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Create a Sense of Southern Hospitality With a Screened Porch

A screened porch is a mainstay of the Southern experience. When you imagine a Southern home, images of neighborly chats on the front porch come to mind. Whether you live in the South or want to create that neighborly ambience elsewhere, a screened porch is an ideal addition to your house.


Contractors build from the ground up, so one of your first considerations for your screened porch will be flooring. Wood is traditional for porch flooring, especially if your goal is to create a traditional Southern porch. Many contractors recommend fir, though any hardwood is sufficient.
Since your porch will be screened in, you shouldn't have to worry about the wood weathering as you would with a deck. If you want a maintenance-free flooring option, consider composite. Modern technology has led to composite boards that closely resemble natural wood.
You often have steps leading up to the porch, which means it's raised off the ground. Some homeowners opt to fully enclose the space between the ground and the porch flooring with paneling. However, for the Southern porch, lattice screening is traditional. Such an enclosure also allows adequate air flow.

Adequate Lighting

A Southern porch will be both a utilitarian and an entertaining space. Naturally, the porch is in front of your entryway to the house itself. Therefore, you need lighting for when you're welcoming guests or even for when you arrive home and need to find your keys. The two most common lights for this purpose are sconces that flank the door or an overhead fixture.
When you're entertaining neighbors on the screened porch, you don't want an overhead fixture to provide the only light. One option for ambient lighting is to have a fixture installed in the ceiling where you'll place seating. If you want more adaptability, just ensure your contractors install enough electrical outlets for you to plug in lamps.
Along those lines, you'll want to consider how you want the lighting to operate. Quite often the light switch is indoors, which is sufficient if you're using the front porch as a greeting area. However, if the front door is your main entryway, you should consider having an exterior switch, too, for when you forget to leave the light on.

Lighting Fixtures

Besides the placement of your lighting, you'll want to consider the fixtures themselves. Most importantly, the finish of any built-in lighting fixtures must match the finish of the rest of your hardware, especially if you have them mounted next to the door. For the Southern porch, historical fixtures are more common.
In that vein, you should consider a chandelier for an overhead light. Wrought iron or otherwise ornate chandeliers are traditional for the Southern porch. Conversely, many homeowners opt for the practical - an overhead fixture that incorporates a fan. Indeed, the ceiling fan is so favored it's become a classic of the screened porch.

Architectural Details

As with the lighting, the architectural details must match the fa├žade of your house. That said, certain detailing is a hallmark of traditional Southern porches. Generally speaking, you want some level of ornamentation.
For example, you'll need to choose a porch railing. Wood or wood-look is the classic option. Also consider choosing carved spindles and look for more areas to add trim. You could choose a carved post cap for the railings that flank the stairs. You can even have the contractors add crown molding on the ceiling.
If possible, plan to also incorporate columns. Even the simplest columns will imbue your porch with a sense of the stately. If you add intricate detailing, such as corbels, your porch will be a real standout. 
With these tips, you can design a porch that gives a sense of Southern hospitality. When you're ready for a screened porch addition, contact the remodeling experts at BNN Construction.
BNN Construction
750 Fort Johnson Road
Charleston, SC 29412

Phone: 843-509-7153


Business Hours:
Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.


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