How to create your own front porch plans

Updated February 21, 2017

Design a front porch that harmonises with your house architecture and is constructed so it looks original to the house design. You should create the space to serve a very specific purpose, since it will add living space. Build your porch to create a nice sitting or entertaining area for warm weather. Plan all the details to make its traffic flow work well for the family and visitors. If you build the porch steps wide enough, this will create easy access to the rest of the yard and will make your home more welcoming.

Measure yard space for your new porch area. Include front space and side space, if the porch will wrap around your home. Plan the porch large enough to increase seating space for entertaining, since this should add market value. Check with city officials about laws regarding building close to property lines. Don't plan the dimensions, especially the width of the porch, before reviewing city codes.

Go online to review popular porch designs. Obtain porch design books and magazines to decide on possible styles for your home's design. Choose the shape of the roof and its slope first. Never design a roof slope that is less than 30 degrees. Select a roof that slopes toward the street, or choose an A-frame or hip roof with three sloping sides.

Make sketches of various shapes and sizes for comparison. Draw a wraparound porch that incorporates one side of the house in the floor plan. Sketch a porch that fits the entire length of the front side of the house as another option. Plan the design to look balanced with the windows, doors and overall square footage of your home.

Use graph paper to define the exact dimensions. Add porch columns, porch posts and railings, and overhangs with guttering, if this is appropriate. Design wood trim to match the width of all wood trim in place on your existing home. Plan the porch overhangs to fit the design of overhangs already in place.

Sketch the interior space of the porch. Include tongue-and-groove plank boards on the porch ceiling, for example. Select the porch flooring to go with your home's exterior. Plan to install a wooden floor, concrete floor or brick floor, depending on which material is appropriate.

Construct the porch interior to have a finished look, since it will be easier to add all amenities such as floor-to-ceiling columns, with all components of the porch in place.


Add a more upscale front door, if appropriate, while the porch is under construction. You can also change the door from a solid door to French doors. Install floor-to-ceiling shutters or porch ceiling fans to give your new porch a high-quality appearance.


Consult with an expert carpenter to design all porch framing, as the weight of a porch is usually several tons. Fully understand the importance of bolting porch framing to house framing. A collapsing porch can easily kill someone.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tools
  • List of city building codes
  • Home design books
  • Porch living magazines
  • Sketch pad
  • Graph paper
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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.