Maximum Home Value Outdoor Living Projects: Porch

Find cost effective ways to make the most out of your home's porch—then kick back and relax!

Nothing says relaxed and easy living quite like a porch, a resounding reason why porches have made such a comeback in the market. Whether that lifestyle extends past the front stoop is another story, but a porch’s ability to provide cover, relaxation and privacy makes for a desirable extension of living space for any potential buyer.

CURRENT TRENDS

  • The new old-fashioned porch. Popping up in many newly constructed homes and renovations, porches are taking a step back in time thanks to the reemergence of more traditional and vintage looking homes that typically associate a porch with their design. Also, many homeowners are beginning to seek that old neighborhood feel again, where they can connect with their neighborhoods and engage socially with those living nearby.
  • Multi-functional space. Homeowners are now looking at ways to get as much use out of their porch as possible—particularly screened-in porches, where uses range from entertainment rooms, playrooms, housing for pets or simple reading rooms. Depending on your lifestyle and wants, the possibilities are endless when it comes to design and utilization of the space.

BIGGEST MISTAKE

Expertise and understanding of porch construction are essential when remodeling or adding on a porch to a home. According to appraisal expert, Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, many times homeowners think they can go at it themselves, but they don’t take into consideration material costs and the value of a professional installation when it comes to resale.

A poorly constructed or remodeled porch will not only detract from resale value, but can cause more problems for you in the future, whether it’s a leaky roof, beams that are out of proportion or worse, an unsecure foundation.

EXPERT TIPS

  • On a Budget: If you've got a worn-out patio, deck or porch but your budget doesn’t allow for a full-on porch renovation, try upgrading what you’ve got. Pergolas are a great accent piece and have become very popular in new construction. Acting as the roof, pergolas can be constructed in many different sizes and styles and work well when transforming a patio or deck into a porch.

    Instead of budgeting for a more expensive roof, where labor costs and materials can really add up, pergolas are a budget-friendly way to tie in different angles, colors and materials, making for an eye-catching outdoor space.

  • Mid-Range: Porch construction can be expensive once you consider labor and material costs, therefore “window shopping” is the best option in order to get a quality product at the least expense to you. Get quotes from different companies and compare prices. Also, take a look at materials available at salvage warehouses or overstock yards in order to get a better deal on lumber and other materials. Every little bit helps, so don’t discount the importance of taking your time to shop around for the best deal.
  • High-End: If you'd like more of a say in the concept and design behind your new porch, then consider hiring a contractor that specializes in custom design and build. Being both designer and builder, the company works with the homeowner to plan out a one-of-a-kind porch that adheres to the architectural style of the home and constructs it. To some, custom design is worth the price tag for getting a unique outdoor living space that speaks to their home’s individual style.

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