A porch roof creates a great space to relax or entertain. This area will become a natural extension of the kitchen or living room, if properly designed. Look at porches in your neighborhood to get ideas or go online to see further options. The shape of the roof should fit the overall shape of the house roof, however. Plan the porch as a structure that must fit the home's architectural design.
Focus on Roof Shape
Sketch the house with different roof shapes. Draw an A-frame roof over the porch, hip roof with sloping sides, or a slightly sloping roof pitched roughly 30 degrees. Decide if you want the porch to stand out or blend harmoniously with the house. If it's a front porch, you want the porch itself to have great curbside appeal. Make sure the overhangs blend with house overhangs for a seamless look.
Review Enclosure Options
You may wish to enclose part of the porch. If the porch is outside the kitchen, consider vaulting the porch interior rafters, so you can enclose one end with screening or house siding. If the ceiling is high inside the porch, this creates great visual appeal for dining or entertaining. You can cover part of the porch's lower half with bricks or stones, too. Design the exterior roof covering to fit well with these materials. Everything should look perfectly balanced and original to the house, not added on.
Use Skylights for Openness
Skylights on the porch can be a great option. If you build a porch roof on the north side of the house, for example, this can create too much shade all day long. By installing two or three large skylights, this will make the roof perfect for dining, reading or even sleeping. If your home is in a mountain area, you can turn the porch into somewhat of a guest bedroom.
Add Support Structures
Great posts or columns can add elegance to a porch. Pre-made round or square columns added to a front or side porch will need to complement the roof space. Build the roof and support posts to look perfectly unified. For example, rustic posts will look great with a roof covering made of cedar shakes. Formal columns will require a roof of asphalt tiles or Spanish tiles, for example.
Plan Future Addition
Construct a roof for a future room conversion. It pays to build any porch wide enough to turn into a room at any point in time. For example, if you construct a side porch on a large ranch home, build it at least 12 feet wide, so the room can become a future office or den. Having a sound porch and excellent roof will provide the option of expanding the house interior at some point. A narrow roof on a side porch is difficult to expand once it's in place.
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