Tips on designing and building a porch guide, Building entrance design, Online property entry advice
Tips on designing and building a porch
19 Jan 2022
One of the simplest and most useful extensions we can make to our home is a porch. But just because it’s a small addition and can be done within permitted development, that doesn’t mean it should be built without any thought. And as building a porch costs between £2,000 and £5,000, you do want to spend that money wisely.
To make sure you end up with the right porch for your home, it’s necessary to consider the design and materials carefully. With that in mind, here are some important tips to ensure your build is successful.
Decide the primary function
What’s the main function of your porch? Knowing the answer to this question will help you decide on the style and size. If it’s purely decorative to improve the kerb appeal of your home, a small or open porch may suffice but an attractive design will be paramount. If the porch is to act as a hallway and provide storage space for a busy family, then it needs to be fully enclosed. It also needs to be big enough for pushchairs, shoes and other items. And if your front door currently opens into your main lounge, then good insulation is an extra requirement to block draughts and noise from the street.
Work out a budget
Working out a budget before you start is crucial. Your budget will determine what materials and style of porch you can afford. It will also inform how you can build your preferred size or style of porch. Wood and brick are highly desirable materials but may not be realistic for a small budget. Using a uPVC kit could reduce material and labour costs. However, if kerb appeal is the main reason for building a porch, this may not be the right approach. So, you’ll need to look at cheaper alternatives such as cladding blockwork in wood or brick slips instead.
Beware of hidden and additional costs
It’s a good idea to spend time thinking about hidden costs. These are not necessarily things that your builder has forgotten to tell you about, but other factors that may increase the overall cost of your project. Unforeseen costs such as a shortage of materials pushing up supply prices or building delays adding to tool hire costs. It can also include extras such as wiring for a new light, moving a doorbell and paint for decorating. So, when you’re budgeting for the build, go into fine detail and set aside a contingency fund.
Getting the design right
Many things can go wrong with porches, and this is often down to poor design. For example, flat-roofed porches are a cheap option but can leak if they’re poorly maintained. Not connecting your porch to the external wall and weatherproofing it properly can cause water to penetrate through to your home.
And flooring needs to be durable and non-slip to make it practical for use in all weathers. Finally, if you plan to build your porch over a glazed front door, then you may need to ensure that natural light can still flow in.
Comments on this tips on designing and building a porch article are welcome.
Kai Tak, Polzeath, Cornwall, south west England, UK
Design: Cassell Tarring
photo : Daniel Fisher
Kai Tak House
Comments / photos for the Tips on designing and building a porch advice page welcome