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Should I open up my front screened in porch

last month

Hi, my husband and I bought this small ranch with a screened front porch almost 1 year ago. The screened front porch is functional, but I HATE how it looks from the outside. The screened porch door is on side, the front door (inside screen porch) faces the road. I really don't like how you can't see any door from the road. I am considering removing the screens to make it fully open, but I'm worried it may look strange with the bushes in front of it blocking the porch stone wall- would I have to add some railings or something? Open to any and all ideas (including keeping the screens)!

Comments (15)

  • PRO
    last month

    I would start by making the walkways from the street to lead people to the actual front door. I also do not love that porch but it dors provide an entrty so maybe some pics of the actual entry in the house .

  • last month

    I think it depends on what you are using the space for. If you will actually sit there, greet friends or visit there, it is so functional to have a nice screened area. If you just want a friendly porch to invite people in and show off a pretty coral front door, by all means remove the screenings.

  • last month

    My mom and dad used to have discussions about our yard and my mother's argument was always the same. You live on the inside. The outside is for others to see.

    Is the space something that you use and enjoy? Does it make your home function better? I know someone who has a similar space and built 3 large dog crates along the back wall (looks like furniture, but functions as dog crates. This is perfect when she needs to crate the dogs and doesn't want to hear the barking when workman come or they have dinner guests.

    She also created an area for boots to be taken off and stored before entering the house. She owns a farm, so they need a space to take off muddy boots and not walk on the wood floors. Her screened patio has stone floors that are easy to clean and maintain.

  • last month

    Thank you all for the comments! Some more info- we live in upstate NY and have a nice fenced backyard that we use a lot. So we don't really hang out in the screened front porch. It's main function is removing muddy/snowy boots and wiping dog's paws before coming inside- which is nice. But I'm not sure if that 1 function outweighs the appearance! I'm also just having a lot of trouble envisioning what it would even look like without the screens

  • last month

    Can you replace the screen with windows and make it a mud room for the house? I am not sure about heating or cooling, but if that opening was glass, it would look great and maybe be more functional as an interior room.

  • last month

    I can’t help thinking, if it would work for you, how nice it could look with an open front porch/entry.

  • last month

    Have you thought about keeping it screened in but moving the door from the side to the front?

    Or move the door to the front and install windows instead of screens.

    I live in central new york so i get how nice having the enclosed porch is for functionality.

  • last month

    ^ agree with @partim - i think landscaping could help a lot

  • last month

    There are no other homes near you that are the same house but no screened in porch? My assumption would be someone didn't like bugs but wanted to sit outside at night? The open space that will remain after the screens are gone will still be an unusual front entrance. Rather dark given the house wall and roof. We did the opposite on a home we owned. It had a covered front not unlike yours. It had railings between the walkway and the yard. We screened it in. Loved having the outdoor space to sit but it was awkward. Does one approach by coming into the screened in area or knock on the screen door, where one inside could never hear the knock??

  • last month

    This is a two-part answer:


    --Use landscaping to make the house more pleasing. Yes, remove the big shrub by the entry.

    --Extend the planting bed and add a mix of high and low plantings along the outside wall. A small, flowering tree in front of the screen side would let in filtered light to the inside and camouflage the screening that bothers you. Hire a garden designer to help you pick the plantings for your planting zone.

    Inside: We need a well-lit photo of the interior of the screened area, which sounds like a great functional transitional space. So treat the inside as an open-air foyer/mudroom/porch, but attractive and welcoming. Here's a link to a Pinterest page about turning a porch into a mudroom:

    --Put a bench with shoe shelves or baskets to face the front door. Add a mirror over it to reflect outdoor light and sconces or a floor lamp in the corner. This invites people in and gives them a place to put down things, take off shoes, etc. Opposite the bench, add hooks on whatever wall space is there that isn't visible from the street. Maybe just a coat rack if that's all the space you have. A warm tile floor would be nice or just a great indoor outdoor carpet. You could beadboard the walls with hooks for coats and dog leashes on one side. Make sure to add soft lighting.

    So think of your porch as a welcoming foyer/midroom, not as a screened porch you don't use. Some people use such entry spaces rooms as a place to set up drinks for a party.

  • last month

    I love a screened porch!

    But this is you. If you don’t use it, and you don’t like it, tear it out.

  • last month

    You may hate how fallen leaves pile up at the front door during the fall and winter if you remove it. So I would keep it just for the barrier it provides if nothing else. And it keeps the dogs corralled when you unleash them & clean their feet. Helps buffer cold wind in the winter. Amazon deliveries are better concealed from drive-by porch pirates...

    Beef up the framing so it looks more substantial? Add horizontal framing between the posts? Replace the screen door with a better looking one?

  • last month

    I think partim hit the nail on the head with upgrading the landscape.

    Another option would be to move the doorway to the space where the windows are currently placed and make the side entrance a window.

    I am not sure the bang is worth the buck.

  • last month

    The problem that I see with moving the door to the front is that the seating will be in the pathway between doors. And a real door will be an in swing (eating up that inner space) vs a storm or screen door is an out swing door.

    If the house doesn't have a foyer, then it makes sense to create one. But not so much if you are creating a second foyer.