Front Exterior & Front Yard

Possible Front Porch Design Plans

Hi all!  I know it’s rare for me to show up on a Saturday, but yesterday I spent about two hours scouring Houzz for some ideas to incorporate into the front of my house, and I want to show you what I’ve come up with, and also see if any of you have any brilliant ideas.

First of all, here’s what the house looks like now.  It’s pretty much a blank slate in desperate need of some color and details to bring it to life.

one year house tour - exterior front 6

I have several issues with the house that I want corrected.

1.  I hate how there’s a gable above the window in my office, and then the front door seems kind of like an afterthought.  I want a gable above the front door, and I want it to be much more “front and center” than the office window.

2.  The house needs some white to brighten up the front — the trim around the windows, the trim around the doors, the posts on the front porch, etc.

3.  I don’t like how low the ceiling of the porch is.  It’s so low there’s barely enough room for trim above the door and the window on the porch.

4.  I’d like the porch to be bigger so that Matt can safely come out the front door without the possibility of heading right down those steps in his wheelchair.

Of course, there are also things like the color that I’ve also shared.  And the vinyl siding.  And I’m not too crazy about the fact that all of the Austin stone is concentrated on the left side of the house, while almost the entire right side is siding.  Honestly, I’d love to do the entire house in siding and just do away with the Austin stone altogether.

So after searching Houzz, I found one picture that just really made me smile.  I LOVE how this front porch looks, and how it really emphasizes the front door.

front porch design, via HouzzTraditional Exterior by Birmingham General Contractors Structures, Inc.

So I did a little copyin’ and pastin’ and photoshoppin’ and came up with this…

one year house tour - exterior front potential plans

Now obviously my photoshop skills are limited.  The roof over the right side of the porch (the part that’s still set back) would still need to be raised, but I don’t know how to do that on the photo.  So you’ll just have to imagine.  Also, I don’t really like that style of railing on the porch.  I want just plain vertical balusters, but I just used what was already on that inspiration photo.  I’d like something like this…

Stone Manor House by Worthington Custom Builder, via HouzzFarmhouse Exterior by New Hope Home Builders Worthington Custom Builder Inc.

Anyway, what really bugs me about the mock up I did are the two gables right next to each other that are basically the same height and size.  And I don’t like that one of them has Austin stone right up to the top, while the other wouldn’t have stone on it.  It just looks funny.  And I can’t figure out what needs to happen to make that look better.  I wish I could get rid of that original gable altogether, but I don’t know that that’s possible since it covers the portion of the house that juts out in front.  I don’t know of any other roof design that would cover that properly.

So, any architects or construction experts out there who have a great solution for me?  🙂

I love dreaming about what the exterior of my house could look like, and after the kitchen is finished, I’m considering the front porch area as the next major remodel I tackle.  I’ll work on smaller, more decorative stuff on the interior while I save up for the front porch/exterior.

Oh, and you might notice that I’m testing out the idea of using stained shutters and a stained front door.  That’s because when I posted this picture the other day of the split path driveway…

house exterior - split path driveway via Houzz 2Craftsman Garage And Shed by Charlotte Home Builders Saussy Burbank

…I realized how fantastic my garage would look with carriage door style garage doors.  And carriage doors look the best when they’re stained, in my humble opinion.  So at least right now, that look has edged out the navy blue shutters/coral front door just by a hair.

So, any advice about those gables? 🙂

UPDATE:  After reading your comments and playing around with some other ideas, I thin this might be my favorite solution:

one year house tour - exterior front potential plans 3

Now I just need to find a contractor I really trust, and hope that the city will approve plans to extend the front of my house out five feet.  🙂

UPDATE #2:

Okay, scratch that.  This is my favorite and final design, if it’ll work.  🙂

A commenter left a link to this front porch by Porchco (thanks, Tracy!), and I love how this looks.

gable hip roof design from Porchco

So I edited my photo once more.  I didn’t do a very thorough job, but you get the idea.

one year house tour - exterior front currentand potential plans 2

That’s the winner in my book.  Now I’ll just have to see if it’s possible.



