The first two houses I owned didn’t have porches. They were Victorian red-brick terraced houses with small front gardens and the absence of a porch meant that occasionally, we had to stand in the pouring rain while struggling with a key and shopping as we tried to open the front door as quickly as possible. That was the main disadvantage of not having a porch – there being no shelter from the elements when the weather is horrible.
Porches have many more advantages of course, depending on their size and shape. They offer more storage, a place to put those items frequently required for outdoor use such as boots and coats, they protect the front hall from harsh weather and prevent draughts, and they can make the front of your home look more attractive.
1. An Open Porch
An open porch such as this red brick and green oak porch really adds character to the front of this home as well as providing shelter for visitors waiting for you to open the door.
2. Small Enclosed Porch
Although this porch is small, the red brick half wall and the pitched roof add plenty of character to the front of this home. The number of windows plus the glass door ensure that the porch allows maximum natural light to flood into the hallway.
Albeit small, this porch is still sizeable enough to stand inside and shut the porch door before opening the hall door, thereby preventing heat loss.
3. Large Front Porch
A front porch running part or all of the length of the house is something we tend to associate with American houses, where the boarded floors and swing seats suggest relaxation after a hard day of toil.
Rocking chairs or swing seats also carry connotations of leisurely chats and neighbourly friendliness.
If large enough like this verandah, a front porch functions as an exterior living room. I think porches like these really add a friendly feel to any house – if only we could get guaranteed sunshine in Ireland for months on end every summer.
4. Curved Front Porch
The curved front walls of this porch make a very subtle, yet stunning, architectural statement.
The straight lines of the inside walls frame the front door and overhead light beautifully, drawing the eye forward and yet the curves on the outside walls make you look twice at the architecture of the whole house. It’s very simple and yet very effective.
5. Front Room / Front Porch
A porch this size will double as a hall, it is a room in itself with storage for coats and shoes and sufficient space to display items attractively. It really sets the scene for the decor and atmosphere of the rest of the house so will serve to provide a welcoming atmosphere for visitors.
The pitched roof, the planting, the soft grey colour of the paintwork and the glimpse into the interior all serve to soften the front of the house, giving it a very welcoming appearance.
6. Portico Front Porch
A front porch that consists of a canopy with supporting columns will dress the front of a house and prevent a ‘bare’ appearance.
It also provides shelter – not just from rain and wind but the canopy will also shelter the front door from strong sunshine which would bleach the paintwork.
7. Portico Front Porch with Brackets
A small portico with supporting diagonal brackets provides some shelter and adds connotations of cottage nostalgia to the front of one’s house. I think they are really charming.
8. Glass Porch
A conservatory or glass front porch adds warmth, an extra room, and a touch of extravagance and glamour to your home.
It will prevent heat loss from the main house, provide a beautifully sheltered area to sit and relax, and be an impressive architectural feature.