There are so many ideas for designing a porch. So what does porch mean? In looking it up in Wikipedia, here is their definition: “A porch (from Old French porche, from Latin porticus ‘colonnade,’ from porta ‘passage’) is external to the walls of the main building proper, but may be enclosed by screen, latticework, broad windows, or other light frame walls extending from the main structure. There are various styles of porches, all of which depend on the architectural tradition of its location. All porches will allow for sufficient space for a person to comfortably pause before entering or after exiting the building. Porches typically are architecturally unified with the rest of the house, using similar design elements as the rest of the structure, and may be integrated into the roof line or upper stories”.
You can have a front porch, back porch, wrap-around porch, upper deck porch, concrete, wooden, and more. They can be large, small, multi-level, of various materials, open, closed, to name a few. Porches can be added on to a home or included in the initial construction. Talk about flexibility - this is one area that has many.
Porches can be enclosed with windows, screens, or both. Or, they can be left open. They can have covered ceilings and ceiling fans. Some porches have beams over the top to let some sunlight in. If you cover a porch, it could help protect furniture, plants, pets, or whatever else you might put on it. By adding screen, it helps to keep out those pesky mosquitoes and other bugs. If you select to have enclosed with windows, this might help with protection from the cold especially.
If you are designing your home with a fireplace, you can consider a two-sided fireplace. One side is open to the interior of your home and the other to the exterior. Or just add another fireplace or fire pit on the porch. Fire pits have to be set up differently, so ask your builder for more details. If you are designing that party-style porch, add the outdoor kitchen.
For those porches off the ground and/or with railings, you might want to follow these safety rules. If you are building by code, you will need to include this. If your home will be inspected, the inspector will write you up if safety rules are not followed. Most building codes require that railings be at least 36 inches high for decks built more than 30 inches off the ground, with no gaps between balusters or beneath the handrail through which a 4-inch sphere could pass.
As you can see, there are so many ways to design your porch. Cost can vary tremendously depending on what you want.
The best part about a porch is sitting out on it and enjoying the outdoors. I do have one trick for you. If you have a ceiling on your porch, paint it light blue. The light blue will keep the wasps from building a nest on it – try it, it does work.
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