Being involved as a Homebuilder since 1986, I can say without a doubt that one of the most popular design features would suprise many prospective home buyers. It’s not even located inside the home and it is often overlooked.

It’s a rear “covered” deck or patio. There are several reasons why this is such a good option if it is not included in the home design. First and foremost, it’s more economical to build  with the house and will cost quite a bit more to add later. Building materials such as roof shingles, siding, etc. all match so it doesn’t look like an addition or after-thought. 

If budget is a concern as it is for many of us, there are several items in a new home that can be postponed until later and done by the homeowner or as budget permits. Examples include custom painting, extra trim, upgrade appliances, upgrade light fixtures, upgrade flooring, or upgrade countertops. However, Installing a roof for a covered deck or patio is not going to be a weekend or handyman project for many of us. It will require a professional contractor, detailed specs, and permits.

Then there’s the savings in “wear and tear” on the deck material or concrete that a roof provides as well as the protection of the rear entry door or slider from wind-driven rains and the freedom from maintenance that a rear porch provides.

But best of all is the extra “livability” it provides. How many times have we invited guests for a picnic or gathering and hoped to grill outside and then find oursleves confined in the house on a rainy day?  The rear covered porch or deck provides that extra “livability” and use.  Even in good weather, it’s an inviting  transition to the outdoors and harmonizes indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Ironically, I didn’t think of this when I built my home years ago but it’s top on my “wish-list” of home improvements. If I had to do over again, I would have built it with the house at a fraction of what it will cost today.

Fine Line Homes, Harrisburg, PA often includes a rear porch with Single “Move-In Ready” homes as well as townhomes.

Any thoughts?

Do you have a special option or home design feature you favor? One that you would do or wish you had done with your original house construction?