How to Score That Picture-Perfect Front Porch

Get the lowdown on the essential steps for designing a dreamy front porch.

Unwinding at home doesn't mean you have to be restricted to lounging indoors. Enjoy the fresh air and cooler summer nights by adding a front porch to your home. Front porches create an inviting space for your family and your guests, and considerably boost the curb appeal of your home. From taking care of the basics to adding the final details, make sure you have a go-to plan for attaining the ultimate front porch. Here are our top tips for building a porch that will surely get the neighborhood talking.

Porch Flooring Comes First

For constructing a front porch that will impress, flooring comes first. Keep in mind what kind of tone you want your flooring to set for your porch, whether it be a laid-back look or a dramatic statement. Wood flooring, for example, adds a cozy, low-key atmosphere to your space. When installing wood flooring, the wood boards must be measured and aligned perfectly to ensure a smooth result and avoid bowing boards over time. It is also recommended that these wood floors are sealed regularly to prevent the wood from aging and appearing dirty.

While wood flooring is the most traditional choice for front porches, there are plenty of other materials to choose from when creating your own outdoor paradise. Stone, brick, and concrete are just a few of the top materials to choose from when planning your unique porch. For a durable surface that offers a stylish touch to the porch, consider having stone installed. Want a classic, rustic look? Consider opting for a light brick flooring. For intricate designs and patterns, try concrete flooring—concrete staining, stamping, and stenciling  are three techniques that can turn a blank slab into an impressive floor.

Get Started on Your Front Porch

Work Your Way Up with Porch Columns

When adding a roof to your new porch, consider what you want the supports to look like. Porch columns come in a variety of styles, such as sophisticated round columns and charming country-style square columns.

For braving the elements, the durability of fiberglass makes it a solid choice for porch columns. And stone, being rot-resistant and generally fire-resistant, is also durable as well as elegant. Looking for an option that won't break the bank? Aluminum columns are the most affordable column choice, and come in several colors and styles to match any porch.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Don't forget to pair your front porch columns with a coordinating railing. This is where you can get really creative with your porch's look. Unique ironwork, grand wood balusters, and impressive geometric vinyl are just a few notable railing possibilities. For a railing design that's custom for your porch, consider working with a carpenter in crafting your own unique addition.

Take Care of the Trim

Let Porch Lighting Illuminate the Night

Whether you want to relax outside on a breezy night or illuminate your space for nighttime get togethers, porch lighting is essential. For ambient lighting that creates a relaxed mood, ceiling-mounted lights are a great option. Take it to the next level and have adjustable light switches to get that perfect light for any occasion. If you want an abundance of light for the nighttime hours, consider having wall sconces installed. Stylish and functional sconces can bring attention to your front door or distribute light across the porch for an even glow.

Finally,  make sure your porch is comfortable even on those warmer days by having ceiling fans installed. Let a local electrician hook up your new fans to the rest of your electrical wiring, making it easy to control all of your porch's functions from one switch panel.

Prep Your Porch for the Evening

Getting in Full (Porch) Swing

Nothing is quite as relaxing as lounging on a porch swing on a crisp morning or a peaceful evening. Transport yourself to a serene, at-home getaway with a porch swing. First, have the porch's structural beams inspected to ensure it can handle the weight. Then consider the placement of your porch—for a welcoming feel, have your swing placed to face your front yard. For a secluded, private feel, have it face the other side of the porch. Since you'll want to know for certain that the swing is always safe to use, we recommend having a local contractor take care of the installation process.


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