What You Should Know About Porches

Use these tips to create a charming porch that improves the appearance of your home.

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Photography by Beall + Thomas Photography

Some people might think of a porch as the place the elderly sit on their rocking chairs to watch the world go by. But savvy homeowners understand if you want a place to relax, entertain or greet guests, a porch can be a useful addition to a well-designed home.

Porches connect your interior to the exterior, provide additional living space, keep you connected with your neighborhood and give you the perfect spot for dining outside. They can be small and simple, in the front or back of your home, or large four-season wraparound spaces.

A transitional space, a well-planned porch can breathe new life into a weary house. It can improve or even transform the appearance of your home, making a nondescript front door more pronounced or adding dimension to a flat-face structure. Details like beadboard ceilings, columns and well-chosen hardware can boost curb appeal and add personality.

"What makes a great porch is the same as any room," says architect David Horsley, of DAO Architecture. "You want great light quality, elegant proportions and detailing that fits with the character of the house."

You may be giving an existing porch a much-needed face-lift or adding a new one that will improve the look and circulation of your property. No matter what kind of porch project you have planned, you need to carefully consider your goals. Ask yourself questions on how you plan to use the space, considering your options and budget.

Taking the time to do your homework means you are closer to having that ideal spot that adds beauty, comfort and sometimes even value to your home.

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