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75 Comments

  • Reply
    angela
    August 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    i do not have any advice. i love it and i love the garage too.

  • Reply
    Lynne
    August 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I like it and in response to your gable issues – am wondering if you expanded the center gable to include the whole porch – made it a bit higher and a lot wider if that would solve it?

    • Reply
      Laurie
      August 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      I was thinking the same as what Lynne said, making the gable cover the whole porch. I actually like the gables as you photoshopped them, but since you don’t, maybe Lynne’s idea would work?

  • Reply
    Genelle McDaniel
    August 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    It’s fun to watch your brain turn. I definitely have read all your posts, but the last few days haven’t had time to read the replies or to post one. You might try to use one really wide gable for the whole right front of the house which will put the door almost center, and then your railings and porch posts will emphasize where the door is. Just a thought.

  • Reply
    Mark Tisdale
    August 23, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I think I would talk to a contractor/carpenter sort of person. I like the look of your double gable design, but I wonder if that would be more prone to leaking? All that rain water from the two gables and the peak behind it being funneled down into one narrow valley? I’ve always heard the valleys of gabled roofs are more prone to leak and I know mine on my townhouse had to be fixed once by me and (at least) once by the person before me.

    Still, you have a gable already – so what if it were extended to create a wider taller gable that covered the door on the porch? You’d still have the issue of the stone, though… hmmm…

    I have to say though that I like the current design with the forward window. I would think dressing up the porch with new siding like you already mentioned would go a long way towards making the front door more prominent. But it’s not my house! I’m sure you’ll come up with a plan you like and will wow everyone. 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura
    August 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I love the look! However, if you want the “stained wood” look (which I also love), I highly recommend you paint the shutters and garage doors to look like wood rather than actually staining them. Several houses in my neighborhood have stained shutters/doors and the sun has definitely taken its toll in just a couple years time. There are several videos/ online tutorials for painting to look like stained wood and the final result is absolutely gorgeous! Maybe this is your plan, but I just wanted to warn you from personal experience.

  • Reply
    Patty
    August 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Kristi I love what you want to do with the porch. We have a cape and there is no roof over the front door and I hate that. I would love to have a porch but right now we are in the process of trying to sell and I won’t do any more than we are already doing. My next house will have a front porch.

  • Reply
    Carla
    August 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Personally I live the Austin stone and would add more not take it away. Love how you photo shopped the porch onto the house.

  • Reply
    Rita
    August 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Kristi, I always look forward to your progress report. And I LOVE that style railing. It adds so much class.

  • Reply
    skt4me
    August 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Hi! You might want to check out Karah Bunde’s blog, The Space Between. She is also in the process of the full renovation of a one story home. She literally “raised the roof” so there is an extra foot above the windows and front door! Also, thank you for completing 95% of a space before moving in, that way, we can share the journey from the idea of your vision, to it’s realization! I love following you!

  • Reply
    Tracy
    August 23, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    This design might work out for you..

    http://porchco.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Gable-Hip.jpg

    • Reply
      Lisa Broussard Januska
      August 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Love this house!!

    • Reply
      Lisa E
      August 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      This is awesome and so glad Kristi loves it, too! Great find!

  • Reply
    Jeanne A.
    August 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    If you take the Austin stone off just in the peak above the window of your office, it would then match the peak above the gable over the front door. Having the porch railings on the right side of the front makes it less obvious that only the left is covered in Austin stone.

