A front porch can add a distinctive look to a home. Front porch designs come in a variety of interesting architectural styles, from traditional to modern themes, outdoor dining rooms and wrap-around designs, to list a few. The addition of a porch should complement the existing architecture, adding functionality and enhance the home’s curb appeal.
Homeowners should enlist the help of a qualified contractor to help them overview the many styles and choose the best porch designs for their home. These are some important facts and architectural ideas to consider before undertaking a porch addition.
1. Before beginning any renovation, establish a budget. It is prudent to create a budget, which will not exceed 20 percent of the home’s assessed value. When renovating a home it is important to consider that a house is an investment. A renovation should increase the value of the home, so the owner will see a return on their investment when selling the home.
2. Porch designs come in a multitude of styles, so an owner needs to make some complex decisions; from the type of floor boards, railing systems, columns, trim, as well as the type of construction materials, such as real wood, weather-resistant woods, or wood like polyurethane materials. Keep in mind that any custom-made porch materials will be more expensive than stock materials. For example, one of the architectural styles in which a front porch predominates is the Cape Cod style house.
3. The size and scope of the porch addition can dramatically change the entire look of a house as well as the budgetary considerations. A large porch, which wraps around the entire home, will naturally alter the appearance of the home. Depending on the style of the building this could be an architectural styles consideration. A builder can help guide an owner to make the best decisions on how to alter their home’s structural features.
4. A porch invites the outdoors in and extends the living areas outward. It is a wonderful transitional feature between the house and the yard. A glassed in porch might be an option for individuals, who want an addition that they can enjoy year round. These types of sunrooms can be augmented with ceiling fans and the heating and cooling systems can be incorporated into this addition. A pergola is another way to meld the indoors with outdoor living spaces.
5. There is a growing trend towards more elegant outdoor living spaces. An outside room can be transformed into a dining room complete with a kitchen space. Some of these enclosures have cooking areas, which are complete with ovens, stove tops, refrigerators, sinks, bar and dining area. This type of design welcomes casual entertaining, with an outdoor feel.
6. Building a porch can also be an opportunity to create another room above the porch. Some homeowners build on top of the porch and this provides extra space for an office or sitting room off of a bedroom. This type of renovation is more detailed, and transformative to the appearance of the home and can influence the architectural styles the house is representing..
7. A screened in porch permits people to take advantage of the outdoors, without the bugs. Screens are a low cost add-on that is generally easy to install. Screens are also simple to replace if they become damaged.
8. Porches can be accompanied by architectural styles features, which visually extend the home into the garden. A porch, which stretches half way across the front of the home, can be successfully merged with a pergola. This combination of porch and pergola is a melding of the sheltered enclosure of a porch with the openness of the pergola. A wisteria or other climbing vines compliments the pergola and welcomes nature into this delightful design.
9. An awning attached to a the porch is another universal design feature, which moves the living places outward and can visually connect the porch to a patio making the space appear larger. A deck connected to the porch can also move the space outward creating more room for entertaining.
10. The open quality of a porch may require a need for privacy. Large curtains or sun shades can be elegant features, which allow for private moments or can be pulled open when needed.
A porch can be one of the most affordable and effective ways to increase the value, functionality and beauty of a home. The popularity of outdoor rooms has made porch designs even more elegant options for homeowners.
Photo credits, top to bottom: Angie Garrett, Ken Bosma, Colin Davis, Seán A. O’Hara