The House Plan Shop Blog » Adding a Porch to a Ranch Style House

May 28 2019

Adding a Porch to a Ranch Style House

Posted at 10:33 am under Uncategorized

Ranch-style houses are one of the most iconic home styles in America. With the entire living space on one level, ranch homes are popular with many types of homeowners who appreciate not only the lack of stairs, but also the many common interior architectural elements of ranch house plans such as large picture windows, vaulted ceilings, and open floor plans. The exteriors of ranch homes can differ widely, from small cottages to expansive luxury homes. And since ranch houses are just one story tall, they are often built on large lots with ample yard space and wonderful views. One way to take advantage of this space is by building a porch.

The first step in choosing to add a porch is to determine which type of porch best suits your needs. You may decide to add a front porch that faces out to the street and neighborhood. Or you may prefer the privacy provided by a back porch. Another option is a wrap-around porch that offers outdoor space on multiple sides of your ranch house. Before deciding to add a porch to your ranch-style home, spend some time thinking about how you and your family will utilize it. You might even spend some time outdoors, at various times of day, to ‘scout’ which type of porch will work best.

One benefit of adding a porch to your ranch house is that it adds curb appeal to your home. This is particularly true when adding a highly visible front porch. A well-designed porch helps to create a welcoming entryway to your home. This inviting addition can add not only visual appeal, but also financial value, to your home. Wraparound and back porches also help to increase the visual and financial standing of your home, even if they don’t provide the literal ‘curb appeal’ that front porches do.

Another important and practical reason to add a porch to your ranch house is that it expands your useable living space. Depending on their size and location, porches offer opportunities for outdoor dining, comfortable outdoor living rooms, or simply adding a relaxing bench or swing. You might also consider running electric to your porch so that you can add lighting and a ceiling fan to take even further advantage of this outdoor space. Porches also present an opportunity for the kids to play outside while remaining close by.

Porches can serve as a transitional space when entering or leaving the home. They provide an ideal location for removing wet raincoats and muddy boots on rainy days so you can keep your home’s interior clean. Additionally, porches are great for providing privacy and security for any packages that are delivered when no one is home to receive them.

Adding a porch to your ranch house can also increase the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the amount of direct sunlight entering your house on hot summer days, helping to keep your utility bills lower. Porches also help reduce maintenance and upkeep costs on your home’s exterior, reducing damage from sun, rain, snow and wind.

A less tangible but equally valuable benefit of adding a porch to your home, particularly a front porch, is the improved sense of community that it engenders. There’s something about sitting on the front porch that helps break down barriers and encourages neighbors to stop by and say hello. The friendly, spontaneous conversations that take place here help build a true sense of community in your neighborhood.

Porches, especially back porches, can provide opportunities for quiet contemplation. Depending on how your ranch home is sited, consider building a back porch or wraparound porch that faces west so you can sit and watch the sun set. Sitting in a comfortable chair or bench while the sun drops below the horizon is a great way to end the day.

As you begin planning for your new porch, there are a few practical matters to consider. First, make sure that you acquire any required building permits and paperwork. Check with your local building department to ensure you are in compliance. You’ll also need to determine whether to hire a contractor, or to complete the work yourself. Finally, if you belong to any type of neighborhood or homeowners association, you’ll need to check with the board to be certain that your planned porch addition meets all community standards. Even if you don’t have a neighborhood association, it’s still a good idea to consider not only your own home’s architecture but that of the other homes on your street. You’ll want to select a porch design that fits both your home and the neighborhood. Adding a porch to your ranch home makes a lot of sense aesthetically, functionally, and financially. Take the time to really think about how you plan to utilize your new porch, then find a plan that meets your needs. Good luck, and enjoy your new outdoor living space!

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