The best way to make a porch feel at home on your home is to mirror architectural details. Highly detailed post brackets echo and accentuate the arched shape of tall shuttered windows.
Photo by: Brian Vanden Brink
Some houses look fine just as they are, but there aren’t many that would not benefit from the addition of a porch. The question is, which porch? Luckily, it’s not hard to figure out the answer. A house with strong architectural roots has a history to inspire you. There are house-plan collections and architectural reference books that can show you the most faithful way to add a porch onto your period house.
But what if you can’t find your house in a history book? Then you need to take a close look to identify stylistic clues that can help you design a porch that looks like it belongs. Porch details—posts, rails, rooflines, eaves, and foundations—all have characteristics that can be designed to mirror the details on your home. Some details are so subtle that the average person won’t notice them, such as the trim at the top of a porch post. In fact, there’s any number of trim combinations that will work fine at the top of that post. But if you want to accurately match your new porch to your home, you need to do your homework. To make the new porch fit your old home, you’ll need to consider elements that will guide your design: materials, proportion, and details.