Installing a deck or porch is one of the best ways to increase your enjoyment of your home. The process of building one, however, is fraught with important decisions and considerations that will forever affect the way your outdoor structure compliments your home. To help you through the difficult planning process, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most important decisions you need to make before installing a deck or porch.
- What will you use it for? This is the first question you should answer, since it will determine where your porch will be located, whether it will be attached, and what amenities it needs.
- How high off the ground should it be? If it’s too difficult for you to move between your porch and the area it’s intended to work with, you’ll probably regret your configuration. This consideration will also determine whether you need to include railings when installing a deck or porch.
- How big should it be? Consider how many people are going to be using it, as well as the purpose for which they will use it. A good rule of thumb is to always ere on the small side. Larger spaces may seem appealing in the abstract, but they rarely feel as cozy as smaller ones.
- Should it have a screen? If you’re opting for a screened porch, you’ll need to decide what types of screens and screening systems to consider. If the view from your porch is very important, you’ll want a screen system that’s as invisible as possible. If it might come in contact with falling branches, animals, or projectiles, however, you might want a stronger screen.
- What type of flooring is best? If you’re building a deck, it’s important to consider the elements to which your flooring will be exposed. If you’re building a porch, however, protection from the elements is less of a concern.
- What type of ceiling is best? Beadboard, tongue-and-groove pine, and cedar are all possible house building materials for ceilings right now. Skylights are also a viable option and can be used on any porch.
- What are your electrical needs? It’s always better to put in too many outlets than too few outlets, but it’s still worth taking time to consider your needs. Will you want to be able to plug in a coffee pot or blender? What about charging your phone or laptop? Will you be using table lamps or floor lamps? Are you planning to have lights installed in the ceiling?
- Which exterior material is right? Your options run the gamut from formal and finished to rustic and natural. Vinyl is a popular choice because it is relatively low-maintenance, but some are more partial to hardwood. What’s your preference?
- What type of door should we use? Most homeowners choose storm doors, though others are particularly partial to wood doors. Think about your own preferences before installing a deck.
- What kind of roof will you install? Gabled roofs are popular, as long as they don’t interfere with second floor windows. Other styles may compliment your home’s appearance better, however. It doesn’t necessarily have to match your home’s roof style.
The decisions you make before installing a deck or porch are very important to the aesthetic and function of the space. Take some time in the planning process to ensure that you build a space you can enjoy for years to come. Ger more information on this topic here.