  • Reply
    Mary Anne Looby
    August 23, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    What a surprise to see you here today! I probably would not be on, but am nursing a sore throat which feels as though it might turn into something worse, ugh! I love front porches. I have one the whole width of the front of my home. It is such a relaxing place with the swing and wicker seating spread out. I would have to agree with some of the others regarding making the gable larger and extending the porch in front of your office window. If money were not an issue I would extend the porch all the way across the front. Having the porch roof go all the way across would keep the direct sun off of all your front rooms. Thus helping with cooling and prevent fading. I agree with you about the spindles. What is in the photo shopped pic is too busy and takes away from the house. As for the carriage doors on the garage, I have them and they are white with the hardware all being black. That is just my look. My entire home is white 10 inch aluminum siding. The porch railings and square spindles, as well as the large round columns are also white. The porch is brick as are the steps and step walls. It is what I love and what I wanted. It is a very southern house and very unusual for this part of the country. I will tell you, that after almost 25 years of living here, when I pull into the cul de sac and see my home, I still love it as much as the day we moved into it. So do what you love, you will never regret it. Blessings

  • Reply
    Micah T
    August 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I love love love the photoshop picture. I even like both gables, it gives the house character!! If the porch gable came out father than the ston gable it would make better sense. I like the railing either way. The Chippendale style is the better, in my humble opinion!

  • Reply
    Lynne
    August 23, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I love the way that your mock up looks! It would add so much curb appeal and you wouldn’t have the expense of removing the stone ( which I personally love- not that it’s my house). With the additions you are thinking of I think it would up the charm factor 100%!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    August 23, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    How about three gables? Perhaps another gable above the livingroom windows on the right. If you brought the middle section/gable out a bit further you could even extend the deck and railing to the end of your office, (to the left) which would mirror the right side of the veranda (this section need not necessarily have a roof)

    • Reply
      Colleen
      August 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      The link Tracy posted is along these lines…..

  • Reply
    from Karen
    August 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I quite like the idea of having two gables, which is weird coming from me, as I normally love symmetrical designs. But I don’t findyour photoshopped picture too weird. I also find the idea intriguing to extend the gable from the door to cover the entire porch to the right and perhaps you can incorporate the existing gable resp. extend that?
    I understand your issue with the stone vs. siding and if asked would vote for siding in this case, because the stone looks a bit too rough for my liking.
    I don’t envy you the planning and work this change will make, but I’m fairly sure the result will be great (of course!!). I do envy you a porch and grand entrance (a bit; I mean, you totally deserve that!!) as we have no such option on our house and it makes me a little sad sometimes because there is something so inviting and welcoming about it. So glad that I can at least relish the look and feel of it via your blog!

  • Reply
    Sandy Poole
    August 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Kristi, I love the Austin stone, surprised that you don’t…The cables do not look bad, gives it character…Love the photo shop of the porch!, also with the railings you like…You for sure
    have so many option you could do, but I do love your vision so far…Please keep the stone!…LOL!

  • Reply
    Deb
    August 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Love the idea and where you want to go with this… I think though, this may be the time to seek out the advise of an architect/professional to gain maximum potential of the project and ensure the integrity of the build. Love your tenacity Kristi!

    • Reply
      Kristi Linauer
      August 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Oh, I definitely will. 🙂 I doubt very much that this will be a DIY project. I’ll let the pros handle it. I just want a definite idea of what I want before contacting an architect, if I decide to go that route. They often charge by the hour, and they’re not cheap! So if I have a definite idea before I contact one, it’ll be cheaper. Or if I know exactly what I want by then, I’ll just bypass the architect and contact a licensed contractor to handle the job. 🙂

  • Reply
    Becky
    August 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Please don’t get rid of or paint the Austin stone; I love it and wish I had some on my house.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    August 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I understand why you’d want to raise the roof/ceiling on the porch and love the idea of a second gable. Right now the first gable appears level with the roof line. In raising the porch roof it’s going to change the slope of the roof. When doing the second gable over the front door raise it enough so it’s above the roof line which will extend across that whole side of the house? That will make the other gable recede.

