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15 Points to Consider If You Want to Add a Porch to Your House

Porch furniture



Relaxing on a porch during the summer and cool autumn evenings is a fantastic experience, especially if you can do so at home. If you want to build a porch onto your home, there will be some things to consider before you get started.


Read the points below if you’re looking to add a porch to your house.



1. Look at the Architecture of Your Home

One of the very first steps you need to take when looking to build a porch onto your home is your house’s architecture.


If you have a historic home, you will need to look into whether or not there are any regulations you need to follow. There may be specific limitations on what type of materials you can use.


Even if you live in a more modern home, it’s still important to check if there are any restrictions you need to be mindful of before you go ahead with building, so check with your township or neighbourhood association before you start. You will likely require a permit to craft your porch too, so make sure you get that in order as well.



2. Assess the Location

Take a look at the potential locations for your porch and weigh the pros and cons.


For example, adding on a porch to the front of your house can give you an extra living room, but would cut off the light that enters the rest of your home.


It’s necessary to note what you will lose and gain with constructing a fairly significant inclusion onto your home before you get started so there aren’t any big surprises later on in the process.



3. Design

Before you start getting to work, you will need to have a plan in place for the design of your porch.


You want your porch to look like a seamless addition to your house that effortlessly transitions outside, which means you need to assess what style, materials, and size will work well.

It’s necessary to take this step seriously–don’t be afraid to enlist a second opinion from an expert or a friend who’s well-versed in construction. Some extra advice can be helpful in shaping your vision so that it turns out the way you want it to.



4.  Construction Materials

Now that we have the basics down, it’s time to move on to materials.


Take into account the materials that will work best based on location, weather, what will look best with your home, and the style you’re going for. With these points in mind, you should have a fairly good idea of whether or not you will use wood, composite decking, stone, brick, or incorporate tile flooring. As well, you’ll also need foundation materials.

Refer to your design plans and gather everything you will need in the proper sizes.



5. Railings and Steps

Depending on the look you’re going for, a porch can have countless different variations and combinations of stairs and railings.



Large porch in forest


Settle on what style you want, and ensure you collect the right materials to accommodate your preferred plan.



6. Foundation

When you begin to build your porch foundation, you will need to take into account the desired dimensions of the porch, the terrain you’re constructing it on, and the weather conditions of where you live.


The bigger you go with the size of your porch, the more foundation footings will need to support.

A cold climate that has harsh winters will mean that your footings will need to sit below the frost line. Otherwise, your porch will be unstable and could buckle under the weight of snow. You will need to research what the frost depth is in your area so you can get specific measurements.



7. Frame

When you frame your porch, start with the perimeter beams and lay them on top of the foundation. Nail the end beams together and ensure that they’re level.



8. Floor or Decking

Back in the early stages of your porch planning, you should have determined what kind of floor or decking you wanted to install for your porch.


If you’re looking at wood, natural fir is the typical choice, but other reliable options include mahogany and cedar. Floors composed of stone, brick, or tile are common choices because they’re water-resistant. However, be mindful that the weight of these materials can require extra support if they’re being used for an elevated porch.



9. Roof

There are numerous varieties of porch roof styles to choose from, and your final pick will largely depend on the location you choose to build your porch in relation to your house. Some examples include a balcony overhang, columns with lattice fencing, simple pop-out, etc.



Porch roof in sub division


There are even porches with pergola extensions. This option in particular can be multifunctional in the summer especially, extend out into your yard, and provide an additional spot in your yard that you can section off for socializing and outdoor entertaining.



10. Screens

Screened-in porches are a great option for people who want to keep the bugs at bay and offer a place for their four-legged friends to experience the outside without really being outside.


Screened-in porches are adaptable and very versatile, so the styling opportunities can be endless.



11. Four-season Proofing

If you live in an area that has four distinct seasons with changing temperatures and inclement weather, then four-season porch proofing might be for you.


This can require quite a lot of effort, as it may or may not be connected to your home’s HVAC, and are direct extensions of your main living space. Generally, these porches offer supplemental heating and cooling options like ceiling fans and fireplaces.

These porches often feel more “homey” and are typically more elaborate, while offering more bright light and airiness than other areas of your house.



12. Paint or Stain

Depending on the type of material you chose for your porch, you will need to decide whether you want to paint or stain it.


Staining is more budget-friendly and provides a more natural look. Paint, however, offers far more variety but is more difficult to apply. Each option has its upsides and downsides, so it’s important to choose what works best for your deck and design preferences.



13. Furniture

You will presumably want to sit out onto your porch once it’s complete, so the right furniture selection is important.



Patio furniture on side yard porch


Consider how often you want to be lounging on the porch, and what the weather is typically like so you don’t end up selecting options that are uncomfortable or susceptible to unnecessary damage.

Arranging comfortable wicker seating–like trendy egg chairs–around a central coffee table is a sure-fire way to encourage any guests to stay and chat. When in doubt, you can always go for a porch classic: wooden rocking chairs.



14. Decor

Depending on the style of porch that you opted for, you will need to think about what decor you want to implement.


Whether that’s adding potted plants, a decorative door mat, or hanging flowers, these smaller touches are what will pull the entire look together and make it unique to your taste and style.



15. Finishing Touches

Once you’ve made it to the end of the porch building process, you can look for any final touches you may need to implement.


Whether that’s filling in some paint or grabbing that last perfect decor piece to finish off the entire look of your porch, make sure you’re completely satisfied with your work so a sizable project like this doesn’t go unappreciated.




And there you have it! These are some of the main points to consider when building a porch onto your home. While it is a large undertaking, it will be completely worth it when you see the results of your hard work.


Once you’re finished, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and truly enjoy it.




Paul Hickman at 9:00 AM
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