How to Design an Enclosed Porch

Written by judi light hopson
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How to Design an Enclosed Porch
Enclosing a porch will expand living and entertaining space. (valley view porch image by John Keith from

A porch that is enclosed in some manner offers additional living and entertaining space. By enclosing the area as a family room or dining space, you can make your home seem larger. If your home has pleasant exterior views, an enclosed porch is a nice way to bring those views into your everyday living experience. There are many materials homeowners can use for a porch enclosure, including screen, glass, wood or brick.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Design books
  • Remodelling magazines
  • Sketch pad
  • Storage unit designs
  • Shelving designs
  • Graph paper

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  1. 1

    Begin your design by measuring the space you will eventually enclose. Define a budget, so you can figure out whether to use glass or a less expensive material such as screening. Plan to enclose part of the porch with wood framing and siding to match your house, if you desire. For example, you might want to design part of the area with a secure roof and side walls for protecting media equipment, especially in rainy weather. Lay out a floor plan to assign space for activities your family enjoys and decide where chairs or furniture will go.

  2. 2

    Review home design books and remodelling magazines to select materials you will use. Go over costs of glass, metal framing and laying tile on the porch, for example, with experts at a home building store. Start with your ideal porch and then scale back to fit your budget. For instance, substitute screen on one end of the porch if using all glass will place your project over budget.

  3. 3

    Use wood trim work in your design that will complement the rest of your house. For example, don't use 2-by-4-inch boards in framing or trim that will show from the kerbside if the rest of your house has larger boards incorporated into the design. Sketch all wood trim, crown moulding and door framing exactly as it will look when your porch is finished.

  4. 4

    Plan to install storage space along walls under the windows or enclose one end wall of the porch as storage space. Consider installing cabinets with sliding doors to hide grilling or sports equipment. Include some shelves for board games or books along interior walls, positioned against the home's facade, that will be protected from rain and wind.

  5. 5

    Design the porch in such a way that it will increase your home's overall value. Avoid designing trim on the porch that is a different colour than your home's wooden trim, for example. Plan to paint all metal framing around windows white, for example, if your home's trim is already white. Be sure to make the porch enclosure look as if it's always been in place, rather than added on. Draw every detail on graph paper when your rough sketches are complete.

Tips and warnings

  • Figure out whether you want to install tile or indoor-outdoor carpet in any areas of a concrete porch after the enclosure is completed. Plan to complete all steps of the remodelling and all painting before adding flooring materials.
  • Don't assume you can remodel or enclose a porch without a building permit. Call local building authorities to find out if you will need a permit and a copy of building codes for enclosing a porch.

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