Curb appeal conveys the tone of your home to visitors or those who just drive by. What’s your house saying to the outside world? Often times builders will construct a solid house, but leave the front with much to be desired. This is often the case with ranch houses. If you’re tired of a blah, just-a-front-step entryway ranch, maybe it’s time to consider remodeling the blank canvas that is your greeting to the world.
One way to add both curb appeal and function is to have a professional contractor draw up plans to add a front porch to your home.
Home Renovation Details
On a home such as a ranch, you’ll want to be sure the design details of a front porch addition don’t overpower your home, so stick to clean, non-fussy lines, such as you would find on a Craftsman-style home (see This Old House October 2011). However, clean and non-fussy don’t have to mean boring. Talk to your home remodeler about possibly incorporating stonework into the trim of the front porch for a classic look. It doesn’t take much—maybe just trimming out the front lower edge of the porch with stone to achieve this look without breaking the bank on the cost.
To protect the foundation of the porch, a gabled roof supported by a Craftsman-style truss adds architectural detail and a cottagey feel to the home without being overpowering. A gabled roof has two upward sloping sides that meet in the middle at a point forming a triangle. In a true gable, both sides slope at the same angle. For the truss, a style similar to that of a scissor truss or arched truss will help the front of your home pop. Support the structure with plain columns, painting the trim, railings, trusses and columns white.
Once the major work of the home renovation is finished, you can complete the look by paying attention to the details. Take a good look at the rest of the front of the home. Would your windows benefit from installing wooden shutters on either side? Paint the front door and the shutters the same accent color so that they stand out from the color of your siding. How about adding a flower box underneath your front window and planting some flowers that will add another splash of color? Finally, coordinate your landscaping in front of your new porch with what you have planted on the other side. Add a few accessories to the porch such as lighting, a small wrought iron table and porch swing for a complete look.
A blank slate for the front of your house isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It gives you the opportunity to personalize it and put your home improvement stamp on the house.