Like any other room or space in your home, a porch, at its most basic, should be functional and aesthetically appealing. Many factors go into building the perfect front porch, especially if you’re starting from scratch.
Since you’re going to be spending quite a lot of your financial resources on this addition, you’ll want to ensure that your porch has a design appeal, is the right size for your usage, and blends in seamlessly with the style of the rest of your home.
Once you’ve ticked off these boxes, you can expect to have a lovely outdoor place to enjoy a warm summer day with your family and friends or to unwind alone in peace. Either way, when executed carefully, a porch addition can bring much sunshine into your life!
So, if you’re dealing with a porch addition situation and don’t know where to start from, don’t worry!
Here are some tips to help you plan a front porch addition to your home.
1. Think About What You Want
Many times we get so focused on just taking the dive and getting started on a building or renovation project that we don’t get the time to decide what we really want. Sure, you want your front porch built as soon as possible, but you should know that – good things take time.
Once you’ve decided to get a front porch, take a step back to think about whether it’s the best solution for you or not. If you still decide to go ahead with it, it’s time to think about exactly what kind of porch would bode well with your home.
Choosing the right porch style is a critical part of being well on your way to having the home of your dreams. Your porch addition should match or complement your home’s existing architecture. So, the best way to go about this is to thoroughly analyze your home’s style that will eventually help determine the size, style, and design of your front porch.
2. Set a Budget
A huge mistake people make when planning a front porch addition or any remodeling project as well, for that matter, is that they often forget to set a budget. Building an addition, such as a porch, from scratch can be very costly, which homeowners need to keep in mind before jumping into it.
So, just as you decide to build a porch and determine its style, you should start creating a budget for it. Assess your current financials to see how much money you have to allot to this project. Although there are many budget-friendly solutions out there, you’ll want to ensure that you optimize the results of this new addition.
Another critical aspect of setting a budget is ensuring that you set it slightly higher than your estimated expenses. Building and remodeling projects can be very expensive, which is something you won’t fully understand until you get started on a project. That said, under-budgeting never pans out well! So, make sure to account for a few extra dollars for additional expenses.
3. Jot Down Your Ideas
Once you’ve decided on your porch style and have a project cost in mind, the next step is to critically analyze how you want to use your porch, taking note of all the features you need for an optimum user experience – functionally and design-wise.
There are probably some features you would like to include on your porch, so it’s important to list them down before the designing phase.
Here are some questions that can help you figure out what features you should add to your front porch.
- What is the purpose of your porch? Will it be used for relaxing, entertaining, dining, or all of them?
- Do you want an enclosed or screened porch?
- If you’re planning to entertain, how much seating will you need?
- Do you want to get normal outdoor furniture or do you want built-in seating?
- Do you want to create a storage area or add shelves?
- What furnishings do you want to set up on your porch?
- Will you need ceiling fans?
- What kind of lighting do you need and want?
Once you’ve created and compiled your list of ideas, you’ll have an easier time identifying your needs and wants and setting priorities. Your needs are things that make up the essential parts of your porch, whereas your wants are optional items that may be great to have but depend mainly on your budget. Either way, this list will be really helpful, especially when you consult a contractor to discuss your project.
4. Gather Visual References for Your Porch
You can either have a simple wooden porch with some lovely pillars and wicker seats or a screened porch with a built-in bench. The ideas are endless when it comes to designing a front porch. There are so many innovative design ideas out there that can help inspire your porch’s style. All you need to do is conduct your research and narrow down the ideas.
Images can give you a precise idea of what you want your porch to look like. You can find inspiration in various places, especially on the internet. Gather as many pictures and cutouts as you want and put them together in a binder that you take along with you when meeting with your contractor.
5. Hire a Reputable Contractor
Building a front porch isn’t as easy as it seems. There’s a lot that goes into this project, including building specifications and permits. Moreover, there are many structural and architectural concerns, such as building a strong foundation or having a proper drainage system, that need to be addressed. If this is your first time handling a project like that, it might be best to enlist the help of an expert.
A reputable design-build contractor possesses great knowledge and experience that can help avoid a lot of anguish and also a few common concerns associated with front porches.
Your front porch is the first place your guests will notice before entering your home. It can also serve as a personalized space where you can enjoy the warm summer sun with a cold glass of juice. If you’re contemplating adding a porch to your home, you should definitely go ahead with it, but just make sure that you see to some important things before rushing your project. That said, we hope the tips for planning a front porch addition mentioned above help you create the perfect space!