Have you ever heard anyone complain that their screened porch was too big? We haven’t! At The Porch Company, we are often asked about the best size for a porch. What would be too small and what would be too big? It’s hard to generalize because it depends on so many things, but the first consideration is how you intend to use your porch.

Forest Hills TN Screened Porch

Will the screened porch be used by several family members at the same time?

Do you want to allocate a portion of the porch for dining and another portion for lounging?

Do you plan to watch television on your porch?

Will you use the screened porch for entertaining?

As a guideline, we tell people that a porch of 250 sq. ft. or smaller is good for a one-function outdoor room—either dining or lounging but not both. A 300+ sq. ft. porch is perfect for a dual-function room—for example, dining and relaxing.


The photos you see here feature a recent project in Forest Hills, TN, where The Porch Company expanded a screened porch that was originally 8 feet deep. When the clients purchased this home, it had a 6-foot deck outside the porch. The homeowners found that neither the deck nor the porch was very usable. Neither was spacious enough for much except sitting in a rocking chair and gazing out across the yard. If they wanted to use the porch for lounging or dining, they would need more space.

Forest Hills TN porch builder

The perfect solution was to combine the square footage of the porch and the deck. The result was this glorious 14′ x 17′ screened porch. Look how much roomier it feels! Now it actually functions like an outdoor room instead of simply a place for a few rocking chairs. Our goal for the newly-expanded space was to better speak to the needs of the homeowner. The outdoor livability of this home has been greatly improved.


The Porch Company installed new flooring across the entire space that had previously served as a porch and a deck. The clients chose AZEK low-maintenance capped polymer decking, and the homeowner made it clear that he was DONE with maintenance. While the flooring on a screened porch will be more protected than flooring a deck, he was not taking any chances!

AZEK Flooring on Forest Hills TN Screened Porch

We wrapped the porch columns with our 10″ PorchCo columns which are dressier than the original posts. The new look gels better with the architecture of the home. The homeowners chose an elegant, dark bronze color for the porch columns and railings, a very dramatic color.

Forest Hills TN Screened Porch Builder

The roof of the expanded porch area is flat since the roof of the existing porch worked so well with the home. We continued the same porch ceiling from the original porch into the new section. Along the beam that connects the original porch with the new portion, we installed our favorite infrared heaters. Even when the Tennessee nights get chilly, these homeowners will be cozy on their screened porch! Now that it’s more usable, they want to be able to use it during more of the year.


The stairway from the porch to the yard features AZEK treads with painted risers, and the painted railing has AZEK caps. This means that anything the hand touches is AZEK, so no one will encounter any splinters. Using AZEK for all of these horizontal surfaces minimizes maintenance since the horizontal surfaces on an outdoor room would be the most likely to require maintenance. The posts at the top and bottom of stairway feature the PorchCo PVC Hermitage sleeve and cap painted the dark bronze color to match the other surfaces. Even the graspable handrail is made from PVC.

Speaking of the stairway, you may have noticed the extra-long steps. These steps were designed with the client’s aging dog in mind so he can easily get into the house from the yard. The Porch Company custom designs each project for the client and their individual needs, including those of their pets!


For maximum livability, we installed one of our PorchCo teak porch swings with a black metal frame. The swing fits in with the elegance of the outdoor room and has quickly become a favorite spot for these homeowners. Another special touch here are the PorchCo porch curtains which we sell on The Porch Store website.


We would love to expand your screened porch to create a more livable outdoor room. If you’re in the Nashville area, call us at 615-663-2886 or come by our design studio. If you’re interested in the low-maintenance PorchCo railings and Hermitage sleeve and cap for the railing posts, we invite you to look at them in The Porch Store, our e-commerce store. We look forward to doing business with you.

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