If you’re adding a new porch to your home and/or landscape, chances are likely you have a good sense of how you’d like to use it. What you might be uncertain of, however, is how large your new porch should be. Although personal preference and your existing site will affect your porch’s size, some general sizing rules of thumb can help ensure you get a space that fits your needs and helps prevent you from building (and spending) more than you need.
As with any outdoor living space addition, be sure to check with your local building department before planning a new porch, as permits, setback requirements and other regulations may affect its size and location.
Why Porch Size Matters
On the one hand, porches designed too small feel cramped, and chairs pushed back from a table can skid into garden beds. On the other hand, large porches can be pricey, feel less intimate and take up limited backyard real estate. The key is to find the right balance of porch size for your needs and your space without overshooting too much.
Once you have established the function(s) you wish to enjoy in your porch space, Archadeck of Nashville can help you gauge the amount of space you will need. A good suggestion if you are planning to use the porch as an outdoor dining area is to chart how large it needs to be by going into your dining room and measure it. An addition is sometimes hard to visualize when it’s not finished, or furnished, and going into your actual furnished dining room space will help you set a realistic goal to judge how much room you will actually need.
General Porch Sizing Guidelines
Here at Archadeck of Nashville, we are often asked the question is there a “standard” or “common” size for a covered porch or screened porch? They vary quite a bit, but 12×14 and 14×16 are quite common sizes. The dimensions of a porch addition come into play more with a covered area because when you put a roof over it, it becomes defined. The porch must be able to accommodate your furniture comfortably and leave enough space in between to be able to flow through the room easily. This is why planning is so important.
An important question we ask our clients is the size of the furniture which will be within their anticipated porch. If the porch will be used as an outdoor dining area, have you decided upon a table yet? If so, how big is it? If not how big do you want your table to be? You always want to leave a clearance area of about four feet outside the table so you have ample room to walk around the table when it is not in use, and plenty of room to pull out the chairs to a comfortable distance when in use. If you plan on lingering for conversation at the table or sitting back after eating, we recommend additional space. These are the sorts of things you may not think about. But, you really have to envision yourself living in the space you are thinking about all the way down to the size of the table and how you and your guests will congregate around the table and the other furniture.
Though outdoor dining table sizes can vary, standard round tables that seat six require at least 10½ by 10½ feet, and ideally 12 by 12 feet or larger. Rectangular dining tables that seat six can fit comfortably on porches that are 10 by 12½ feet.
When planning your perfect Nashville porch there are more things to think about in addition to outdoor dining. Will you be adding perimeter furniture such as couches, chairs, tables or decorative furniture pieces? If the answer is yes, then you will want to plan for those additional pieces to fit comfortably and not overcrowd your usable living space. Some of our clients use their screened porch as an outdoor living room. If you are thinking about using your outdoor room as an outdoor living room, go into your living room and measure the room and furniture in the same manner.
Archadeck of Nashville cares about our customers. We realize the importance of designing a space that speaks to your needs and desires is much better than a one size fits all approach. We can meet with you to craft a porch or screened porch taking all of your individual needs into consideration. We treat each porch we design as unique and individual. Our design process will help you visualize your dream, and then we can start from there, bringing your dream to life.
Contact us today at (615) 547-2333 or send us an email at [email protected].