How to design a front door porch

Updated February 21, 2017

A home's front porch makes a bold statement about the house itself. A nice front door design is important for giving the home a welcome appearance while blending with the architecture. Take time to review design books and websites to decide what types of doors will complement your house. Think about the feeling you want to create for visitors as well. A front porch can look inviting and friendly or more formal, for example.

Define the statement you want your porch to make to visitors. Build the porch long enough to define front windows and the home's roof line. Use a more informal door, if the porch area is informal. Consider a door that has no ornate glass or intricate wood moulding, for example, if the porch is used for rocking chairs. Buy a front door in a double-door framework if your porch is very long and has formal railings.

Relate the porch to the interior of the house. Use an expensive front door made of mahogany or oak if your living area is filled with antiques. Present the porch to visitors to reflect how you spend time inside the house. Decorate the porch area near the door with topiary shrubbery in formal pots, for example, to keep the front door area in harmony with a formal living room inside the front door.

Use the door to add light to living areas, if you don't mind visitors having some access to seeing inside. Buy a double door system with full-length glass panels on each side of the door, for example, to lighten up a formal interior hallway. Purchase doors and side panels that have frosted glass to add privacy.

Invest in solid steel doors with glass panels on each side, if you have concerns about safety and security in your neighbourhood. Install metal grid work to prevent a burglar from coming into your house via space on each side of the door. Plan how to secure the open framing with metal bars or framing before you purchase glass panels, however. Design the security to work well with the beauty of the glass you are installing.

Enjoy your porch by designing the door to open into an area for sitting or relaxing. Make use of the porch by serving lunch or drinks for guests outside. Incorporate informal carts or tables for entertaining near the front door. Install a secondary screen door inside the exterior door to protect your entryway and living area from flying insects. Use a storm door if you can install one that works with your main entry door.


Invest in columns and railings that fit the architectural style of your home. Make sure the trim blends well with the windows and overhangs rather than standing out too much. Add a security camera, door bell and motion light fixture to the front porch if you desire. Purchase security improvements that will add to the market value of your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Home design books
  • Home design websites
  • Double or single front door
  • Full-length side panels of glass
  • Porch plants in formal pots
  • Screen or storm door
  • Security camera/motion lights
  • Porch columns
  • Porch railings
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About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.