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How to design a glassed in front porch

Updated February 21, 2017

Enclosing a front porch with glass can add great kerbside appeal. An appropriate design will harmonise with roof lines and exterior materials on the house. Keep in mind that the space should serve a specific purpose, however. You can create a porch just as an entry area, for example. You can also design the porch for sitting or growing plants. Be sure to use high-quality materials, so the porch will hold up well over time. It's expensive to replace glass or windows in a large area, so choose the right building materials in the first place.

Measure the front porch area to enclose. Figure out if you want most of the porch enclosed in glass or only a portion of it. Plan to enclose only the top half, for example. Consider making the front porch part of the living room as well.

Review options to buy sections of glass made for sunroom enclosures. Look at insulated opaque panels sold by sunroom manufacturers as well. Devise a budget and an overall basic design from the dimensions you have in place.

Draw the porch with the home exterior in further detail. Use graph paper to create a layout of the home's front facade and new porch design. Draw glass sections, solid sections to enclose them and a door space. Sketch the bottom one-third of the room covered by insulated panels, as one choice. Add double French doors leading to the lawn, for example. Choose premade glass panels to fit the top two-thirds of the room, if the bottom one-third is solid.

Select construction materials carefully for the porch. Plan to use cut stones around the porch foundation, as a possible choice. Select roofing materials in standard lumber with cedar shakes covering the roof, for example. Decide if glass sections might be energy-efficient roll-out windows, or use fixed panels of glass with sliding sections that hold screening materials sold by a sunroom company.

Create an appropriate interior that will look right from kerbside. Design a small seating space with two chairs for relaxing, a small dining table for two made of ornate metal and glass shelving to hold a collection of indoor plants. Install a couple of hooks overhead to hold hanging baskets of petunias or ivy. Add a bamboo room divider roughly 5-feet high on the curb side of the room, if you need privacy for watching a small television.

Tip

Figure out any special lighting or amenities before building begins. Purchase one or two overhead fans with built-in light fixtures, as possible choices to illuminate the room and keep it cooler in summer. Add indoor-outdoor carpet for a cosier feeling than a concrete floor or tile floor. Plan to install an area rug over a ceramic tile floor, if you prefer. Use an electric water fountain for ambience.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 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.