As Design Trends Change, Are Screen Porches Still Right For Baltimore?

Wood Screened Porch with Stairs

For generations, porches have been a central feature of American architecture and culture, a tradition that continues today, with an estimated 129,518 people in the U.S. employed by the industry. However, homeowners are now eschewing the classic screened porch for patios and gazebos. With this trend in effect, will you start to notice a steady disappearance of Baltimore’s screen porches? And should you contact a Baltimore gazebo company to install this increasingly common feature? Read on to learn about the history of these two popular fixtures and how the experts think they will be used in the future.

The Rise of Screened Porches
Like many characteristics of American architecture, the first porches were inspired by Ancient Greece: temples, halls and gardens in this period often featured open entryways with elegant columns. As a result, a number of the plantations built during the American South’s Greek Revival stage, which took place in the 1840s, included outdoor sitting areas with similar white pillars. This aesthetic choice of the upper class quickly spread to smaller homes throughout the U.S. And when the Civil War lead to a surplus of wire mesh sieves, our more practical ancestors thought it natural to use the material to increase the comfort of these patios: by the 1880s, production of this material was in full swing and thousands of homes were using it to create functional and enjoyable outdoor spaces. Maryland was no exception: there were plenty of Baltimore screened porches by 1900, some of which still exist today.

Changing Times
By the mid 20th century, however, Americans were more likely to desire other fixtures, like air conditioning. This appliance meant that a homeowner could create a comfortable, breezy spot wherever they wished, rather than having to walk out to the porch. As a result, porches eventually fell out of favor. And yet trends are changing: many homeowners now see a porch as an extremely desirable feature, causing many people to construct them for their own enjoyment or to attract potential home buyers. Unfortunately, screened porches have thus far been left out of this revival: many builders note that modern consumers find them unattractive and inconvenient, especially because most people want to truly be outside when the weather is nice. You may have noticed Baltimore screened porches gradually being replaced by sunrooms, decks, patios, and gazebos, which many homeowners feel create a better transition from house to yard. Currently, there are an estimated 40 million decks in the U.S. that are over 20 years old, but these projects offer a return of about 87% the original investment.

But we can’t count out the classic screened porch just yet. Take Baltimore gazebos, for example: these turreted structures have appeared in some form since the 17th century. Now, these features are flourishing once again, and it is likely screened porches could follow suit. After all, these spaces provide a comfortable, enjoyable space that protects families from insects, rain and other inconveniences. Moreover, thanks to modern building techniques, screened porches can be made more attractive, durable and appealing than ever before. Want to be part of a resurgence in Baltimore screened porches, or install a more popular Baltimore gazebo? Contact us today to discuss these great, classic features!