How to Build a Porch for Your House?

By Galen |
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Porches have long been a great addition to homes. These spaces connect the indoors and the outdoors and are comfortable and flexible places to relax, meet with friends, and even work. People still very much enjoy these covered areas. From long hallways to square rooms, porches come in all sizes, shapes, and prices.

A porch is an elevated, covered area that is attached to the exterior of the home on one or more sides. Nationwide, the cost of adding a porch ranges from $4,600 to $22,000. The average cost is $10,500.

One of the main factors that will affect the final cost is the type of porch, as it determines how much material you will need and the amount of work required to assemble it. In most cases, porch projects are best managed and completed by professionals because they are very complex.

Different types of porches

A porch is a covered area that is attached to the exterior of a building. Typically, it is elevated and therefore requires stairs or ramps to reach it from the outside. Attachment, cover, and elevation are the three elements that distinguish a porch from a deck or patio, but the line between the two can be blurred.

Below is a list of different types of porches. There is a lot of overlap between them as some relate to style and others to architectural features.

Open Porch

The term “open porch” can be used to refer to any porch that does not have any walls, windows, or screens. In other words, it is open on all sides. Most people think of it when they hear the word “porch.”

Open-Porch

Front Porch / Back Porch

Depending on the location of the porch, these are usually square, rectangular, or circular extensions that stick out from the house. For the most part, front porches are more expensive to decorate because they are more visible. Rear porches, on the other hand, are usually larger but less formal.

Wrap-around Porch

Typical of Victorian homes, wrap-around porches wrap around the perimeter of the house or a portion of it, providing you with spaciousness. They cost more than other decks because they take up more space.

Balcony

A variation of the wrap-around porch, also called a balcony, is a covered deck that runs along the side of the house. It is usually supported by columns and can also wrap around two to four sides, making it almost equivalent to a wrap-around porch. Balconies usually do not have high fences and are open on both sides. They are usually found in the southern United States and in warmer climates.

Balcony

Farmer’s Porch

This long, deep porch is common in rural New England. It extends all the way to the front of the house and sometimes wraps around the sides of the house. This porch is usually larger than a regular wrap-around porch, and tall beams or columns and decorative railings make it stand out.

Screened Porch

There are several ways to enclose a porch, but installing screens on both sides is the most popular. This will keep out some bugs, animals, and rain. On the other hand, a screened porch is usually a covered area that is attached to the exterior of the house. A cool porch, on the other hand, is an extension of the room, so it can be on the ground, like an enclosed patio.

Screened-Porch

How Can I Tell If a Porch Is Right for My House?

A porch is a good idea for people who enjoy the outdoors or live in an open area. Considering the following points can help you decide if you should add a porch.

Available space: See if the land around your house has enough room for a porch. Different places have different building codes, zoning laws, and setback standards. You should also check to see if the ground is level and if there are no obstructions such as rocks or trees.

Architectural style: Porches go with almost any type of architecture. However, they look best in Victorian, Craftsman, and Farmhouse-style homes. If you live in a historic home or a landmarked neighborhood, you may not be able to build a certain style or size of porch. It may not even be possible to build a porch at all.

Structural Integrity: Porches require a sturdy base, and your home may need additional beams or posts for support. The roof and gutters will also need to be lengthened. If your home is older or already has structural problems, you should consult an expert.

Local weather: Consider the weather where you live. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, high winds, flooding, or very hot weather. You may need a stronger building, better insulation, or a shelter with screens.

Rules and permits: Your local building department or homeowners’ association may tell you that you need to follow certain steps, get certain building permits, and pay fees. They may specify what type of base or roofing material to use, or even add safety features such as handrails or railings.

Porch-Is-Right-for-My-House

Things to Consider When Adding a Porch

There are many things to consider before adding a porch to your home. These things can have a big impact on the final cost.

Location

There is a difference between the height of a front porch and a back porch, but the location of the porch depends more on your taste and appearance. It is possible that one location is easier to build a porch than another. The land will need to be leveled and any obstacles will need to be removed. Keep in mind that if you need to add an exterior door, the cost will increase, depending on the location of the porch.

Size

The cost depends largely on the size of the porch. It is not surprising that the larger the porch, the higher the cost. This is because the larger the porch, the more time and materials it will take to build.

Porch Base

The base is part of building a porch correctly. Of the two main types of foundations, gravel foundations are less expensive to build. However, there are some problems with gravel foundations because they are closer to the ground. A pier-and-beam foundation lifts the porch off the ground, making it safer and allowing better access to the area below for maintenance, storage, installation of plumbing, or electricity.

Porch-Base

Design Elements

The cost of a porch can vary greatly depending on the design elements used. Every feature costs money. Typically, the more design elements there are, the higher the price. Such as wood plank ceilings, fancy columns, or custom steps. Prices also vary depending on how you outfit and decorate your porch.

Enclosed

In the past, porches were only used in the summer. But covered porches (also known as sunrooms) are becoming more popular. These porches have walls or floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing you to use them year-round. If you choose a three-season porch (walls and windows are not insulated) or a four-season porch (insulated and a full HVAC system). The price to build can easily double or triple that of a regular porch.

Garden Design

Planting around the perimeter of your porch will allow the hard lines of your porch to blend in with the soft lines of your yard. If you want to play it safe, plant symmetrical plants. For example, plant the same flowers along the edge of your back porch.

Power and Lighting

Lighting allows you to use your porch at any time of the day. You may want to install more than just lighting on your porch. For example, you can add fans and heaters. You can also add electrical outlets so you can plug in a computer, router, or television.

Licenses and Permits

Since the porch will be attached to your home, it is important to follow the building rules and standards in your area. Since regulations vary from town to town, you may not need a license at all, but it may be required. This is especially true for certain parts of the job, such as the foundation or roof. You will need to work closely with a professional as they know the regulations in your area. If you do need one, the cost of obtaining a permit can range from about $100 to $500.

Enclosed-or-Patio-Roof

Materials Used to Build a Porch

Different materials can be used to build a porch, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, maintenance, and appearance. Especially if you want the porch to match the style of the rest of the house. Some materials may be required by building codes in your area.

Concrete

Concrete is strong, durable, won’t be damaged by weather, and doesn’t cost much. However, it is unattractive, uncomfortable to walk on, and difficult to change once it sets.

Composite Decking Materials

Most composite materials are made from a structural core of plastic and plant fibers. They look similar to wood but are more durable than wood. The main advantage of composite decking materials is that they require very little maintenance. This not only saves you more money on maintenance but also allows you to enjoy the outdoors better.

Wood

Wood is one of the most popular choices, especially for homes with a certain style that looks great. However, it requires more maintenance and security than concrete and composite materials. The price of low-grade wood is about the same as composite decking materials, but wood is usually more expensive.

DIY or hire a professional?

A large part of the cost of adding a porch is labor, which can be as much as half the cost of the entire project. But building a porch is hard, and most people should hire a professional. This is especially true if they want an enclosed three- or four-season porch, like an extra room.

Depending on the features you want, you may need to hire an electrician, roofer, or HVAC installer, among others. It would be helpful to have a professional contractor who can handle all of these issues.

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Galen Content Writer
Galen is a content creator and decorator with five years of experience designing home decor. In his daily life, Galen is constantly on the lookout for the latest, great examples of house design and further optimizes his solutions. Additionally, he writes articles related to outdoor design, interior design, and architectural decorating materials to help brands build more engaging relationships with their audiences.

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