Types of Front Porches
Your porch's design reflects on your whole house
By Shelly McRae
The architectural style of a house extends to the front porch, creating a transition from the interior to the outside world. Thus, the style of a front porch should reflect that of the home. The type of porch that it is, though, is likely to fall into one of four broad categories.
The roofline of the home extends several feet beyond the front of the home to create an open, shaded space. Poles or columns, with a distinct gap to indicate the entryway, support the edge of the roof. Most porches are covered porches. There may be steps leading up to it or it may be level with the ground, depending on the architecture of the home. The covered porch is open, though a railing and balustrades may be used to create a sense of separation from the front lawn.
A screened porch is a covered porch with additional support for adding screens. Rather than railings and balustrades, a short support wall of brick or wood may be built up to approximately 3 feet in height. Added to this are vertical supports between which screens are installed. The screened porch is sometimes referred to as a sleeping porch, used in the warm weather as a bedroom before the advent of air conditioning in the home.
The wraparound porch is perhaps a signature of the Victorian architecture, though it is not confined to that style of home. Running continuously along the front of the home and around at least one side if not both sides of the home, the wraparound porch is treated as additional living space for family meals and for entertaining as well as relaxing.
The pergola as front porch may be considered a semicovered porch. The roofline of the home is not extended out past the front of the home. Rather, a pergola is joined at the roofline across the front of the home to create a front porch. A pergola is a framework of poles that support crossbeams. Used in garden settings for climbing plants, a pergola can create a shaded walkway or shaded space for a seating area. A pergola can be added to a home by strategically placing the supporting poles and adding crossbeams that are then secured to the fašade of the home at the roofline. The crossbeams allow light to beam through, creating patterns of shadow and light. Grapevines or other climbing plants can be trained to grow over the pergola crossbeams to provide shade in the warmer months.
About the Author
Shelly McRae is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has experience with hydroponic gardening and other areas of the home improvement industry.
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