  • Reply
    Judi in Tinton Falls
    August 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Happy Saturday! The house where I grew up had a covered front porch running across the front and half walls that carried the same shingles as the body of the house.. We loved to sit there, especially during thunder storms. The only advice I’d give you is to make certain that whatever you do, make sure there is sufficient overhang to keep the rain from wetting down your furniture and decorations. I’d also ask consider these questions. How noisy is the street traffic flowing past the front door? Is yours the kind of neighborhood where folks sit out or walk by to visit? How often do you think you’ll be sitting out there in the evening when bugs and mosquitos could be an issue and when outdoor lighting, ceiling fans and the like would be helpful additions? While I think of it, how many electrical outlets would you need, and if you plan to decorate for the holidays, do you want outlets near the ceiling? Your color scheme for the exterior is very classy, but I’m a sustaining member of the pop of color school, so I’d think hard about using stain. Whatever you decide, I’ll be in awe of your skills–my jaw drops regularly when reading your posts.

  • Reply
    Christina
    August 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I’d make the window in your office the front door, work with what you’ve got. Then extend that gable out to be a porch rather than trying to make a new one. Move your office to the far right end of the living room and make your current office and half the current living room the living room. You can extend the current porch out to the width of the extended gable if you want and add French doors out to it from the new living room.

  • Reply
    Sue
    August 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I, too would make it one large gable. I think the extended roof over the porch makes the siding recede so it’s not so obvious that the two sides of the house have different finishes.

  • Reply
    Tracy2
    August 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I’m curious why you don’t like the stone. I think it’s a beautiful texture.

  • Reply
    Barbara Smith
    August 23, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I really like your photoshopped picture with the porch bump-out but I also understand your not liking the double gable. What if you ran the porch bump-out to the left so it was also in front of your office. You could remove the gable over your office and just have one gable over your office and the porch bump-out. It would make for a bigger porch. Don’t know if you’re a big porch person but I love big front porches! I think they make a house look friendly. Don’t know if that’s possible construction or budget wise but I thought it might work. Love your blog and all your projects. :o)

  • Reply
    Michelle
    August 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I am thinking trim both gables out in wood and paint them white as in the farmhouse exterior by New Hope Builders photo, so the gables will coordinate. The Austin stone is beautiful but a bit dark making the left side of the house look heavy and the right side light. The Austin stone adds so much charm and character, which is free since it is already there. Maybe lighten it up by white washing the stone to keep the character while balancing the visual weight between the two sides.

    love your work!!

  • Reply
    Cindy
    August 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    How fun to be looking into exterior modifications! I’m not an Architect but I am an Engineer and I believe the only way to raise your porch roof and keep that configuration would be to raise your roof. You could use your photoshopped idea and add a third gable over the porch so you could have a higher porch roof.

  • Reply
    Naomi Williams
    August 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I think the two gables next to each other work, as long as the porch over the door juts further out.

    I like the stone better than the siding, but I think they both live in harmony with that jutting porch running visual interference.

    I like the garage doors in the last picture, but I think the asphalt/grass stripes are silly.

  • Reply
    Alta
    August 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Here’s one idea: http://www.front-porch-ideas-and-more.com/images/front-porch-after-101.jpg

  • Reply
    Genelle McDaniel
    August 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I absolutely love your revised front gable. Talk about curb appeal.

    I also have a problem. I am having trouble trying to find your archives so that I can look at all the places mentioned to order upholstery fabric from. I tried searching your website for “upholstery fabric” and still couldn’t find the names of the online sources. Now I need to buy upholstery fabric for my daughter’s living room furniture. I can’t believe that I’m incapable of finding your references, but evidentally I am.

    • Reply
      Kristi Linauer
      August 23, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      It’s not you. It’s that darned search function. Sometimes I have to spend 30 minutes trying to find something on my own blog. I’m not sure how to make it work better, or if I can even do anything about it.

