Types of Front Porches

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Front porches are designed for utility, pleasure and convenience. They connect the individual to the outside world, allowing an opportunity to sit and watch life pass by or visit with a neighbor. The style chosen for a front porch can welcome company or prevent entry. What types of front porches and designs are available?

What is a Porch?

  • Front porches are structures that offer cover or shelter and are attached at the front entry of a house. Not all houses have front porches. Front porches are generally constructed to match the history or style of the house. Some front porches are constructed or added on to the entry after the house has been lived in for a span of time. Others are constructed as part of the overall look of the structure. Front porches are not always covered by a roof. They can offer additional outdoor space for visitors or family to gather.

Types of Porches

  • There are front porch styles that have been used repeatedly to create a focal point at the entry. Covered front porches are a style that allows for a small area to sit and hold a conversation or may span the whole width of the house. Wrap-around porches may begin at the front entry and wrap to the side of a house in either or both directions. Wrap-around front porches usually have a roof across the front and sometimes along the sides of the house. Screened front porches completely enclose the front entry area and create a second front entry door.

Front Porch Design Basics

  • Deciding what area a front porch will occupy is the beginning of the porch design process. Choosing the purpose of the porch will decide the size. Additional components---doors, gates, roofs, built-in seats, flower boxes---can also become part of the design. The style of the home may dictate a particular type of front porch. Victorian homes usually have large front porches usable as outside living rooms. Cottage style homes usually have smaller fenced front porches often with gates. Companies such as Georgia Front Porch offer the ability to add or renovate front porches on existing homes.

Front Porch Materials

  • Wood, stone, wrought iron and brick are all viable front porch materials. Roofs can be clay tile, copper or match existing construction. Matching the front porch materials to the exterior of the home lends a certain continuity to the exterior view. Some homes will need a front porch that requires steps to reach. Materials for this type of porch can be brick or concrete pillars with a wood floor or a deck style made of treated wood. Details can add history and interest. Vintage Woodworks is a business offering architectural details for porches and exteriors.

Benefits of a Front Porch

  • Front porches are considered an added value for many homes. They offer curb appeal and more livable space. The practical benefit is the protection of the front door and the face of the home from extreme weather and general weathering of the homes materials. Front porches can reduce maintenance and replacement of the front exterior of a home.

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