What makes for a good front porch?

No matter what style home you want – beach cottage, traditional brick, midcentury modern – everyone loves a great front porch.

On the practical side, a front porch is a place for guests to shake off wet coats or step out of the sun while they wait for you to answer the door. On the architectural side, it’s a chance to break up a home’s elevation, give it character and create a welcoming sense of scale as you approach.

For me, a front porch makes me feel at home. Throw some a table and chairs out there – or better yet a hammock – and I am all set for an afternoon with friends or a good book.

But what makes for a good front porch?

Here are a couple tips from our architecture team:

  1. Don’t get too small or too big. Eight to twelve feet tends to be the sweet spot, although different sized homes and lots warrant special considerations. But 8-12 feet generally allows for sitting areas and a usable porch without taking away too much square footage from the house.
  2. Don’t put them on top of heated and cooled space down here at the beach. Between our driving monsoon type rains and the tropical storms we sometimes get, porches on top of heated and cooled space can often mean leaks.
  3. Make sure your porch columns are flush with the beam at the top. You can see an example of what I mean in the picture below. This is the correct historical way to do column and beam details. Yes, it may seem like a minor detail, but it makes a big difference in the home’s overall appearance – trust me.
  4. Consider different kinds of porch flooring materials  Рbrick, wood, exterior grade non-slip tile, concrete pavers Рit can be fun to change it up.

Good luck!

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