      Anyway, my favorite online resources for fabric are fabric.com, onlinefabricstore.net, and decoratorsbest.com. I’ve purchased from other online stores, but I generally come across those when I’m searching for a specific fabric. But if I just want to browse, those three online stores that I listed are where I head first.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I am going to go totally off the reservation here and everyone else will probably hate the idea, but I’m not photoshopping just trying to imagine. Put a Palladian window in the bump out. Stop the porch at the bump out but pick it up on the other side. I don’t know what that room is, but put a French type door in and it becomes a “secret” garden. Buy a totally kick butt fancy front door, extend the porch out beyond where it currently is at the doorway and cover with an awning of some sort, not a trashy one but a killer one that I am trying to imagine. Put railings down the steps and even a cute gate if you choose. Let flowering plants grow up the bump out. You’ve left the roof alone but totally changed the front look!

  • Reply
    MonW
    August 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Kristi,

    Double check with the city/county, etc before removing the stone, you may find that the stone adds value to your house. (Siding is cheaper than brick or stone and taxed accordingly and requires far more maintenance. That is why many homes have brick on the public sides and siding in the hidden backyard.) Matching the stone for the rest of the house front could really increase the house value.

    Have a drive/stroll around your division and really look at the other houses’ details- roofs, walls, porches. You may get some ideas to steal that will blend in better and match the time period.

    Yes, our mini porch is annoying in our house- No room for another light over the doorway- just a half-hidden porchlight. I’m toying with vaulting the ceiling over the porch, but not convinced our peak will allow that.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Ps I love a farmhouse look but really don’t like long gables in front. To each their own!

  • Reply
    Debbi Saunders
    August 23, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Kristi,
    I love the 2nd option with the porch extended on both sides…better balance, but really love the front door on the first option….also love what appears to be a light sage green color for the house…
    You have awesome job with your little Home!!! have really enjoyed following the progress…
    Debbi

  • Reply
    bonnie
    August 23, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I would turn the front office into an entrance way for the living room and put my office nearer the back. You’ve got the long sunroom…I would position the Door to open onto the porch and put a big window in the gable with new orleans style shutters. :-).

  • Reply
    Jan
    August 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    I love all the ideas! Of course, that’s no help to you but I’m ‘sorta’ in the same boat as you. I’m coming up on my one-year house-aversary in October and I also hate the front of my house. No character or front porch. I’d love to have a front porch yo sit on but am afraid if I put one on, I’d be blocking a fair bit of sunlight from coming inside.

    After moving here to in The Toronto region of Canada from the prairie regions out in western Canada, I’ve discovered I moved to a sunshine deprived part of the world in the winter months. From Nov to March, I feel like I’m living in a cave!! It almost always cloudy in the winter so one needs to have inside lights on all day. If I built the porch I want, I’d miss the light even more. I miss the year-round brilliantly sunny prairie skies. Maybe I should move down to sunny TX to be next to you!

    • Reply
      Kristi Linauer
      August 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Well pack your bags and come on! There’s a house right down the street for sale. 🙂

  • Reply
    Alex Thompson
    August 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I like both of your photoshopped pics, but I LOVE the second one with the bigger porch. It seems to somehow balance the look of the front and The Austin stone is not as prominent. The curb appeal is fabulous in that one. It makes you want to pull up a chair or two and just sit there watching the world go by.

  • Reply
    Tamara
    August 23, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    I LOVE your updated idea of the porch extending both directions with one large gable. (Maybe because my house is looks very similar to that?) We don’t have railings, but we do have large white columns. I don’t feel a large porch affects the amount of light coming into our house too much, but our porch faces west. Good luck! Whatever you do will look fabulous!

  • Reply
    DEB
    August 23, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    You have so many projects going .I would finish them before i would think about redoing the front of the house. It is a lot to take on. Also that way the inside would be done . And all your time could go on the front of the house.

  • Reply
    Jane
    August 24, 2014 at 4:07 am

    Kristi,
    I love the first re-do with photoshop. However, I would make a few additions.

