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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

Key Measurements to Help You Design the Perfect Front Porch

Posted by Kyle Boatwright on 9/12/18 11:07 AM

front porchAs indoor-outdoor living has become a more popular lifestyle, homebuyers are once again asking (demanding) for a front porch. And why not? They are a multifunctional space that frames the home's entrance while providing instant curb appeal. Similar to all major home-improvement projects, a good plan is vital. Here is a look at some of the key things to consider when designing the perfect front porch.  

Consider the Home

As they say in real estate, "Location, location, location." When considering what style/size of front porch would work best for your property, look at the neighborhood and/or similar homes for inspiration. Think about the style of home. Some architectural styles like Cape Cod, Colonial, Victorian, etc are well known for their elaborate front porch designs. This is the homebuyer's first impression as well as their future neighbors and visitors. It should be cohesive with the design, scale, and style of the home. If it is an add-on, it needs to look like it was always part of the home.   

Consider the Flow

When designing a front porch, contemplate the space's purpose and the ideal future placement of furniture. This will be important for home-staging later on. If a small porch design is going into play, imagine a few rocking chairs or a small cafe table setup. However, if this is going to be a statement porch or an accommodating size, try to think how you could create zones with rugs and furniture. A seating area, a dining area, where plants will go and how all of this will be arranged in relation to the front door are things to consider. In addition, there needs to be space for people to move comfortably around the furniture.

Consider the Entry Way

It is easy to get caught up in all the possibilities and forget the most important purpose of this project, and that is enhancing the front door/entry of the home. After you have considered the style of the home, think about how the door's position will play into the design. For example, modern homes can position a door asymmetrically in relation to the porch as long as the front porch is cohesive with the rest of the property's design. However, colonial homes tend to be more traditional and favor a symmetrically placed front door positioned in a relatively centralized location.

Consider the Design

Like all construction projects, there are several variables that need to be examined like budget and how the space will be used most. What is this location's prime season? For example, a coastal property in California with a small ocean view will most likely be used relatively all year round and enjoyed by the whole family. A property in Michigan may enjoy summer usage but the winter months, it would be too cold. When considering the design, again, have the furniture's position in mind.

Consider the Measurements

Once you have decided what style of a front porch will complement the property, the flow, and purpose of the space, as well as the budget, you can begin planning the measurements. The possibilities are endless. For starters, you can begin by taking a look at the dimensions of your materials. For example, if you are planning on using columns, you will need to consider their dimensions, their placement, how many you will need, and their spacing in relation to the design and support of the front porch. The ideal width of a porch is 8 feet, that allows space for furniture, breathing room, and movement. The width, length, height, and dimensions of the project will depend entirely on the property, it's budget, scale and it's style. For example, a show-stopping wrap-around porch could stretch around most of the property, whereas a small modern porch could be just under 10 feet long.

Consider the Materials

Front porches require a lot of material from the flooring, guardrails, columns, roofing and other construction materials, it is by no means a small project. No matter what style of materials the project requires, quality is always important. The front porch is the property's first impression and you want the materials to enhance the home, impress visitor's with their quality, and blend in with the home's aesthetic. At Worthington Millwork, we are known for using quality "American Made Architectural Products." When long-lasting, properly-constructed materials are used, the value goes directly into the property and it increases the longevity and thus the success of the project.

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