What size porch should you put on the front of your new home? While this isn't the most perplexing decision when building a custom home, it has a big impact on your enjoyment of the property and the look of your house. So, how can you decide what type of porch to install? Here are a few factors to consider.
1. Architectural Style of the House
Does your home have a very distinct architectural style or period? If so, it may call for a specific porch style as well. For instance, Georgian or Federal homes were designed with a small, direct porch in mind. However, Victorian and Craftsman houses support spacious wraparound porches.
2. Your Building Budget
Most homeowners shouldn't overspend on their front porches. In comparison with many other parts of your house, it will get much less usage and have less impact on comfort. So if you're on a limited budget or need to make compromises, the front porch is a good place to skimp. You can make up for a lack of a large porch with other landscape and hardscape tricks.
3. Actual Expected Usage
Do you love the look of a big front porch? Always wanted a wraparound porch with a big swing? You're not alone, but don't be swayed by idealized versions of home life. Will you actually use that large porch as much as you think? Homeowners with other options often eschew a porch facing a busy neighborhood or noisy road or which has no privacy. If it will be underutilized, there are ways to better use the space and money.
4. Hardscape vs. Landscape
Look at the front yard as a whole and assess how much of it is landscape—organic material and greenery—and how much is hardscape. A large yard with lots of landscaping has the space for a big front porch to offset these. But a small yard that will already feature plenty of walkways, concrete, gravel, and other hardscape elements may become overwhelmed with a large porch.
5. Maintenance Needs
A well-built porch made from the right materials can be very low-maintenance for many years. On the other hand, the same amount of landscaping could require a lot more work, money, and energy. But a complex porch with more fragile materials may need more attention and effort than a simple landscape in the same place.
Where to Start
How can you weigh these factors and others in your particular case? Start by discussing them with an experienced custom home builder in your area. With their guidance, you'll soon design a porch that meets your needs while not wasting your resources.
Contact a local construction company, such as Yellowstone Basin Construction, to learn more.