About Front Porch Designs
Front porch designs are usually modeled after a home's architecture - such as country, contemporary, or perhaps a Victorian style. The style of a porch should fit the architectural style of the home as much as possible. Otherwise, it will look out-of-place and not give you the curb appeal you need. But just as important, when deciding the style of porch you want, consider and plan for its true purpose.
How will your porch be used?
Many builders give little consideration to the porch although that is changing across the country. Many of us are opting for a porch that is both appealing and functional. The stoop just doesn't do it. So begin by determining what you will mostly be doing on your porch. Whether building a new porch or updating an existing one, cost is always a factor. That given, make the most of what you are able to afford.
We know someone who is going to demolish an existing long and narrow porch to rebuild another one. We advised them to make it wide enough to accommodate a porch swing and give ample play room for their three children. The porch can then accommodate not only their family comfortably but their kids' friends as well! They will also potentially have space for a conversation area for adults. They are going to incorporate these ideas into a country style porch that will be approximately nine feet wide.
Porches for Entertaining and Celebrations
Do you envision using your porch for entertaining?
Or do you prefer to have a space for quiet contemplation to watch the world go by?
Do you have a view you'd like to take advantage of?
Will you be celebrating summer-time birthdays and holidays on your porch?
Do you like to decorate for the holidays?
Once you have identified your porch's primary purpose, determine what you will need. For decorating purposes additional electrical outlets (on the porch and perhaps in the soffits) would be ideal. If you want more privacy consider its location and landscaping around your porch. If you love to listen to soft music on your porch, consider outdoor speakers.
Screen Porches and Three Season Porches
If you enjoy eating outdoors a great option is to convert part of the porch to a screen porch or three season porch. It doesn't have to be all or nothing and this way you'll have the best of both worlds. Because there is such a wide variety of screening materials you can find one that will complement the color of your porch and home.
Most people have small porches. You can improve its design by landscaping around it to give you lots more space. You can then use it for quiet conversations or just to relax and read a good book.
Define your porch purpose and include the requirements in the overall design, whether it is Victorian, southwestern, colonial, or contemporary. You'll be happy you took the time to think through how you will use your porch. You'll be more satisfied with the results.
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