Isn’t It Time You Started Living The Porch Lifestyle?
When making the decision to build an outdoor structure or outdoor room there are many things to consider. Making the right decisions early on in the design process will ensure your outdoor structure compliments your home and landscape, but it can also improve your lifestyle and add value to your property. And above all, have a positive impact on your outdoor living lifestyle.
At Archadeck of Nashville we pride ourselves in planning, designing and building outdoor spaces that really make a difference in how you live. One outdoor structure that can add beauty and enjoyment to your life is a Nashville porch. Porches come in many different flavors; they can be covered or screened; attached to your home, work in unison with a patio or deck; or even detached in a prime location within your landscape (such as by the pool). Choosing the porch that is right for your lifestyle can be a daunting task, with this in mind we have compiled a list of the top ten items to consider when planning your perfect porch addition.
Top 10 considerations to consider when planning your Nashville porch
#1) What function or activity will you most often use your porch for?
This by far is the first and most important thing to consider as it dictates where the porch itself should be located, whether it will be detached or attached and what amenities it should include. For many Nashville homeowners, porches serve as an extended outdoor family room, an outdoor dining area, or a combination of both. If it will serve as an outdoor dining space, the porch’s proximity to your home’s kitchen is very important. If you are going to use the porch to function as an outdoor family room, then the proximity to the kitchen is not a big issue.
#2) Do you plan on using your porch 3 or 4 seasons?
You need to consider how you want to utilize your space once the seasons change. If you want to make use of your porch within the cooler months of the year you may consider building a Nashville Eze Breeze porch, which uses screen plus a sliding 4-track convertible window system. An Eze Breeze porch can be enjoyed almost year round. If you want your screened porch to serve as an extension of the home because of a lack of indoor living space, this system will allow you to do so as the windows can easily be removed during the warm months, but serve your needs for a more enclosed, space during the cold months.
— Nashville Eze Breeze porch.
#3) How large should your porch be?
Deciding what size porch you need will impact how you use your porch throughout its lifetime. You need to figure out how many people are going to be using it and what function it will be used for. A good all-around size for a porch that is designed as a singular outdoor living space is 16×16 or 16×18. A good rule of thumb to put sizing into perspective is to measure your home’s living or family room. Do make sure to take into consideration the space needed when chairs are pulled out and traffic flow between outdoor furnishings. For example, consider how much space is needed around your table when everyone is sitting back after a large meal. People generally pull their chairs out from the table. Will there still be room and foot room within the structure with the planned furnishings?
Our story Key Measurements for Designing Your Perfect Nashville Porch, will help you determine the best size porch to build based on your spatial needs in comparison to traditional outdoor furniture sizes. When making your final decision build for the 90%, not the 10%. Even though you don’t want to build more space than you have, not having enough room is a greater dilemma than having a little too much.
#4) To screen or not to screen
If you are choosing to build a screened porch, then your screening system and type of screen you choose is very important. When Archadeck of Nashville designs a screened porch we take into consideration the view of your backyard, and use a screening system that is as invisible as possible in order to retain those views. Screen comes in different types to accommodate your individual needs. Durable screens, such as Sceen Eze is often recommended for people with dogs and cats. Privacy screens are also available which are a more opaque screening material and appear almost invisible.
#5) Flooring options
Your porch’s flooring is front and center so choosing a flooring material that appeals to you aesthetically is important. In most cases, your porch will offer protection from the elements so you have more flexibility when it comes to your flooring than you would with other outdoor structures, such as a deck. If a natural look of wood is your style, woods such a pressure-treated pine (natural or stained) are a solid choice. Some people opt to use stone or tile. Another choice is composite decking or a tongue and groove composite such as AZEK porch These are long-lasting and offer longevity with little maintenance.
#6) Your porch ceiling
In most scenarios, your ceiling material will not become a maintenance issue. Ceiling materials that are popular right now for Nashville porches are beadboard, and tongue-and-groove pine or cedar. These all offer a touch of rustic elegance to your structure. Skylights are a viable option in darker landscapes that need additional light in the structure or the home. Skylights can be used on any porch which is well lit, or otherwise. But most homeowners with ample light often don’t choose them because of the additional cost. Velux makes a wonderful Low-E skylight. Skylights can also come with a range of features including rain sensors which will close the skylight, remote controls and even blinds built right into the skylight.
#7) Exterior materials
Maintenance free, formal and finished, or rustic and natural? There are lots of exterior material choices available for porches. Many times we trim the exterior to match the material used on your home’s exterior. HardiePlank or vinyl siding is another option because aside from minimal cleaning, it is virtually maintenance free. Based on the elevation of your structure you may or may not need a railing or a knee wall. Not having a lot of additional areas to cover will cut down on costs and will give you more light and airflow.
#8) Roof style
Gabled roofs are quite popular amongst our Nashville porch customers. However, if you are building gables, you will need to make sure it works any second-story windows that may be located above. There are other roof styles available that may harmonize better with your existing home. If building a detached porch, you may or may not choose to match the roof of the structure to your home’s roof, many times a different style roof on detached porch compliments the property better than a matching roof. You can read more about roof styles in our story Choosing the Right Roof Style for Your Nashville Porch or Outdoor Room Addition.
#8) Electrical needs
It is important to think about this up front. Most people who build a porch consider it their favorite room and are filled with regret that they didn’t build it years before they did. Remember, it is always better to put in too many electrical outlets, than too little. The cost to add outlets in the building process is minimal. The cost to add outlets after the build is complete can be very substantial. Think about having outlets to plug in both floor lamps and table lamps, and any media elements you have in mind, such as a TV, computer or stereo. You will likely want an outlet to charge your phone and other to charge your laptop. Depending on the use of the room, you may even want to plug in a blender for margaritas or other kitchen apparatus, too!
The door you choose is extremely important within your structure. We have customers that stick to wood, but they are few. Most of our homeowners use storm doors. Storm doors are light when they have screen in them. Choosing a good quality storm door may or may not be that much more costly than using a wood door. It will give you more protection from the elements and can also be safer from a security perspective because of its strength.
#10) Your Nashville porch contractor
Last but certainly not least, Archadeck of Nashville cares about our customers. We realize the importance of designing a porch 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 covered porch, screened porch or Eze Breeze 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.