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Old 03-03-2012, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
9,254 posts, read 15,967,791 times
Reputation: 31689

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The picture is of the house I am buying. At some point within the next several years, I would like to add a front porch to it to basically turn this Colonial into a farmhouse. I've seen some before-and-after photos online and it seems do-able.

Has anyone done this? Did it take a long time and cost a fortune? I have good handymen/women that I can call on, and would want to do some of it myself (i.e., help!). Of course we would get all required permits etc. and I would have an electrician do outlets, lighting, etc. as needed.

Note, the far right (to the left of the garage) is a little entry area. I will likely be enclosing that area to make it a mud room with entry directly from the garage. The front porch may wrap around that side and/or the left-hand side (in front of the screened porch that's toward the back of the house), or I may forgo it being that wide if cost would be prohibitive.

(And if anyone is wondering why I didn't just BUY a farmhouse ... well, I love most things about this house especially its LOCATION. Lots of land but still city water/sewer, and very close to my job -- I hate long commutes! This house would still fit VERY nicely into this neighborhood with the porch added -- lots of houses around here have them.)

Thanks in advance for any info!
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adding a front porch (PIC)-4096762_01.jpg  
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:31 AM
 
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 9,592,141 times
Reputation: 1524
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Note, the far right (to the left of the garage) is a little entry area. I will likely be enclosing that area to make it a mud room with entry directly from the garage. The front porch may wrap around that side and/or the left-hand side (in front of the screened porch that's toward the back of the house), or I may forgo it being that wide if cost would be prohibitive.
Have you considered keeping the mud room as a separate entry? Otherwise, that would mean that anytime someone comes in from doing yard work, removing snow, etc. -- they'd have to enter through the garage. Furthermore, if you have contractors, friends helping out, etc. it might be easier for them to enter through a mud room instead of a garage.

A problem with a mudroom door though is to make sure you emphasize the front door as the main entrance. A close friend of mine has a mudroom on the front of the house (about the same location as yours) and they have a covered porch over the front door and extending to the left of the house. The front door also has sidelights and dressed up a little more so it's clear that it is the main entrance, not the mud room door.

I have seen front porches added to this style of house and the one's I've seen are quite dramatic and look great.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:58 AM
 
16,196 posts, read 23,209,007 times
Reputation: 26880
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
The picture is of the house I am buying. At some point within the next several years, I would like to add a front porch to it to basically turn this Colonial into a farmhouse. I've seen some before-and-after photos online and it seems do-able.

Has anyone done this? Did it take a long time and cost a fortune? I have good handymen/women that I can call on, and would want to do some of it myself (i.e., help!). Of course we would get all required permits etc. and I would have an electrician do outlets, lighting, etc. as needed.

Note, the far right (to the left of the garage) is a little entry area. I will likely be enclosing that area to make it a mud room with entry directly from the garage. The front porch may wrap around that side and/or the left-hand side (in front of the screened porch that's toward the back of the house), or I may forgo it being that wide if cost would be prohibitive.

(And if anyone is wondering why I didn't just BUY a farmhouse ... well, I love most things about this house especially its LOCATION. Lots of land but still city water/sewer, and very close to my job -- I hate long commutes! This house would still fit VERY nicely into this neighborhood with the porch added -- lots of houses around here have them.)

Thanks in advance for any info!
Nice new home for you. I would introduce myself to the neighbors and find out what they would have done differently when they added their porches. I think either an open portico, or a semi wrap open front porch would look great. I would keep it simple, pillars wood porch flooring, couple nice rockers and potted plants hear door. Should look great. I see why you would like one, will add lots of character. Get rid of those bushes when you do your porch.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
9,254 posts, read 15,967,791 times
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Styx, good point about the entry. Currently there's a door from the garage to the little covered porch area to the left of the garage, then an exterior door from that little porch directly into the family room. To make the mud room, I would expand that little porch area a bit (still keeping it set back a bit from the main part of the house), then enclose it and make it an interior room. According to my very preliminary sketches, there would be room to add a door from the front of the house in addition to leaving the door from the garage (which would now go into the mud room instead of into the porch area, if that makes sense).

You are also right about emphasizing the front door with the big new porch. That likely means I should NOT wrap it around to the new-mud-room entrance, which is fine.

