How to Build a Porch
Adding a front porch can instantly upgrade and modernise any property. It beautifully enhances the kerb appeal of your home and creates a stylish and sheltered entrance to the front of the house.
Why Build a Porch?
There are variety of benefits that adding a porch to your property can bring. Firstly, a porch can greatly enhance the ‘curb appeal’ of your home. It allows you to add a touch of your own personal style and taste to the outside of your property, creating a stylish look for visitors and passers-by. With use of colours, materials and roofing, you can adapt the structure to stand out or blend seamlessly with the rest of the property.
When it’s time to put your house on the market, a porch can be a fantastic way of adding value and drawing interest to your property. A porch is a subtle way for house hunters to see that you have put time and effort into upgrading your home plus is easy to spot as potential buyers are driving by. Although a seemingly small extension to the home, a front porch can make your house look much bigger in comparison to neighbouring properties.
As well as visual appeal, a porch also adds fantastic practical benefits. It protects the doorway from damage caused by harsh weathering and improves stability and durability for a more robust structure. If your front door is painted, it can also help to prolong the colour to keep the entrance of your home looking smart and ‘brand new’.
Shelter from the Elements
A porch creates the perfect space between the hallway and the outside to shelter from the bad weather. It creates a dry walkway, just outside of the internal home space to prepare for the step out into the rain or to remove wet coats and muddy shoes after stepping in from it.
Speaking of muddy and wet weather, it can be helpful to have a sheltered space for storing wellies, umbrellas and walking boots whilst they dry off. Putting them under the porch to dry means no more muddy footprints or rain puddles in your hallway.
A porch provides an extra level of security by adding a second door to the entrance of the property. Coupled with an alarm, you can create enhanced protection against the risk of burglary.
Porch designs with extra windows and a glass door can increase the amount of natural daylight entering the front of your home. This creates a lighter and warmer atmosphere as you enter the home.
Building a front porch may even help to enhance insulation and minimise heat loss from the front of the property. By closing the front door to the main house before opening the second and stepping out of the porch, you can effectively reduce the amount of warm air that exits the building as well as preventing colder air from coming in.
Will I Need Planning Permission?
Thankfully, building a porch does not usually require planning permission and is within permitted development rights if the structure adheres to a specific set of guidelines.
To fall within the ‘Permitted Development’ guidelines, the porch structure MUST:
- NOT have a ground area that is more than 3 square metres (this includes the walls)
- NOT sit positioned within 2 metres of a boundary facing on to the road
- NOT have a highest point that is more than 3 metres in height
Planning permission may also be required if you live in a listed building, designated area or if the property falls under an Article 4 Direction.
You also need to consider building regulations approval. A porch can be exempt from building regulations approval, but it must fit within the following guidelines:
- Front door between the property and the new porch must remain in the original place
- If the house is ramped or has level disabled access, the new porch should not affect this
If you are unsure, it is always recommended that you contact your local council for further information and guidance.
Building a Porch Step-by-Step
When building your own porch, you have a variety of options in terms of materials that you can use.
Laying out a strong foundation for your porch provides strength and stability for the structure. The depth of the foundation is dependent on the weight of the porch structure you wish to build, the type of existing soil and the close proximity of trees, pipework, electric cables etc. Most foundations are usually trench fill with concrete, followed by a row of high density concrete blocks.
Damp Proof Membrane & Subfloor
After laying a robust foundation, you must lay a damp proof membrane. This will not only help to prevent damp and water leakage but will also prevent plant growth up into the structure. Concrete then covers on top of the DPM to form the subfloor for your porch structure.
You must ensure that you lay the subfloor at a high enough level so that the flooring material can be laid easily on top.
If you are considering a plywood internal floor, then you can also lay timber joists to provide support.
You will need to calculate how many bricks you will need, dependant on the scale of the porch you want to build. Calculating this will also give you a clearer estimate of the cost for the project. There are a multitude of brick types available so it is up each individual to decide on the best fit in terms of durability, practicality and visual appeal.
First begin bricklaying to the level of the DPM from your existing house. After laying the flooring, you can continue bricklaying to the window sill height. Here you should install any windows, then continue the bricks up until you reach the roof timber level.
The type of flooring you choose will differ based on budget, personal style, durability and what you will be using the porch for. Many homeowners opt for wood flooring for their porch as it looks smart, stylish and welcoming plus holds up pretty well durability wise. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are another common choice as they offer resilience in the bad weather. You also have concrete and even vinyl flooring to choose from dependant on the look you are going for.
During the construction period, you should ensure you cover the floor and weigh down with bricks to reduce the risk of weather and impact damage.
Choosing the right windows and door is vital to ensure optimum security, insulation, stability as well as aesthetics for your porch. There are porch kits available which include the windows or you can purchase separately. It can be tricky finding the most suitable windows for the job so consult a professional if you are unsure.
Before laying any tiles or slates, you first need to install a timber framework with a breathable roof membrane.
The SuperFOIL SFBB Reflective Breathable Membrane is a high-quality choice. It is a reliable and cost-effective watertight breather membrane designed for use in roofing and walls. The membrane is vapour permeable, easy to install and helps to significantly improve the airtightness of the building structure.
After fitting the membrane, you will then need to install roof battens. Suitable for virtually any roofing project, the Graded BS5534 Timber Roof Batten offers low moisture content, minimal defects and full trackability so you can ensure optimum quality for the materials you are using.
The final roofing stage is to fit your chosen roof tiles. Homeowners often want to match the style and colour of the tile to those originally installed on the property.
PVC roof tiles are a durable, practical and lightweight alternative to real slate. They offer the natural look of slate minus the heavy structure, perfect for extension structures such as this. Roof shingles are another popular choice as they are available in a selection of materials, colours and styles plus can be fitted on a multitude of applications including porch extensions. Or, for a more traditional aesthetic, clay tiles could also be a perfect fit and are widely found on properties around the country so can seamlessly blend with the existing house structure.
After the completion of the roof structure, it is important to add gutters to provide effective drainage and reduce water damage to the porch.
Once structurally completed, you can decorate the internal space of your porch and add a multitude of extras including steps, planters, hanging baskets, lighting and more.
We hope this guide was helpful and has inspired you to take up the DIY project yourself. If you have any more questions or queries, please be sure to ask our award-winning customer service team. Give them a call on 01295 565 565, email [email protected], or use the handy live chat.