Do you enjoy your porch? Would you like to get more out of it? You can and the cost can range from investing a few hundred dollars to much more, depending on your desires. With summer on the way, you can enjoy your “seasonal front room” by putting a few hours or more of work into upgrading it.
Scope it out
— How big is your porch? Some homes feature large, wide, wrap around porches, suitable for welcoming visitors and entertaining the entire clan. Other homes have porches barely large enough to hold a pair of rocking chairs. The larger the porch’s footprint the more you can do with it. Still, even small areas can offer you the chance to enjoy cool, night air and watch the children play out front.
Open or closed
— What kind of porch do you have? Is it open or closed? A screened in porch allows you to enjoy fresh air while minimizing the impact of bugs and to keep your porch relatively secure from animals and unwelcome visitors. Screened in porches do require maintenance as screens can break, wood rot and paint flake or chip. You may be able to extend your porch’s usefulness in the off season by replacing screen panels with glass panels, avoiding the need to handle bulky storm windows in the spring and again in the fall.
— Over time, your porch will degrade and at a much faster pace if it is open to the elements. Floor boards can work loose, railings can become disconnected and an overhanging roof can rot and shingles can wear out. You not only have a sight issue on hand, but a safety issue. Handle whatever jobs you can yourself, but bring in a contractor for major repairs. Your town may require you to obtain permits for extensive work especially for structural changes.
Heated porch fan
— Another way to extend the time you can comfortably sit on the porch is by installed a heated porch fan. Relatively new, these fans offer natural cooling during the summer months and heat in the off season when you turn on the heating element. Heat naturally rises, but the fan is designed to push the heat down low enough for people to enjoy. The heating element is located in the spot where the light fixture normally rests.
Beautify your porch
— Besides adding new our update furniture to your porch, you can install an awning or roll down vinyl, two ways to help maintain porch temperature including making your porch “livable” in cooler months. Apply a fresh coat of paint, put out some plants and, finally, put out the welcome mat in time for your summer guests.
Your front porch can also contribute to your home’s curb appeal, something to consider if you plan to sell your home.