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The Different Types of Porches

Updated on November 9, 2012

In its simplest form, a porch can just be a canopy over an entrance door. This at least will give some protection to callers to the house and provide a shield for the front door against the worst of the weather.

The roof canopy can be supported by a simple wooden framework fixed to the house wall above the door or by posts at the front outer corners.

One refinement you can make is to fill in between the posts and the wall with trellis panels, on which climbing plants can be grown. This gives some additional protection. You could go even further and enclose the sides with panes of glass and fit a glazed door to the front, thereby creating an enclosed porch.

With some styles of property, the front door is recessed from the front wall or sited below a lean-to roof. In either case it can be quite easy to create an enclosed porch simply by filling in the recess with glass panels and a door or by building walls beneath the roof.

Where the house has a canopy over the bay windows at the front, you can also quite easily create a porch by adding a curtain wall and door. The result will blend very well with the style of the property. That is very important. As far as possible, any porch you construct should look an integral part of the original house design and should not appear to be an obvious built-on and poorly-designed afterthought.

To allow the maximum amount of light into the hallway, you may want a porch with floor-to-ceiling glass. Alternatively, you may prefer to incorporate low walls up to waist level. Matching the materials you use for these walls to blend with the overall style of the house is an important factor.

With a modem house, or where the property has bay windows with flat roofs, it may be acceptable to have a flat-roofed porch. If your house has a sloping roof, it is better to plan a pitched roof porch, with shingles to match.

The size of the porch may be governed by the recess being filled in. If you are building a porch as an addition to the front of the house, subject to zoning regulations you can make it as wide and deep as you like.

In fact, it may be better to go beyond what could strictly be termed a porch and make it into a lobby hallway, incorporating a downstairs lavette if you wish.

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