When you contemplate building on a porch or remodelling your existing porch, you have to keep the current design of your home in mind when choosing porch designs. The height of the eave is an important factor that many forget about when they select a design. If you only have a one-story home, then you will look at one-story porches. If you have a two-story home, you have a choice in building a one-story or higher porch, but you do have to look at the available space you have between the windows on the first floor and those on the second floor.
Think about how you intend to use the porch. If it is simply going to serve as a mudroom with a closet for boots and coats, then you don’t have to build a large extension onto your home. If you want this porch to be a place where you can sit and enjoy the sights of the outdoors with large windows, you will need a large space for comfortable furniture. Think about the types of furnishings you want to have in the porch and draw up a plan for their placement to help you determine the size of the area you will need.
There are endless styles of designs you can have for your porch. You can have a full gabled porch, a hipped roof porch, a vaulted entrance or one with the entrance built into the porch, to name just a few of the designs. You should seek professional advice for the foundation of the porch if you are doing the work yourself. This because you may need to have a certain foundation for the type of soil in your area. You also need to make sure you have the proper permits in place from your municipal area and there may be certain specifications that you have to incorporate into your design to gain approval for these permits. Whatever foundation you choose, you have to make sure that it will be solid and stable and not move when the frost heaves in the ground or if there is a lot of wind.
It is best to draw up a floor plan of your porch on graph paper. If you are adding the porch to an existing house, then you need to take measurements of the outside of your home for the area where you want to have the porch. The length of the porch is important because you have to maintain a sense of balance in the proportional size of the porch as it compares to the house. Sometimes it may be more aesthetically pleasing to have the porch end a few feet shy of the corner of the house so that it is more noticeable. The depth of the average porch is eight to ten feet and this will give you plenty of room for furniture.
The most important consideration for a porch design is where you place the steps. If you have a concrete slab and the porch is low to the ground, you may not need any steps at all. If however, it is off the ground, you will need to consider whether you will have concrete or wood steps. Assuming that this is a front porch, the usual placement is in the middle. If the porch is at the rear of your home, you will likely place the steps to one side.