How to add a porch: what to know before building your own porch
Whether you’re looking to sell or you just want a nicer welcome for family and friends, a porch can pep up the front of your property and add lots of kerb appeal. Here's what you need to know if you're thinking about adding a porch to your property
Projects like adding a porch, painting the front door and installing new outside lighting can all add kerb appeal while making your home more attractive to buyers if you’re thinking about selling up.
A new entranceway will also give a warm welcome to visitors, as well as putting a smile on your face when you come home after a long day. We take a look at the dos and don’ts of porches as well as other ways of making your property more attractive.
Do you need planning permission for a porch?
If you want to add a porch to your house, chances are you won’t need planning permission. This would depend on factors including whether the ground floor area of the porch is three square metres or less; the highest part of the porch is not more than three metres above ground level and no part of the porch comes within two metres of the front boundary and the highway.
Any porch exceeding these measurements will need permission, as well as porches for flats, maisonettes and converted houses. If your property is listed, listed building consent may be required, too. If the porch qualifies for permitted development, building regulation approval may not be required (assuming that glazing and electrics comply with the relevant regs). If you do need to submit a planning application, this currently costs £206 in England and £230 in Wales. If you’re in any doubt, contact your local planning department for advice.
How much does it cost to add a porch?
Building a new porch from scratch isn’t a cheap DIY solution. There’s the cost of the materials to start, plus the labour as well as the finishes, any electricals, the cost of the porch door and maybe even a new front door if you fancy a change or a matching look.
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According to myjobquote.co.uk, the average cost is £4,000 and it takes one to two weeks. Make sure you use a qualified tradesperson or specialist company and go over all the details including design options, price breakdown and timescale. A lean-to uPVC porch or brick design averages around £2,000-£3,000, an aluminium porch, £2,500-£3,000 and a flat gable roof porch, £3,000-£4,000.
If you don’t have the funds right now, there are a few tricks you can use to create a porch effect for less. Think about an open design – just two walls extending out from your front door with a roof can provide shelter. Or how about a storm porch – a small roofed structure that will protect your entrance from the elements? Once you add a potted plant and a new doormat, it can really boost your kerb appeal.
What are the benefits of a porch?
There are many pros to a porch. If it’s designed and built to a high standard using thermally efficient materials, it can reduce heat loss in your home and help keep the bills down. A porch also provides extra storage space – perfect for shoes, coats, scarves and all the messy bits you don’t want inside the house. They are especially handy if you have a dog, as you can leave the wellies and dog lead in the porch when you get home.
Porches can complement your property’s exterior too, adding kerb appeal for visitors and passers-by. As well as giving you a more attractive house, they can even add value. What’s more, it acts as an extra barrier to any unwanted visitors so security is another good reason to consider adding one. Even if it’s simply an overhang above the front door, just think how grateful you’ll be when you’re trying to find the house key in the pouring rain.
What design of porch should I choose?
You want your porch to be in keeping with the style and structure of your property but there’s no reason why you can’t make it more of a statement with something really special or personal. Don’t just choose an off-the-peg box design if you want to make yours stand out.
The latest trends include natural-looking porches with treated wooden roofs leaning out from the front exterior standing on two sturdy wooden columns, a burst of vibrant colour with an eye-catching front door and statement knocker or an oversized front door with a clean, contemporary feel.
Look at Pinterest for ideas and consider your window, door and roof options. Window frames come in a range of finishes – uPVC, wood or aluminium with decorative and obscured glazing for privacy, roofs in pitched, gable end, double hipped and flat, plus there are an endless variety of wonderful front door designs on offer.
‘A porch needs to be sympathetically designed so that it is in keeping with the rest of your home and not be oversized or out of proportion with the overall building. It’s important to consider how you’re going to use it before you start. Porches can be multifunctional spaces used for anything from a smart meet and greet area, a place to store coats and shoes or even somewhere to clean the dog off after a long walk, while keeping out the cold and adding an extra layer of security to the home.’
Jill McLintock, Head of Product Marketing for Everest
What are the different types of porches available?
As well as adding a new porch, there are plenty of other ways to boost your home’s kerb appeal. Take a look at the front door – is it looking drab? You can either replace it altogether or give it a fresh lick of paint if it’s a timber design.
Consider changing the letterbox, doorbell and knocker as well as your home’s number or house name plate, too. Add some smart new outside lighting. Move bins round the back and fix any fences that have seen better days. Check if any guttering needs to be replaced or repaired, wash windows and sills and trim back hedges, overhanging trees and bushes then mow the lawn. Add some potted plants or mini shrubs around the front door and finish with a new doormat.
For a bigger project, consider laying new block paving or stone slabs on the driveway, patio or path. Again, complement your property’s existing architecture and choose materials that balance style with practicality.
What about a porch extension?
You’ll definitely need planning permission for this but if you have the space, budget, time and inclination, a porch extension can be a wonderful asset to your home, especially if it includes a cloakroom or boot room to provide you with a downstairs WC. Expect to pay between around £1,000 and £1,200 per square metre. If space allows, try to incorporate a little boot room or coat cupboard too, so you can hang things up. It will push the price up but having a roof light in a sloping porch extension roof plus a window in the cloakroom will not only add to its appeal and value but it will also let more natural light into your home.