Today’s guest post, courtesy of Mike Tuma, will take a look at how a porch can transform your home (and you likely won’t even need planning permission – but visit the Planning Portal to be certain).
Falling In Love With Porches, Stoops, and Patios All Over Again
For many homes, external complementary additions like porches, patios and stoops can make all the difference, wouldn’t you agree? They add character and boost the appearance of houses by making them appear more spacious and more hospitable. Porches can also accent the more pleasing features of a house while hiding less appealing ones – think facial hair for houses.
Their advantages go beyond the aesthetic realm, however. Were you aware that porches can reduce cooling costs during the summer by blocking light from entering? They can. They also add value to homes in neighbourhoods where the real estate market is strong because they make them stand out from the rest.
Something to Consider
Indeed, as far as housing features go, porches are all the rage.
Many home designers have noticed a marked surge recently in requests for porches from clients building new homes. Consequentially, many homes are seeing the addition of porches if they aren’t already there, while existing porches are being upgraded, renovated, and modernized.
If the bit you’ve read of this has you daydreaming on whether a porch would be a good idea for your home, allow us to give an ambiguous answer of „maybe.“ It depends on several things:
- The quality of the addition is key. This is intuitive, of course, but it is worth mentioning. A dodgy-looking porch can detract from a property’s value just as easily as an attractive porch can add to it. Here, the term quality pertains to craftsmanship, materials used, and colours selected.
- While the materials used are important, it is imperative to make an appropriate choice, neither overshooting nor undershooting the mark. For example: a patio that costs £15,000 because it is constructed entirely of a rare, exotic wood would not add £15,000 to the value of the house (or, you are not likely to see a full return on your investment). This is the case, of course, because if potential buyers were choosing between two similar properties, but one was significantly more expensive because of its gaudy deck, they’ll choose the deck-less home every time.
- The porch needs to serve a clear purpose. Never add a porch or patio just for the sake of ambition. In this case, quality always suffers, as does the upkeep of the addition. Remember: an ugly porch kills value.
Make the Most of What You Have
Maybe you already have a porch that you like, but you’re not in love with it. Perhaps your porch is currently just a plane that must be traversed before you can enter your house or make it to the back yard.
If this is the case, upgrading it may be far easier than you think. Frankly, it’s all about the mindset behind the porch’s or patio’s usage. Apologies if this sounds mawkish, but if you would like for your porch to feel like home, think of it more like an extension of your home. To do this, simply reflect on what the space needs to be an enjoyable place to spend time:
- Find tasteful but comfortable furniture with pillows and futons that are designed to resist humidity and moisture.
- Make the porch a space where it would be convenient to entertain guests. Make sure there are end-tables to place cups and coasters. Far too often, living spaces contain fashionable furniture that is incredibly uncomfortable and dysfunctional.
- Seek items that are consistent with the style of your home, i.e., modern deck furniture matches well with a modern style house.
- If the porch is deep but not very long, shop for elongated, rectangular seats and benches. Pillows are a must.
- Give the porch a stain that meshes well with the colour theme of your home. If you’d like to go the extra mile, consider matching the flooring type with the ceiling.
- Respect symmetry and the shape of the home. If your house is rectangular, position furniture at complementary right angles. Also, if one side of the porch is formed by a load bearing wall, shop around for outdoor furniture designed for corner placement.
- Proportions can be everything. Avoid furniture that dwarfs the living area, but also furniture dwarfed by the living area.
- Go green. Since porches are often bathed in sunlight, they’re ideal for plants which contribute a natural, vivacious vibe to the area. Their colours can also be quite soothing. Give your green thumb some exercise.
Again, the best porches are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Generally speaking, porches don’t offer a great deal of space, so make sure the decour and furniture on your porch or patio serves a purpose. Avoid the superfluous.
An Extension of Your Home
Whether you intend to construct a new external complementary addition or you would like to improve the existing space, patios, porches, and stoops can make a house feel more like home.
Only a wall separates the interior of our home from the exterior, but too often we treat these spaces as though they’re completely independent of one another. Whatever your plans are for an outdoor living space, view those walls as filters rather than barriers.
If you do, you’ll find that your home can be larger, more interesting, and more inviting than you have ever realized. Now, anyone fancy a cuppa?
Tags: porches and patios