advice on porch problems
My new-to-me house has a back porch that was a later addition. I look out at it from a floor to ceiling window that runs for 3/4s of the length of the wall of my living room. I am not sure that I like the porch because it cuts off the light to my living room AND reduces the size of my back yard by half (I live in Chicago in the city so my backyard is quite small). The porch also leaks when it rains hard. It was carpeted by the former owners with a thick pad, but I removed this because the carpet and pad were soaked through.
I've had several people out to look at the porch to resolve the leaking issue. One suggestion was to caulk around the bottom inside and out. Another was to build a concrete barrier wall a couple of inches high. I wonder whether caulking would do any good, and I think that concrete "wall" would look odd. Another guy suggested that because of the grading water would always leak in when it rained hard and that I should just deal with it by going with a floor that wouldn't be damaged by a little water once in a while--he suggested pavers, stained concrete, tile, or building a wooden decking floor over the bottom.
I am still thinking that in a few years I might just have the porch removed, so I don't want to invest a lot of money in fixing it, nor do I want a "fix" that will become an obstacle if I decide to remove the porch (like an 8 foot concrete barrier!). Any suggestions about the pros and cons of the various water tolerant flooring possibilities? Would stained concrete or tile be discolored by water? Would a wood deck type floor look odd in an enclosed porch?
The sight of the expanse of grey concrete from the massive window is depressing . . .