Porches are great for creating an outdoor area sheltered from the rain and yet open enough to let you enjoy a cool breeze or the sun going down on a summer evening.
In the UK, porches are generally used as an extra entrance to the home, offering additional thermal, security and aesthetic benefits. However, when you think of a porch you may also imagine an extension to your house, stretching across the front of the building with wooden steps up to the front door and a rocking chair to one side. Porches can also be built onto the front or the back of your house, so feel free to experiment with ideas to select the best porch for your home.
Open porches are most commonly used at the front of houses because they create a welcoming feel and leave the front of the house fairly exposed. This sort of porch is little more than a roof and some flooring with some stairs leading to the door. But with some wooden or metal banisters it provides just the right amount of privacy and a place you can sit to enjoy the fresh air.
Also known as an enclosed porch, the screen porch is similar to an open porch in many respects, but this time more enclosed and with a screen. These are generally used around the backs of houses to provide greater privacy whilst allowing the home owner to enjoy the garden. These porches are often used in inner-city areas and one benefit of them is that they often don’t usually require planning permission. Check with your contractor or local authority to find out if you need planning permission to build a porch.
If you haven’t already guessed what a wrap-around porch is; it’s a porch that partially covers at least two sides of your house and will come out from one of the corners. Although these can drive the price up a considerable amount, they shouldn’t be overlooked as they add vital outdoor space to the exterior of your home.
The sun porch (or sun room) is lesser known in the porch family, but still a porch in its own right. Sun porches are popular with homeowners who want to make use of any unused room, preferably on a side that gets good light during the day. Sun porches are often fairly small rooms great as a “get away” space to relax and do just that; get away by kicking back with a cup of tea and a good novel.
How much does installing a porch cost?
With any home improvement project you should, first and foremost, make sure you get a variety of quotes. Three or more is a good starting point and that way you can ensure you hire the most reliable and cost-efficient contractor for the job. The cost of a porch will depend on such elements as the size of your house and where you live, for instance in an urban or a country area. Each house is unique and the cost will reflect this; choosing the materials for your porch that suit your home best may drive the cost up (or even better, reduce them). A porch might cost you as little as £2,000, which isn’t a bad price for such a potentially sizeable addition to your home. However, the cost will also depend on the style of porch you choose and you could see it rise up to £4,000 if you need a particularly large amount of work done.