One of the best ways to increase curb appeal is to build a deck, gazebo, or a porch. Porches make for gorgeous outdoor spaces that can be used to greet guests, throw a party, get in touch with nature, and generally have a good time. An improved curb appeal also increases the cost of your home and makes your house the focal point in the neighborhood.
While the cost of building a porch entirely depends on your vision, building a simple porch can take anywhere between $5000 - $10000. Add in the cost of some extras and maybe a few errors to fix, and the budget could go up even further. But don’t let that scare you. Building a porch can be affordable and easy if you create a detailed plan and follow it. When done right, porches can add a massive value to your home and will increase its resale value. Whether you hire a contractor or choose to go the DIY way, here is a useful and simple guide that will help you build a charming porch without splurging too much.
Choose an idea/theme:
There is a ton of Pinterest-worthy porch ideas you could incorporate – both big and small. You need to come up with a rough idea of the design for your porch. Indeed, the style and design need to integrate with the design of your house. Once you narrow down on its looks, focus on the materials you’d need. Ideally, the materials need to be similar or the same as your house for a beautiful continuation. Choose thicker materials and insulation if you receive snow in the winter. Once you understand the materials you need, you can develop an approximate budget for your project.
Slope the soil underneath the porch floor to redirect any water. Install lattice skirting and rodent screening to encourage good ventilation and keep pests out. You can get the foundation of your porch built with concrete and reinforced with rebar. For a cheaper alternative, use hardy wood like natural fir, cedar, or mahogany. You can also opt for wood-free composite floors that look like natuaral wood.
Common materials used for building porch stairs are concrete or wood, with stone and brick acting as a veneer. You need to figure out the degree of incline and the height of the stairs; note that with a taller set of stairs comes the consumption of more materials. You also need to install a PVC railing on both sides of the stairs. You can even add knee walls and paint the railings according to the theme.
Posts or Columns:
Columns or posts are extremely important as they support the roof. Columns are circular in shape whereas posts are square in shape. If you’d like to have columns, ensure that you get the proportions right. You can either opt for pre-made porch columns or customized designs. If you use wood for the base, mildly raise the column and provide ventilation for column shafts. You can also choose treated lumber with PVC moldings and boards.
Whether you want a flat or sloped style porch roof, the style of the roof will hugely impact the budget. If you don’t have the budget for a traditional roof, consider installing an awning. While the durability will be much lower, the expense will be significantly reduced. If you prefer an enclosed space, you will also need to decide between glass windows or screens. Glass is much costlier than screens but is also more durable. Alternatively, you can opt for an open porch.
Once your porch is fully built, you will need to decorate it. Start by painting the porch in a color scheme that can harmonize seamlessly with the outer paint of the rest of the house. There are two types of paint you can choose: urethane paint that provides a high-gloss finish and acrylic latex that provides a luster-less, non-slip finish. You can also opt to stain the porch floor while painting the columns, railings, and walls.
After the paint and/or stain dries, place furniture like comfy chairs, a round coffee table, or even a porch swing depending on the size and style of your porch. Throw in interesting and bold fabric patterns to perk up the porch. Use flowering plants in artisan pots to inexpensively beautify the front area. You can also use hanging pots, wind charms, and other unique conversation pieces to accessorize the place.
You need to add lighting fixtures to your porch. If your porch has a homely feel, warm it up even further with candles hanging in decorative mason jars. You can also install an Old English style vintage side lamp for a minimalist look that is filled with personality. Or, you can go full-on tech with cylindrical table top color changing lamps. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to add instant appeal, just take a string of yellow bulbs and attach it to the ceiling of the porch.
While these are the overall steps to building a porch, the final cost would depend largely on the size of the porch, type of porch, cost of materials, complexity of the design and style, cost of tools, cost of labor (and contractor, if hired), the cost of the porch décor, and any additional features. Determining the price of all of these factors is difficult as it varies from company to company, location of the house, and place to place. Also, remember to acquire the required building permits from your local municipality and always follow the rules and regulations in terms of porch area, building hours, etc. After its completion, have an inspector thoroughly inspect your porch for any problems, and work towards fixing it.
Once the porch is fully built and decorated, you will be able to reap the full benefits of having a beautiful porch in your home. Along with the monetary benefits, seeing a stunning porch in front of your home could be all the reward you might need.