Add a bit of punch to your porch with these different styles!
While many urban terraced houses don’t have a porch built on as standard, a great deal of other property styles do; and as they can provide both a functional space and pleasant aesthetic to the home, are a popular choice for renovation. Some new builds come with set porch options so that you can choose exactly what you’d like, but if you’re otherwise starting from scratch, you have lots of options to pick from. Either way: do you know your Victorian from your Edwardian and your Georgian from your Tudor? Read on to learn the differences between each to best help you decide what may be the best porch option for you and your home.
Exterior porches offer a canopy above a door (usually the front door) and are mainly created for aesthetic reasons, but also offer a dry space below as you struggle with your keys/shopping bags/pushchair and need some shelter. There are several main types of timber porch, including:
- Wall mounted porches – often just called ‘canopy’ porches, these are entirely attached to the wall above a front or back door and have no foundational grounding
- Wall and floor mounted porches – as above, these are attached to the wall above a door but are supported by two wooden supporting legs called railings
- Low brick plinth porches – as above, these are both attached to the wall and supported by wooden railings but are completed with a small dwarf wall
- High brick plinth porches – as above, but with a larger wall for additional protection from the elements; these give more of a ‘closed-in’ feel
- Full height porches – similar to brick plinth porches but without the railings support, these offer a full heigh wall up either side, and sometimes to the front too with another door fitted. This can provide a whole extra room to the home that is usually used as a utility storage space for clothes/shoes/umbrellas etc.
The primary types of porch on homes in the UK are those installed as part of period property design and so are named appropriately; although can be retrofitted if you prefer one style over another! These are:
An Edwardian porch is usually made up of brick walls, timber and railings, and are traditionally painted white. Such porches are usually closed with an exterior door and windows, but can also be canopy only. The reference to the time period is evident in its design which features elegantly carved railings and fretwork patterns that give a light and delicate aesthetic.
Georgian style houses are often fairly grand in stature and so their porches tend to reflect this in their design. Railings styled as columns made of metal or lime plaster usually frame large Georgian windows, or, on more modern homes, tend to feature such windows within brickwork. Georgian porches styled as canopies are found often on new build developments with curved, light-coloured pillars reaching up to a darker canopy.
Tudor porches are easily misunderstood as there’s a vast amount of mock Tudor architecture around and people often mistake them with genuine Tudor homes. While a genuine Tudor porch is created by the typical overhanging first floor to form the canopy of a porch, this is rarely found in buildings any newer. However, there are more modern homes that use the traditional Tudor wattle-and-daub appearance with a different porch type and may even use gable end roofs painted like historical beams to give the illusion or impression or sufficient overhang.
Victorian porches are characterised by white painted timber framework like Edwardian porches, and are often very extravagant in design. As the time dictates that the exterior features of homes would be a demonstration of the owner’s wealth, such porches are often large and grand – but chunkier and more wieldy than those found on Edwardian properties. Contemporarily, Victorian porches are often converted into full porch rooms to provide a boot-room space.
Sometimes referred to as ‘screen-in’ porches, these are a hybrid type of porch that fits any period style but uses transparent screens in place of windows or doors. These are normally retrofitted as they take into consideration the maximum possible amount of heat and light drawing into the building and are often fitted to improve heat retention and insulation; which of course, are modern design features.
A rarer option in the UK, a wraparound porch is only suitable for a large detached property – and often will require planning permission to be sought ahead of its construction. Wraparound porches are most commonly found in the US and, as the name suggests, wrap around either part of all of a property. This can create additional functional outside space or be purely decorative. Such porches can technically form the porch for the front and back door and are the type of exterior seen in old American movies with locals sitting outside on deck chairs or benches.
There are now a variety of DIY porch kits available from hardware companies and specialist porch providers and these allow homeowners to put together their own basic canopy and/or wall and floor mounted porches without the need for hiring a professional.
Anecdotally, while there are lots of happy customers with such products, these are not long-lasting and can cause issues long-term when parts separate or fall away. If you have installed such a DIY product without the knowledge of your insurance or construction company this too can cause problems if there are concerns with the safety or structural integrity of such products down the line.
It is always recommended that you at least consult with a renovation professional before deciding which porch type is best for your property. Refresh Renovations offer free home visits with no obligation to buy, so get in touch with your local office and take guidance from an expert!
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