By Rich Ligotino | May 29, 2017
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A simple portico can add instant curb appeal to your home without breaking the bank !
A portico dresses up curb appeal by highlighting the entry way of you home. It also adds an element of protection from the rain or intense sunlight.
What is a portico ?
A portico is simply a structure that is attached to a home, usually at the front entrance. It has a roof and is supported by columns on both sides.
A portico is not just a decorative element. It also serves a functional purpose. It’s a warm way to welcome your guests to your home. It also protects them from the rain when they ring your doorbell and wait for you to answer the door.
Porticos may also help protect the finish of your front entry way from harmful exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Exposed doors are susceptible to fading. Door jambs, brick-mold and decorative door surrounds can rot. Porticos can protect these areas and prevent these problems from occurring.
Types of porticos
There are several different types and styles of porticos. You can go with a standard gable (A-frame) portico, or you can go with an arched one. Which style you choose highly depends on the architecture of your home.
Building a portico
The first thing you will need to do is to find out if you will need a local building permit. You should contact your local municipality’s building inspection department. Depending on where you live, many municipalities will require an architectural drawing to be included with the permit application. You may need to hire the services of a local architect to help you with this first step.
An architectural drawing will explain everything about your portico such as :
- Overall size of portico
- Lumber specs and sizes for framing
- Types of fasteners and hardware needed
- How the portico will be tied into the main house
- Details for concrete footings (to support columns)
- Type & size of columns and fastners
- Roof pitch & roofing materials
Next you will need to decide whether to build this portico on your own, or to hire a qualified building contractor. As a reference point, a typical gable portico approx. 8 ft. wide by 5 ft. projection would cost around $5,000 — $7,000 in New Jersey, depending on certain variables.
You will also need to decide what type of materials you will use to complete your portico, once it’s framed out. Fiberglass or aluminum columns ? Square or round columns ? Consider using composite trim boards, such as Azek. Finish the ceiling with beaded vinyl soffit material You may want to add a light fixture in the middle of the ceiling.
No matter what style or design you decide on, your home’s appearance will be dramatically improved by the addition of a portico. It will add another dimension to your home and will make it more welcoming to your family and guests !