    1. I would love the original gable and believe the house needs it. This adds detail and elevation to the house. (Not elevation as in hight)

    2. I would like to see a photoshop of what you have already but continue the porch to the rock under the first gable. Including the fence.

    3. I would then pressure wash and paint the rock under the first gable a shade of white. This would brighten up that end if the “old” part of the house since the other side with the new porch would look brand new.

    4. Hang some pretty ferns and plant some greenery in front of the entire house. Also, pressure wash the sidewalk so it will look new too.

    5. Remember, sometime the little things like a porch railing, a few plants, different colored shutters can make a huge difference without spending a ton. Of course your new porch and second gable will be the big costs. I think those would be a great start!

    • Reply
      Jane
      August 24, 2014 at 4:12 am

      I meant to say in #1 “I would leave the original gable”

      Sorry

  • Reply
    Karin
    August 24, 2014 at 7:04 am

    How about changing the inside and switching your front entrance and office so that you create a new front entrance where the already existing gable is and your iffice is where the front entrance currently is? I like the idea you have shown existing the gable, just suggesting a different option.

  • Reply
    Rosie
    August 24, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Lots of great ideas for you to consider…However, as you mentioned first, find out from your local zoning what is allowed and if they’ve got issues with an extended front porch, and if so, may you apply for a zoning variance. I live in the country in PA and that’s how we roll.
    Once again, love this blog!!

  • Reply
    MaryAnne Looby
    August 24, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Hi Kristi, I think I read something where someone was discussing the porch floor. My suggestion is poured concrete. You could then stain/stencil it in a brick or stone pattern. You do not want to paint it, as paint will become slippery when wet. I stained my side porch, which is just a 10×10 off the billiard room. I did use a brick stencil to mimic the big porch on the front. Both porches were edged in brick (soldier course) It would make an easy surface for Matt to maneuver. Also, do not know if you have heard of the color “haint blue”, it is really not a color just a blue that mimics the sky to the owner. It is a Southern thing to paint your ceiling blue and then have long porch sitting session drinking ice tea discussing why the ceiling Haint Blue. I read this when we were building so of course my ceiling hain’t blue. Since it so hot in TX make sure you allow for porch fans to keep the air moving. Blessings

  • Reply
    TinaG
    August 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Lots and lots of good ideas here today! I don’t have a favorite as far as the gables go…I am sure whatever you decide will look great. My only bit of advice is to be sure that your porch is wide enough, with the rails, to allow for your outdoor furniture with plenty of walk space. The house we are currently in has such a narrow front porch that we had to remove the rails to be able to walk around easily. Now, our back porch is a different story…it’s huge, wide, and has white columns and rails exactly like you described. We love it and sit outside every day!

  • Reply
    Larissa
    August 24, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I really love your first mock-up with the double gables! With some landscaping and greenery, I think the stones will lend an English cottage-type vibe — the different in siding doesn’t bother my eye at all. You could maybe add some planters and low walls in a similar stone material to tie it all together? I also liked how the herringbone pattern in the porch rails echoed the tile pattern you just put in your kitchen. But, I’m sure whatever you choose will look terrific, as always!

  • Reply
    Sharon C
    August 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Kristi. I love the single gable you photoshopped over your front porch. I think if you added another single gable over your living room window, it would balance the one over your office window, then the roof over Matt’s office and your breakfast room also match. This is only my opinion, but I think the single gables make the house more upmarket, while the long gable you photoshopped, cheapens the look to a mobile home. I love your blog and you are such an inspiration.

  • Reply
    Tricia Erconner
    August 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Just love those designs…and the one you have chosen. But I would also like to recommend that your design includes a wheel chair ramp…that way the city is sure to approve your design, but more importantly, it will help your son out…and any of his friends or other visitors.

