Porch vs. Deck: Which One Should You Build?

If you’ve been recently interested in improving your home’s outdoor living spaces, you are not alone. According to a 2021 trends report, 85% of experts agree that homeowners are now willing to invest in outdoor living spaces.

However, deciding to invest in your outdoor living space is one thing; choosing what to build is another. Decks and porches are popular home improvement projects, and both can provide you with more ways to enjoy your outdoor spaces. Choosing which one to build can be a challenge.

In this article, we’ll explore their differences and features to help you choose which one to build.



Decks are considered as an extension of your living space. A deck is usually built for recreational purposes such as grilling, sunbathing, or entertaining guests. Decks are typically built at the back of the house to be closer to other outdoor staples like pools, fire pits, or outdoor kitchens.

Porches are built on the front of the house and are designed as an addition to the entryway. Unlike decks, porches are covered by an overhang or an extension of the roof. Porches are great areas to sit back and relax while watching street activities. Porches are perfect reception areas and are suitable for outdoor storage.

Building Process

Both porches and decks are similar in construction. The primary difference is that porches are either partially enclosed or has a roof built on top of it. 

If you are unfamiliar with how to build a porch, the first thing you must consider is the existing roof. Construction would only focus on the flooring and support structures if you already have enough space covered by your roof to accommodate a porch. 

If you’re building a brand new porch, expect to pay extra for an additional roofline, a ceiling, and posts that will support the overhang. 

Meanwhile, decks are designed to be completely open and roofless. While you may not have to worry about building a roof or an overhang, decks must be waterproofed. If not enough waterproofing is done, decks can be compromised over time by the weather.

Decks and porches require some level of maintenance, but both are dependent on the type of material they are made from.


American Porch

Decks and porches require some level of maintenance, but both are dependent on the type of material they are made from. 

Wooden decks require the most maintenance. The wood needs to be washed once a year and stained at least every two years. Decks made from composite materials usually require little maintenance, but damaged boards will need to be replaced. If you are planning to build low-maintenance decks, consider using modified wood and fiber cement.

Porches require little maintenance due to their enclosed and roofed design. Porches made from composites or modified wood require the least amount of care. If you prefer to build a wooden porch, expect to have it clean and stained at least every few years. 

Cost Involved 

The cost to build a deck ranges from $6,720 to $22,720. This price range includes the materials, installation fees, and labor needed to build a 16×20 deck. The types of materials used play a significant role in the overall cost. Pine, a common deck material, costs around $9 per square foot, while modified hardwoods can cost $35 per square foot.

Building a porch often has similar material and labor costs but with additional expenses due to roofing services. With an average price ranging from $16,000 to $30,400, porches are an expensive investment.

Whether you are leaning towards building a spacious deck or a relaxing porch, both of them has something unique to offer your home. It’s just a matter of determining which one fits your vision and how much you are willing to invest in upgrading your outdoor living space.

Once you have decided which one you want to add to your home, it’s time to start planning the materials, the design, and the style. G.H. Clark Contractors have experts builders that can help you build decks or porches that fit your style and budget. 

If you plan to build a deck or porch for your home, contact us today to discuss your project in detail and receive a free estimate.

Roofing Contractor Prince Frederick, MD