September 19, 2020

How to Design an Inviting Porch

Before you hire a terrific porch contractor to build this type of addition on your home, you want to give some thought on your porch design plans. Will this porch be open to the outdoors or will you have it screened in for use on those days when it isn’t 78 degrees and gorgeous out? 

Inviting porch design is about more than just having the right colors and decorations on your porch, it’s about creating a warm, comfortable, and enjoyable environment free of restrictions and obstructions. As you probably guessed, you have a whole range of options before you in terms of the various materials, features, and aesthetics that can give you the porch you really want. 

So, let’s take a look at all of the most important components that go into creating that perfect porch that anyone will want to spend leisurely time relaxing upon, day or night. 

The Porch Door

The location of your porch door is among the most important decisions you will make in the design of your porch. The way that everyone will enter and exit the porch can significantly disrupt the feel of the locale unless you carefully consider your options. 

To begin with, your porch door must be located in a place that won’t swing into or impede any walkways or space inside the home. Always keep in mind that your door should be easy to access and refrain from blocking normal movement through the house and on and off the porch. 

If you decide to have two doors, one leading in and out of the home and another leading from the porch to the outdoors, your choice of placement is also important. Depending on the size of the porch you are planning to build you want to be sure you aren’t taking up too much space for clearance of the door, if you plan to have it swing inward. 

There’s no sense in putting in a door that requires so much clearance as to make the porch unusable. For smaller porches, you may want to go with a sliding door or doors that swing to the outside, so you are able to enjoy every square inch of your porch. That will make it far more inviting and pleasant to use. 

Door Materials

As to the door itself, that is the materials you use to build and install it. Wood is often the most popular choice because of its warm and inviting aesthetic. Aluminum and other metals can feel a little cold and stand-offish but they are sometimes more reliable than wood in that they don’t degrade in the same manner over time. Wood can sag and break down, compromising the seal on the jamb. This can make your home less energy efficient, if this is the door that connects the porch to the home. 

Electricity or No?

The porch should be a place that you can enjoy any time you want. Whether that’s in the day or night should be up to you. For those who wish to have a porch suitable for use after the sun goes down, you may want to wire it for electricity. That might include anything from installed lighting perhaps even a ceiling fan. If you would rather not install lighting, you can have electrical outlets installed so you may plug in floor lamps or even appliances like a television or a small refrigerator. 

Screening in Your Porch?

One of the design choices that can make your porch that much more inviting is to surround it with screens, so you can enjoy this space despite the weather being less than perfect. Not to mention that screens are highly effective at keeping those mosquitoes and flies at bay on those particularly hot days. 

So, if you are considering a screened-in porch, you want to take care that you are selecting the proper material that will withstand the test of time. Your two most common choices for screen materials are fiberglass and aluminum. The former is recommended because it is easier to install and much more resilient against creasing. The latter does crease easier and it’s harder to work with as its installed. 

Don’t forget to consider your screen color as you make your choice of screen. Certain colors are ideal for cutting down the impact of the sun, specifically gray or a charcoal tint. Anything that might reduce the glare and brightness of your porch on those sunny days will be sure to make your porch more inviting to friends and family alike.