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Porch Parties

Turn Your Porch into an Entertaining Porch

Think of your porch next time you want a wonderful place to host some festive porch parties or have a romantic dinner.

Dave and I have used our porches over the years for lots of happy celebrations - graduation parties for our sons, wedding showers, birthday parties, neighborhood get-togethers and even for camping out.

Entertainment porches are great for porch parties.

A porch designed for entertaining has extra design features and amenities meant just for entertaining. For example, you may have a built-in grill, a wet bar, outdoor speakers and storage for your tableware.

This kind of porch might also have outdoor speakers, ambient lighting and even extra electrical outlets.

Have a fun porch party

If you think your porch isn't quite up to par for a porch party, maybe you just need to rearrange your furniture, add some fresh flowers and voila! You're ready for entertaining.

What type of entertaining fits your lifestyle?

  • Do you like large gatherings or small intimate affairs?
  • Do you like to cook out?
  • Do you like to listen to music?
  • Do you like porch parties?
  • Are you a down-home country person or a more sophisticated type?
  • If you prefer privacy, maybe a porch in the back or side of your home is better-suited for you and your guests. Offers more privacy!

Do you have a small porch? No problem! Yours may be just right for...

  • An intimate dinner
  • A place to play board games, cards, dominoes or chess
  • A place to serve dessert, enjoy the view, share a glass of wine with your sweetie

Wonderful food on the porch

Let's eat. It's a party!

Plan to cook on your porch?

Think of portable grills, coolers and tables. Or if you really want to go all-out, how about a built-in kitchen? Complete with grill, refrigerator, wet-bar, and prep/serving space - you're really set!

Buffet-style dining: If you don't have room for long tables, consider mounting collapsible counters to either the walls or railings of your porch. They can blend in with your architectural style and won't be noticeable when not in use. Makes your porch more flexible and it beats having to store tables

We like using available space and it's fun to design features that are very functional without being obtrusive. Use your imagination and see what you can "build-in" on your porch! Let us know what you've designed and we'll share it with others!

Furniture, fabric, and fun!

Porch parties call for the right kind of porch furniture. Select furniture to match your style of entertaining. Like a small round "bistro" table for an intimate dinner or a larger round table for card games. Don't forget color!

You have your choice of many outdoor fabrics for that special touch! Check out our furnishings page for more ideas!

Porch comfort for warm weather entertainment

Install outdoor fans to create a breeze during those hot summer nights. Not only do they add to the ambiance of your porch but they also cool the interior space.

Also, make sure your porch roof is vented to allow heat to escape. A few properly installed vents can really make a big difference. We once had a great screened porch - but it really needed a fan to keep it cooler in the summers. That would have made it much more enjoyable on hot, summer days.

Porch comfort for cool weather parties

Use portable radiant heaters and turn your fan to the winter setting to displace the heat over the entire porch area. You can even add heating elements in your decking.

Light the fire! A fireplace is another great addition to a porch. Again, depending on design, you may be able to use the same chimney and you must comply with local codes.

Music to your ears!

We've had outdoor speakers and they are great! In fact, when we had a home built, we had the speakers wired throughout the house. We were surprised that it was pretty affordable to do that.

If you are building a home, consider installing a speaker system in your home and include the porch as an area with speakers. You will be delighted and it doesn't cost that much extra. Have them install a volume control on the porch.

For porch parties, having music right on the porch is fabulous! But be respectful of your neighbors...maybe you should invite them!

Set the mood with porch lighting

Ourdoor porch lights set the mood for entertainment porches! From a romantic candle light dinner to a robust swingin' party, lighting can enhance everyone's enjoyment. Most standard porches have a light or two and that's fine.

Consider installing dimmers. Yes, they can be used on porches for mood lighting. You will want more lighting if you plan to play board games or charades in the evenings. You can install recessed canned lighting in your porch ceiling. We recommend having two banks of lights that can be operated from two separate switches for ease in adjusting lighting. Sconces, rope lights, chandeliers, and task lighting (especially over the grill area)are additional options you may want to consider.


Consider storage for kitchen items, extra chairs, candles, games and tableware when planning your entertainment porch. Having items handy is a real plus when entertaining guests.

Electrical outlets

Seems you can't have too many and there's never one where you need it. Don't fret...

Adding outlets and/or extending outlets is not difficult to do in most cases. There are many great books that will walk you through it. However, always consult your local codes department and get the required building permit.

Or, use a licensed electrical contractor. Normally, a homeowner is allowed to do electrical work on their own home BUT you must check this out with your local codes department. Many code inspectors are more than welcome to assist you. Wiring outdoor fixtures or extending lines to the exterior all have different code requirements.

Get a building permit and have your work inspected. Mary and I believe it's better to be extra safe than sorry!
No need to spoil your porch party.

Important safety notes

Porch parties are great fun, but be safety-conscious please!

If installing grills, wet bars, or fireplaces, ensure your contractor complies with installation guidelines provided by the manufacturer and your local codes. Don't take shortcuts. We've dealt with local building inspectors across the U.S. and find them to be most helpful and knowledgeable. They are a great resource of information.

If you have water access on your porch and live in a cold climate make sure you have the proper shut-off valves and the right faucets to eliminate freezing pipes. This is especially important if you have a wet bar and the pipes are located in a cabinet on your porch.

Have an operational fire extinguisher on the porch if you have grills or fireplaces.

› › Porch Parties


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Our Sponsors

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks
For Your Porch Parts

Screened porch windows at
DIY Eze Breeze
Screen Porch Windows

The Porch Store
Porch Store
Custom Porch Products

Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products
Complement Any Home!

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