfect piece of furniture, heehee.) 😀 But the proportions of the deck are perfect when viewed as a pretty picture. By enlarging it, that would have maybe changed the pitch of the roof a little, or the arches at the windows. It may not have had that ‘perfect’ look if you had done so. Still, I’m sure you would have been happy! lol.

        I wondered if you would still incorporate both decks? I really love the look, as I said in my earlier post. The whole ‘architectural’ interest of the way it’s laid out. I love the extra prettiness the pergola lends and really, as I said before, I think it’s the prettiest porch I’ve ever seen, the whole thing just looks so picture perfect to me.

        Now, just to figure out how to get ON it and have a cup of tea with you! Lol. 😀 I don’t know how you get anything else done. I think I’d just live on that porch! Thanks for answering, Susan. Enjoy the day.

  10. Mary Anne Carlin says

    Oh my goodness. Here we go again – you giving me ideas that cost me money! But honestly, this one is SO exciting. Your porch post was a lightbulb moment! I have already written to my contractor to come over and discuss converting the main part of my deck to a screened in porch. All thanks to you! It’s the perfect solution for me. I have enough outdoor space with my patio and I know I’ll really love a bug/bee-free zone that the screened porch will give me. I can use the existing footprint so I bet it won’t be too too expensive. Here in New England I’ll be able to use it for 3 seasons. I am particularly looking forward to being able to use it at night with lights on. Oh, thank you as always! I’ll be in touch with photos along the way. PS – I bought the Mop-Nado years ago because of your recommendation and I’m sure it will be happy to learn it will have a porch floor to wash at some point like yours. LOL.

  11. Susan…your porch is amazing and the way you described the process is so helpful. We have had screen porches on our last three homes. Like you, we had a deck on our home and the sun was so hot we could not walk on it. Then I had a bit of skin cancer and that was the deciding factor. We converted it to a screen porch and loved it. When we moved and built a new home we made sure the screen porch was on right from the beginning. After retiring and looking to downsize we knew our new place had to have a screen porch. We looked at one development that had patios and sunrooms…I asked if I could substitute a screen porch instead. NO was the answer – too much work. Needless to say we did not move to that community. When we found the place where we now live one of the BIG selling points was that each apartment had a screened porch! Done! It is smaller thank what we had, but plenty big for a table and chairs to seat 6…and my chaise – a place to read/nap/listen to the wind in the trees! Bliss!

  12. Donna R Boyd says

    Please show pictures of the outside of your house with the screened porch and the deck beside it. I would like to see how it worked out.

  13. Thanks for another great party Susan. Your house wouldn’t be your house without the porch. Lol. It’s the only way I know it and I love it that way! Have a great week. XO- MaryJo

    PS. I can’t believe the sun melted part of that door. That’s Crazy!

  14. Cyndi Raines says

    Oh yes, that porch is TOTALLY AWESOME! Have loved it since I found your blog in February of 2013! (Wow, what fun years we have shared!) I had plans to screen in our large deck, but when my husband suffered a stroke and I had to retire early, that changed those plans. BUT, it did prompt me to start using our covered front porch more and now we have fun on both the back large deck which can fit 8 people comfortably and the good size covered front porch, where we have a swing on one end and also on the other a cute bench and a small rod iron glass top table for 2 – 4. While neither are screened, we do o.k. and depending on my mood, dictates where we go. To bird watch and get soft morning sun with the large umbrella up, we go o the back deck, or if having friends and family over for a cook out. If I want some quiet time, the front with the swing and the quiet table for two. When I get to heaven, I am sure my little place will have a screened in porch, by the beautiful crystal sea! Hehe, in the meantime, I will enjoy mine and love seeing yours throughout the seasons. Thanks Susan!

  15. You have one of the most beautiful porches I have ever seen, Susan! Thank you for sharing and thank you for this lovely party! I hope you have a wonderful week!


    Tee @ Teediddlydee

  16. Jill Brewster says

    I love your porch pictures, as always your addition is beautiful. I wish you would have added an exterior of the back of your home with the porch. An after to go with the first photo. Maybe in a future post?????

  17. Mary Anne says

    Susan, could you recommend some of the names and manufacturers of light blue paint that you’ve either used, or have read about, for porch ceilings? When my time comes to choose, I know it will be a big decision!

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