Front Porch Designs

Your front porch is one of the first features of your home that visitors will notice, and so having the right front porch designs can really help out in making a good first impression. Not only does it have to look good and provide the functionality that a porch should bring, but it needs to complement the rest of the house. To this end it is a great idea to extend important features of the house, both interior and exterior, to the design of the porch.

One of the more important decisions when coming up with front porch designs is to determine whether the porch will be covered or left open to the sky. Most of the time the protection from the elements for your visitors, or for sitting out and reading a book during a rainstorm, takes precedence over the open nature of leaving the porch exposed. But in more mild climates leaving the porch open to the sky could not only make for an interesting design feature that is less common, but also be a great way to allow more of nature into your home. If you want to “have your cake and eat it too” here, you could go with a retractable awning instead. This will allow you to choose when to have the protection from the elements, and when to open things up to the sky. The downside is that retractable awnings tend to look somewhat cheap on a front porch, and are better left relegated to back porches where they won’t influence the impression your house makes to visitors as much.

Another important factor in front porch designs is the materials used for the porch itself. Wood decking gives a natural and homey feel, brick gives an old world charm, and tile or stone pavers can make for an elegant and expensive look. It’s a good idea to match this feel to the general feel of the house to keep the general theme consistent. That way when visitors come inside they won’t be smacked upside the head with the transition between two very different styles. This doesn’t mean you need to match tile for tile, brick for brick, wood for wood… but it does mean keeping the color palette and general concept from varying too wildly.

One material that often gets overlooked in possible front porch designs is concrete. While there are countless instances where front porches are made of concrete, it often isn’t by design at all, it’s just the default because the other options were deemed too expensive. As the “cheap” option, you may feel it doesn’t have anything to offer for you, but you’d be wrong. With the proper treatments, concrete can become as beautiful as natural stone, without inflating the price tag to match the look. Concrete dyes that are meant to be mixed into the cement before pouring can give a touch of color to the otherwise dull gray material. Finished properly, this is all that’s needed to mimic the look of some types of stone like sandstone or limestone. For a more refined look to your front porch designs, you can finish the concrete smooth . Then once it has set up, apply acid etch and acid stains. In this manner you can mimic the look of cut and polished stones like marble, granite, or other similar stones that are often viewed as luxury materials for home improvement. By taping off areas when applying different colors of stains, you can even create tiled looks. So if you find yourself a little short on cash, or just want to create your own unique look, consider concrete and the various forms of finishing that can be done with it.

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