Nothing is nicer than visiting with family and friends in the cozy atmosphere of your own front porch. Back when you were growing up, you probably remember your folks sitting on the front porch on their webbed, fold-up chairs almost every night in the Summertime right after dinner and dishes were done. Friends and family often stopped by and a gab session ensued until the fireflies came out. Somehow that nightly tradition fell by the wayside and people started connecting and catching up first by e-mail, and now through Facebook. It seems sometimes we have forgotten how to connect face-to-face.
Suddenly the concept of porch sitting is trending as people are reaching out to their neighbors, more than just once a year at the annual block party.
Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have a porch large enough to accommodate an old-fashioned swing, a few rattan chairs with plumped-up pillows, and a table or two on which to place pitchers of iced tea or lemonade.
Additionally, the style of your home may not be conducive to adding a nice, big porch.
Since Atlanta is basically a warm-weather state, with the cold season lasting merely 10 weeks (with daily highs of nearly 59 degrees during that cold season), there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a porch, making this addition to your home a worthwhile investment. To find out what is currently trending in porch styles, just keep reading, but, bear in mind that the porch style you covet may not mesh with the size, shape and structure of your home. To avoid disappointment, and to see what styles are compatible with your home, consider scheduling a consultation with a contractor who specializes in porch remodeling in the Atlanta area.
Add a touch of home
Enhancing your home by building or enlarging a porch can add significant curb appeal to your home. That, of course, is only one of the benefits – the ambiance of bringing together friends and family for impromptu get-togethers on the front or back porch is priceless.
While porch sitting for the most part is done in the front of your home, if that area is simply too small, your porch will have to garner curb appeal by merely plopping down a few potted plants and perhaps a two-seater bench.
Types of residential porches
- Backyard porch. Well this is a straightforward concept – your wooden deck becomes the backyard porch. If you take it a step further, you might enclose it as well.
- Wraparound porch. “The Largest Porch in the World” is a title that belongs to The Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. There are 660 feet of porch that encircle the hotel and uniform white rocking chairs adorn the porch all the way around. What a concept! Well, if your house has the space available, you might also be able to build what is called a “wraparound porch”. As the name suggests, this style of porch will wrap entirely around your home, enabling greater accessibility to the outside. It would be especially delightful if your home overlooks a very scenic view, thus a wraparound porch would enable you to have many vantage points.
- Screened-in porch. Again, depending on the size, shape and style of your home, a screened-in porch can either be in the front or back living area of your home. A screened-in porch is not to be confused with a sun room or mud room at the front entrance of the home. Screening in a large porch adds protection from insects and pests, while providing the feeling of being outdoors in the fresh air. In warm-weather states, sometimes an exterior ceiling fan is installed for those warmish and humid days, in addition to adding some ambiance and functionality to your screened-in porch, making it perfect for rural settings or a farmhouse-style home.
Trends for modern porches
Builders and home remodelers alike are stating that the “new, old-fashioned porch” is much different than you might remember from your past.
Today’s porches are:
- Larger with the standard size now 8 to 10 feet wide instead of 4 to 6 feet wide.
- More colorful, with design elements in a multi-color palette as to siding, trim, and accent colors, such as on window sashes.
- Sporting bolder columns, with architectural columns on a larger scale for design or aesthetic purposes and come in a variety of styles, including round, squared or tapered, and sit on the deck of the porch.
- Made of more durable outside materials, designed to not just complement, but consist of the exact same exterior material as the rest of the home, i.e. s stucco or brick, or cement siding products. Those products also include flooring, where the trend is favoring Brazilian hardwood over traditional pine or cedar floors on front porches. While hardwood is much more durable and is mold, rot and insect resistant, installation is quite costly because it is a dense wood which requires pre-drilling.
Hiring a contractor
Just like any other large alteration to the structure of your home, considerable thought should be given as to whether or not such a large endeavor can be accomplished without the aid of a professional. Enlarging an existing porch or creating a new one may involve installation of new wiring, plumbing or gas lines, removal of large trees or stumps and procurement of special permits for the City in which you live. Plotting out the specifications for the porch of your dreams requires precise measurements, blueprints to be created, special tools, and, in general, the expertise of a professional contractor who specializes in porch remodeling. Only then can you hope to attain the porch of your dreams.