07 Mar 2018

Add instant kerb appeal to your property


Darren Hook, Managing Director of The Porch Specialist, discusses how porches can instantly boost your home’s kerb appeal.

Porches are a doorstep must-have for homeowners prone to either fumbling for house keys at the bottom of their bag or juggling with the shopping after a weekly trip to the supermarket. They can be a real benefit at any time of year, but they can also prove to be a great asset for a home’s overall aesthetic.

Generally speaking, you won’t require planning permission if your porch falls within a certain criteria. However, if it exceeds 3m², is 3m above ground level or is within 2m of any boundary or highway, then planning permission must be sought. For listed buildings or those within conservation areas, it is worth seeking professional advice or consulting the guidelines in your official documentation.

Acting as the main exterior element to a building’s facade, a porch is constantly subject to the forces of nature, therefore, the material’s longevity and durability is key. If you’re looking for a timeless addition to your property, then an oak-framed porch carries many advantages. Unlike other materials, green oak ages beautifully, developing a stunning silver patina. As the material dries out and loses its moisture content, the joints shrink to create an exceptionally strong and stable structure.

An oak frame porch itself is incredibly quick to assemble and can even be carried out yourself if you possess a good level of DIY knowledge. Depending on the style of your property, you may wish to incorporate more detail into the design of your structure, such as a high brick plinth. This can easily be accomplished yourself or with the help of a local builder.


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Enhance your property with a portico, porch or door surround

In the 18th and 19th centuries, porticos first became a feature of houses for both aesthetic and practical reasons – whilst providing welcome shelter from the elements, they also offered architects the opportunity to embellish an otherwise perhaps rather dull entrance, uplifting it to much grander proportions.

Today, the benefits and opportunities provided by porticos are being appreciated by self-builders and those wishing to enhance or restore an existing property. Whilst there are many standard porticos available, reputable manufacturers will also offer the option to custom design porticos to suit your requirements.

Whether you are looking for a traditional, classical or contemporary style, a portico can be designed to be as elaborate or refined as your build requires.

A smaller alternative to a portico is a porch. Similar to a portico design, a porch features column structures supporting an entablature to provide an elegant entrance and shelter from the elements. It often has a smaller footprint than that of a portico.

For many people, a portico or porch isn’t an option due to location and space constraints. In these instances, a door surround provides the perfect solution. There are a wide variety of designs available to accommodate many property styles from the contemporary and elegant to the traditional and ornate.

Constructed from half columns or pilasters supporting small entablatures, a door surround is suitable for both interior and exterior use. This sort of simple design would look equally at home in both a more traditional or classical location.

When choosing an entrance for your property, it is important to consider the material in which it is manufactured in. Traditionally carved stone was used to provide a material that would weather naturally with the property. There have been more imitations of stone than any other natural building material. This persistent emulation has been for reasons of economy, availability and fashion.

Today, cast stonework is often used increasingly by architects, designers and self-builders as a substitute in the applications where quarried stone is difficult, time-consuming and expensive to employ. Haddonstone is a unique form of cast limestone with a surface texture similar to Portland stone. The material matures and weathers like natural stone yet, piece for piece, usually costs significantly less than quarried stone. The company also offers door surrounds in a TecLite material that can be retrofitted without masonry skills.

Whether you are enhancing an existing property, restoring an historic building or building a new property, there’s a range of porticos, porches and door surrounds for every property style.


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