JanND, I have already met some of the neighbors in my "due diligence drive-arounds" of the neighborhood at various hours! I will ask them about their porches although I suspect most were original to their houses. This is New Hampshire so many, many houses have big front porches -- that's why I think mine would fit in well.

Any other comments/ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
16,021 posts, read 59,549,182 times
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Anything is do-able. It's just a matter of money!
It would appear that the house is on a slab(?)- is this NH?
My first question about this type of remodeling- and I run across it a lot- What is the front building line? The porch may encroach, which would mean getting a variance. That can be an expensive proposition in itself. Then it's a matter of construction type (primarily the floor- slab or raised wood platform).
Another possible problem I see from the photo- the only type of roof you could do is a shed roof. And because of the windows above you may not be able to get enough pitch for a composition roof. So, your only alternative would be a standing seam metal roof. Other things to be mindful of are current drainage designs- and will they be effected. What alternatives are there- swales, drains, piping, and gutters/downspouts.
Then there are the typical code issues if conditions present itself- stairs, railings, lighting, etc.
One of the most overlooked items for porches-especially one of this size- is ventilation. Heat can buildup within the "attic" space of the porch and can wreck havoc on the roofing material (composition), and the living space within contact of that area (mainly the upstairs rooms). There are specifically designed vent for this type of application.

Bottom line- it may not be the most cost efficient remodel/upgrade one can do. The exception would be if the house was facing SW-W and getting a lot of heat-gain in the late afternoon.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:04 AM
 
43,011 posts, read 102,394,322 times
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I'd wrap the porch around to the side of the house without the garage because there is room to make it a deeper porch which would be more usuable than a typical wrap around. I'd screen in that portion.

It would be awesome if you could wrap it on both sides since the garage side isn't very big I don't it would cost too much extra money. As for the concern about wrapping the porch towards the garage and it being difficult to identify the front entrance, I don't think that's an issue. Only an idiot wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a front door and a service door.

See how easy it is to identify the main entrance on this house:


Don't get excited yet though. Zoning might prohibit adding a porch to the front because structures have to be a certain number of feet from the street in some neighborhoods.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 03-06-2012 at 05:31 PM.. Reason: Sorry photo is copy protected
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:40 AM
 
10,135 posts, read 25,764,045 times
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Here is a before and after done by a local remodeler here:

EDIT: Thanks for the rep whoever you were. Yes, I did not mention his name, but it is Lucke Remodeling, Mason OH, FYI.

Last edited by Wilson513; 06-18-2012 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
2,272 posts, read 6,330,246 times
Reputation: 1874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
Here is a before and after done by a local remodeler here:

EDIT: Thanks for the rep whoever you were. Yes, I did not mention his name, but it is Lucke Remodeling, Mason OH, FYI.
Dang, that's impressive! wonder how much that cost?
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
9,254 posts, read 15,967,791 times
Reputation: 31689
Thanks for the replies! In this town, the setback requirement from the front is 30', and the driveway is about 40' (hard to see in the photo), so there is room for a porch without getting a variance. K'ledgeBldr, the house has a full basement; there are 2-3 steps up to the front door. (Again, hard to see from the photo.) You are right that there's not a whole lot of room for the porch's roof, but I've seen before-and-after photos of houses that look (at the start) almost exactly like this one, and in those cases the porch's roof basically started right at the bottom of the 2nd-floor windows. I think these porches that I've seen (and envision for this house) are pretty narrow (5-6' deep) so there doesn't have to be a whole lot of room for the roof to angle down (if that makes sense).

Wilson513, I have seen some houses with country-style porches (like I would like) where the roof line was also changed (although maybe not quite as dramatically as in that photo!). They look really great, BUT the price of that would likely be prohibitive (and not something I can do with a couple of handymen/women plus an electrician!).

Hopes, I do like the idea of wrapping it around on the left side of the house, but there's a big (~17'x13') screened porch there already, so not sure if I need another screened room. My kitties would like it though ...
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 9,592,141 times
Reputation: 1524
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
Here is a before and after done by a local remodeler here.
Whoa! I had to look twice before believing it IS the same house! Impressive . .. what a helll of a makeover. Thanks for sharing!
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