    • Reply
      Kristi Linauer
      August 24, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      There’s a wheelchair ramp on the side. It’s already there, but it’ll be expanded. And Matt is my husband. 😉

  • Reply
    Kelly
    August 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I like your ideas, but I don’t like that 2 of your front windows are going to be covered from natural sunlight. Maybe that is something you want to do for your climate?

    • Reply
      Kristi Linauer
      August 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      One of them (the living room) is already covered by the existing porch, and it still lets plenty of daylight in. And the other window is in the hottest room of the house, so protecting it from the sun would actually be a good thing. We’re in Texas, so it can get very hot here with the sun streaming in through the windows.

  • Reply
    Mark Tisdale
    August 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Oh, I really like the later entries that you’ve added since I last read this! I love what a generous front porch you’d have – that’s a real porch!

    Our current home is narrow and long on a narrow lot so we don’t have quite the same situation, but our porch goes across the whole front with one side being deeper than the other because one of the bedrooms juts out within the porch itself like your office would. It means your front bedroom window like ours will be shaded but in Texas you probably won’t be bothered by a little less hot sun! LOL You may not have had much light anyway with that huge tree?

    I hope you find out good news from the contractor and can make plans!

  • Reply
    Amy Lovin
    August 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    First, thank you so much for taking the time to blog. I am so impressed by your abilities, both in terms of time management and skill level. I bow to you. ‘) Thanks for the motivation you provide. It’s awesome and truly appreciated in this over-filled, over-planned world of ours.

    I have a photo that I think might be just about right for you … I hope you can take a peek and see if any of it resonates with you.

    The house has a simple exterior but because it’s asymmetric, your brain continues to “take it all in” … over and over (think design endorphins). But, when there’s symmetry, the brain recognizes the symmetry and sort of just stops “taking it in” as there is no more to take in, so to speak.

    Anyway, here’s the link to the photo in my Pinterest folder (at ‘amy elle’ – “favorite places and spaces”).

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/140315344615770060/

    I promise you … I’m not a kook and I’m certainly not trying to do anything to your computer or however that works. I’m no computer geek … I just love all things design and I wanted you to see this pic. I think you’ll like it.
    I don’t know where I originally found it (maybe Pinterest) but I’m not sure. I just can’t remember. I have thousands of beauty shots. It’s a sickness.

    Thanks again … best of luck to you. “)

    Amy Lovin

  • Reply
    Dale
    August 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Kristi, i clicked on that link too & i love it. Im hoping to use it over my back deck!!

  • Reply
    Gayle
    August 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I definitely like the final porch the best. I know your mockup is not accurate but front bump out needs to be wider and steps wider also. It opens up view of front door.

  • Reply
    Alta
    August 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    The only change I’d like to see, other than the porch rails being vertical, as you’ve said, would be to widen the roofline of the vaulted arch so that the porch posts in front of the front door could be as wide apart as possible, looks like maybe 5 feet or so?

  • Reply
    Sheila F.
    August 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I love the last 2. But the ver last is my fav! I hope it can be done!

  • Reply
    Lucy
    August 24, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Oh – so cool you found the porch company. They built our screened-in porch which was just finished in mid June. Fabulous company — owned by a woman- Nancy Moore. She is awesome. Anyway, she gave us tips during our design process. A hip roof is best for a porch as it allows you to have an overhang around all of it and she recommends a 12″ overhang.. that will keep it pretty dry in most rainstorms. Not completely, but much more than a 6″. You can see how nice a deep the overhang is on that front porch.

    When you meet with a builder be sure they anticipate how the new roof will line up with the gutters on the rest of the house. She changed our gutters to 6″ so we had to replace a small section of existing gutters so they would connect. We had to do a combo roof — gable and hip roof due to HOA rules.

    I’m guessing you’ve seen the different railing options they offer – those might inspire you.. And They recently added different gate designs to their porch store. http://porchco.com/porch-store/ And the portfolio pics of other porches they have built… That’s where we got a lot of ideas on what we wanted for finishing details.

