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When it comes to building your log cabin, an outdoor living space can really add a lot of dimension and living square footage to your home. What’s the difference and what can be done with them?

Porches and Decks vs Patios

The main difference between a porch and a deck is that porches are covered structures and decks are open. Patios, on the other hand, can be covered or open. The biggest difference here, however, is that patios are not raised from the ground like porches and decks are.

When choosing between these two options, here are some things to keep in mind:

Having a Deck


  • Can include recreational aspects like a hot tub, fire pit, or sports-related objects
  • Not very expensive
  • Can be made of more than one material



  • More exposure to the elements
  • More exposure to pests
  • Higher maintenance

Having a Porch


  • Covered, so less element exposure and therefore less maintenance
  • Can be built with various different materials
  • Adds a lot of dimension to your home


  • Cannot include recreational features like a fire pit
  • Often cost a lot

Design Ideas

Regardless of what you choose, there are plenty of design options for both cabin home features.

  • Try a multilevel design. Creating the outdoor space of your log home so that it’s more than one level adds more dimension to your outdoor aesthetic. It also allows your to separate out two different living spaces without building a separate structure.
  • Use unique railings. Experiment with materials other than wood (or materials that look like wood). You could possibly even get wooden railings carved into unique designs.
  • Allow for built-in features. Try building benches, tables, or fire pits into your outdoor space.
  • Use glass. If you don’t want a railing in the way of a gorgeous view, use glass or another clear material instead. This also adds a modern twist to your rustic log cabin. Another option is walling in your porch with windows for walls.
  • Make it a wraparound. Wraparound decks and porches are common and for good reason. Wraparounds allow for a lot of outdoor living space with seating areas, dining tables, or fire pits if the space is roofless.
  • Try some fun shapes. If you want to add a unique flair, try building your outdoor space with a unique shape. Rather than square or rectangular, add an angle on each corner to give it an octagonal look. Maybe create the space so it’s circular or rounded at the corners.

When it comes to building your log cabin porch or deck, all of us here at Frontier Log Homes can help! Contact us at 970-249-7130 to get started on your log home today!


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