Porch Additions: Don’t Forget to Plan!

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With warm weather just around the corner, it’s hard not to look forward to all of those summer evenings spent grilling outside with friends and family.  While any backyard will do, there’s nothing like a beautiful porch or deck to help make things truly serene.

Therefore, if you’re looking to replace or update your current outdoor space, or you’re simply looking to add one for the first time, it’s important to lay out your goals in advance.

To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

1.)  WHAT WILL YOU USE IT FOR?—When it comes to design, this question will actually help you determine the length and depth of the structure.  If your main use will be dining out, then a porch made to fit a large table and chairs will obviously have different size requirements than one simply made for lounging.  Combine that with extra room to circulate and socialize, and you’ll be on the right track.

2.)  WHEN WILL YOU USE IT?—Your particular region and climate will invariably make a difference when it comes to adding particulars that will make your porch usable year-round.  Details such as ceiling fans, screens, a fireplace, and insulation are just a small grouping of options that are important to consider.

3.)  IS IT ACCESSIBLE?—As with any space in your home, you’ll want your porch to maintain a good traffic flow.  For greater accessibility, large patio or French doors will not only add a bit of style and natural light, but they will also help with inside/outside navigation.

4.) WILL IT BE MADE FOR ENTERTAINING?—If you’re looking for a space that will keep people happy and comfortable for extended periods of time, you might want to consider creating separate sitting and dining areas.  For cocktails and conversation, a sitting area with all-weather furniture can create a cozy atmosphere, while a dining area with a table and comfortable chairs will encourage many fun-filled evenings to come.

5.)  WHAT SHOULD IT LOOK LIKE?—If you’re feeling short on inspiration, don’t be afraid to scour the internet for ideas that will get your creative juices flowing.  While the best porches are designed with scale and portion already in mind, you still want to make sure it’s a space that you’ll want to spend time in.