    If interested, you can see some pictures of our porch in this link. These were taken before the gutters were installed and all the outside was cleaned up. http://hereslucy.squarespace.com/journal/2014/6/17/june-update-new-porch.html

    Good luck— I’m sure whatever you decide to do will look like a million bucks — just like the inside.

  • Reply
    Guerrina
    August 25, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I love your final photoshopped pic! Not online on the weekend, so just catching up! Hope it is possible!

  • Reply
    Rosie
    August 25, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I want that front porch in update #2!!
    It’ll give a craftsman style to your happy abode, just beautiful.

  • Reply
    Phyllis
    August 27, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Hi Kristi! I am following this discussion with interest, as a former architect, I love all things architectural. I even had a few ideas that I thought would work well and sent you a few rough sketches, but I used the “guest post inquiries” in the “contact” link above (Didn’t know how else to attach an image.)
    I do like the “eyebrow” gable and the chunky columns in your inspiration photo for your last revision. The proportions in your photoshopped version aren’t quite the same, though. I think it would work better if the “eyebrow” was larger. I have to be honest though, and say that I don’t think that the hip roof in this instance and with those proportions works as well with your existing home-it doesn’t seem to relate well with the existing home and looks a bit “pasted on”–that is just my opinion of course, fwiw. I think the gable would work better if you break it up with a “gable within a gable”. (One of the sketches I sent showed that option.) Here is a link to a photo showing what I mean (once you see it you will know what I am talking about!
    http://bathroomide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/modern-craftsman-style-home-plans.jpg

    One way you could tie the stone in with the rest of the house would be to use the same type of stone as the base for some craftsman/bungalow style porch columns. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems like the craftsman/bungalow style porches would fit well with the characteristic Texas ranch house type of architecture! At least I can see the two styles merging in my head, though I am not familiar with what the homes in Texas look like. Do you see craftsman-style influences there?
    Good Luck with your porch!

  • Reply
    Phyllis E
    August 27, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Kristi–I just wrote you a comment, but I had some html links in it, and it doesn’t appear to have gone through. I played around with your porch plan on my new “free trial” of “Chief Architect” CAD that I am trying to learn, and I managed to get your home plan with the hip roof porch (like your last revision) to work! It actually looks pretty good when done to scale in 3-D. (I used your actual house dimensions from your plan. I estimated your existing roof pitch to be 6: 12, but the hip is drawn at 5:12 in order to avoid getting too much higher than the existing ridge.)

    If you would like to see them, tell me how I can either post them here or send them to you.

    I also tried the double gable within a gable front porch option and that looks very nice as well. If you want to see the 3-D cad renderings of both options, let me know how to get them to you. They look great.

  • Reply
    Connie
    August 28, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Love the last one! The beefed up columns and trim give it a solid, grounded look and I’ve always loved the arch at the front. Good luck. I hope support issues don’t ditch your plans.

  • Reply
    becky
    August 28, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I love the two gables. It gives it depth. I think it looks great with the stone but have grey siding on the porch. I love the stained shutters and garage doors.

  • Reply
    Patti
    August 27, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I just now saw this posted on Pinterest and followed the link – so glad I did! It is so very cool to see your progression of design. I have a small red brick ranch (plain Jane for sure) ;in need of lots and lots of curb appeal. I love your ideas! I am not yet ready to say which one I love best; because I liked them all; and they just got better and better! I do have a question however, I would love to find a site to be able to play with the design of my house (i.e. take a picture (which I have); add a porch, change the roof line, windows, paint the brick, etc. just to see how it all might work. We have an UGLY bay window on the front (I usually love bay windows, but this one is just plain weird) and I would love suggesions on how to change things. Any info you can give me on how I can design on line – I do not know how to use photoshop; but I guess, I could learn – maybe (lol). thanks!’

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