There are many alternatives for external enclosed additions to your home. These spaces can create a great visual impression and serve as valuable extensions to your living space. Depending on your preferences, some are ideal for summer and others for winter. Many homeowners make the common mistake of using different terms synonymously; it is advisable to understand the difference between a porch and lanai enclosures. This goes a long way to help you determine which is perfect for your needs without compromising efficiency, durability, or quality. Let’s look at the differences between the two external additions.


A porch is more than just a covered front door but also a well-designed architectural feature on both sides of your house. The primary purpose of a porch is to provide shelter to people entering the house, and that’s why it is located in one corner or wrapped around the entire structure. Whether you are hosting a few friends or looking for shelter when raining, the porch is an ideal solution.

Different Types of Porches

Porches have come a long way since it was invented 125 years ago. Technological advancements have allowed contractors to re-imagine the conventional porch into several designs and styles, satisfying many home designs. Here are some of the different types to consider.


A portico is a slightly smaller unit that is derivative of Grecian designs. This is the best option if you have limited yard space and want something that covers the area in front of your door. Because of its small size, an entrance is supported by pillars or columns without risking structural integrity.

Rain Porch

Homeowners can turn their porches into an extension of their homes by installing a rain porch. This unique structure has sufficient room for seating or hosting a few friends and family. A rain deck is covered to protect you and other items from extreme weather conditions like rain and direct sun exposure.

Wraparound Porch

A wraparound porch flanks two sides of a home, allowing you to make the most out of your outdoor spaces. It is often confused with a veranda, but the main difference is the open-air design. These are some popular porch options for homeowners, and we can help you determine which is more suited to your needs.


Lanais are traditionally from Hawaii and are private spaces attached to a house, hotel, or apartment. A typical lanai design usually consists of at least one wall exposed to the elements, acting as a second living room. Areas experiencing warm climates are ideal for lanais, but it is vital to consult a professional before breaking ground.

Although lanais are covered like verandas or porches, they can be elevated like balconies. However, many homeowners prefer installing them on the ground floor. It features a cement or concrete floor but can be made from various materials. The primary benefit of a lanai is that it provides an outdoor living area that is great for relaxing and entertaining.

Contact us at Orange County Cable Railing for more information and guidance to determine which is the better option for you. Leverage our extensive industry expertise and knowledge to ensure you make the right investment.