If you are building a porch onto your home or are remodeling one you currently have, you are being given a great opportunity! This is your chance to really decide what the outside of your home says about the people who live in it. Of course, before you can start decorating or building, you need to get some good ideas.
Ideas can come from anywhere. A simple internet search for porches will turn up more inspiration than you will know what to do with. Other great places to get ideas are the home construction and design sections of your local bookstores and libraries. Magazines can also provide a wealth of material. You might also just go for a drive and see what other people are doing with their porches.
Of course, before you get your heart set on any one of the ideas you have put together for your new (or remodeled) porch, there are some things you will want to consider.
1. What is your budget? Porches are not cheap. Just the simple act of building one can be expensive, so take a look at what you can afford. Learn what building materials cost in your area. Price the various fixtures you are thinking of using. Chances are there are places that will sell you the same fixtures for half the price of that "brand name" home improvement store across the street from the mall.
2. Make sure that your ideas are practical. If you live in a coastal area, flimsy wicker furniture might not be the best idea for your porch. What is pretty can also be functional and durable. It just takes some hunting. You will also want to make sure that your ideas will stand up to the weather and the wear and tear of normal life. Your porch is different from your family room.
3. Plan your space. You may feel a little silly crawling around on your porch (or the area of your yard that you expect to be covered by one soon) with a tape measure and tape, but in the long run you will be glad you took the time to make measurements. You should also measure any furniture or fixtures you are thinking about purchasing before you actually buy them. After all, there is little that is more discouraging than spending a bunch of money on a piece that ends up not fitting because you did not think to measure ahead of time.
Porch ideas can come from anywhere. Keep track of all of your ideas and before you go running out to do some shopping have a clear plan of attack. Make sure that you have thought your ideas through and that they are practical. Make sure you have taken your budget into consideration as well as the construction of your porch. Ideas can get us excited about the outside of our homes in ways that nothing else can, but make sure you think them through!