Difference Between a Deck and Porch

Deck and porch differences may be subtle, but clues to tell them apart lie in their construction. Although you can use one much like the other, how you adorn or furnish each often differs -- at least somewhat.

Deck Vs. Porch: The Structural Stuff

Typically -- and basically -- a deck is uncovered, made of lumber and attached to the home, resting on a ledger along the wall and footings or support walls underneath.

A porch, however, may be part of or extend from the home's original structure and usually is incorporated under the roof's overhang.

Both normally have railings, but a porch can instead have partial walls and a screened- or glassed-in enclosure.

The Defining Particulars

The Dazzling Deck

The deck offers somewhere to dine and relax outdoors; decorate it to emphasize these activities:

  • Form an area for resting on reclining loungers with side tables for cool drinks.
  • Add a separate space for dining, with a patio table, chairs and umbrella.
  • Bring color to each space with potted plants, such as creeping Jenny and begonias, depending on the cold- hardiness zone for your locale.

The Pretty Porch

The porch also can provide a space for dining and relaxing, but it generally guides you and your guests to the front entryway. The deck may be to the side or back of the home for sunning or quiet-time privacy, while a porch that fronts the home is prime real estate for curb appeal:

  • Make it inviting with lush, colorful hanging baskets.
  • Maximize lighting with holiday string lights, outdoor post-mounted fixtures, and even an Underwriters Laboratory-rated chandelier in a fully covered and storm-protected setting.
  • Place a welcome mat at the door.
  • Style the alfresco space with countrified wicker, rustic wood or modern metal furniture around a weather-resistant area rug for homey charm that speaks to the exterior finish and winks to what's inside.