Cover-up

Those summer storms recently can really pop up quickly. The skies turn an angry, concrete gray. It’s pouring rain, but the wind isn’t blowing too hard, so the rain is falling straight down. There’s a rumble of thunder and glints of instant lightning. And it always seems to happen at the same time as a suffocating 96-degrees day. Fortunately the storm tends to bring the temperature down at least 15-degrees. It can actually feel… refreshing? 

We love a summer storm (unserious ones only, of course). You know what would be absolutely perfect in the moment? A covered porch.

A covered porch on a stormy day means you could be rocking in a rocking chair or lounging on a loveseat inhaling the petrichor, that amazing earthy smell of rain on summer-parched earth, reading a book or sipping a glass of wine and just admiring the loveliness of the season. Dry, protected, looking over the beauty of your yard glistening with rain by yourself or with loved ones. 

There are so many reasons to consider adding a covered porch to your home if you don’t already have one. They can be so versatile, and when well-designed and properly furnished, it can be like adding another room to your home. If you’re considering a remodel in the near future, don’t overlook the experience of sitting on a covered porch. 

Let’s look at some of the benefits of adding a covered porch to your home’s outdoor space: 

Shade

Contrary to popular belief, shade doesn’t actually drop the temperature. It may seem like it does because it feels decidedly cooler in the shade. But the air temperature remains the same in or out of shade. A covered porch blocks solar radiation which, depending on cloud cover and the intensity of the sun, can raise the “feels-like” temperature of an area anywhere from 10-25 degrees. 

So in those breathless summer months in most of the US states, a space protected from the sun’s brutal glare can give you freedom to be outdoors, outside of your shuttered up, A/C-cooled home, and take in some nature. You can enjoy the all-too-occasional summer breezes and, yes, summer storms.

And at night, you can take advantage of the fact that your outdoor living space hasn’t been absorbing the heat of the sun all day only to breathe it back into the atmosphere after the sun sets.

Other heat-mitigation

Shade is not the only heat-mitigation that a covered porch can offer. When properly built and appointed, your covered porch can serve as an oasis during the hot summer months. 

Heat rises; so if your porch is built with vaulted ceilings (like our recent build seen in this photo) heat can rise and get trapped high above visitors’ heads. 

Regardless of build, ceiling fans are a staple of porches throughout the south. They circulate the air, help keep mosquitos and other bitey bugs at bay, and cool the porch with their gentle breeze.

Water misters are also available to be installed on porches. They provide plumes of light moisture to help keep people cool. But do note there are drawbacks too. You’ll want to have hard, rust-resistant furniture on the porch and anti-slip flooring. 

We have clients who treat their covered porches as outdoor living rooms during the warmer months (and even some of the colder ones!). Most of the activities that took place indoors during the winter move out to the porch when the weather turns. 

For some, that means their porch is an outdoor dining room appointed with a table and chairs for family dinners, some with a full-blown outdoor kitchen set-up with counters and fridges and stoves (or certainly, at least a nice grill). Clients with pools especially love this use of a covered porch because it means not traipsing through the house in a wet bathing suit to retrieve a drink or a snack.

The advent of weather-resistant televisions has made the move to fresh-air movie night an easy one. Comfy lounges, loveseats, and chairs are critical to this use. Who doesn’t love the feel of a drive-in movie in the comfort of their own home? Listening to the chorus of crickets against the soaring score of “Titanic” or “Star Wars”? Could there be a better experience to have with your kids?

Protection

We all know that Mother Nature is brutal. The elements can be so hard on the experience of outdoor living. Rain, snow, ice, and sun exposure can make it so you have to replace your lawn furniture, grill, and goodness forbid, hot tub every few years. Tucking your outdoor living under the protection of a covered porch prolongs the life of your furniture, your decor, and your equipment by so many years. 

We always recommend bringing things indoors if a particularly bad weather system is headed your way. But with a covered porch, you will have to do this less often than if your outdoor living space is unprotected in your backyard.

We love covered porches here at Bailey. We love dressing them like household rooms with rugs, curtains, televisions, soft furnishings, and maybe even fireplaces for those colder months so they can be used all year ‘round. Expanding your home’s living space by adding a covered porch instead of an extra room is quicker, less expensive, and can be more aesthetically appealing. It also provides another experience to enjoy in your home, and an added benefit when you do, someday, place your house on the market. Outdoor living provides an extension to the living space of the home and gives extra room for entertaining much of the year. 

Let us know if you’re interested in exploring this option for your home.