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If you live in an area that has warm weather for a good portion of the year, a front porch can be an excellent addition to your home. It can offer a space to relax and enjoy a refreshing breeze while chatting with family and friends. Because a porch is covered, it provides shelter from the sun and rain. A porch can also enhance a home’s appearance and raise its value, but there are some drawbacks to consider.

Improved Curb Appeal and Increased Value
A porch can make your home more appealing, as there’s something inviting about a porch with ample seating that instantly makes guests feel at home. It can also be an attractive addition that can make your home stand out from others in the neighborhood. Additionally, a front porch can increase your home’s value, which can help you get a better price if you decide to sell it in the future.

Construction and Maintenance Costs
The cost to install a porch will depend on its size, the materials used, and the current design of your house. For instance, if the house doesn’t have an existing overhang, the roof will need to be extended to cover the porch and keep it safe from the elements. The materials chosen for the framing, flooring and railings will also affect the price. Options include pressure-treated wood, fiber cement, composite, hardwood and stone. You’ll also need to consider labor costs, which will vary depending on the amount of time and skill required to work with various materials. The types of materials used to construct a porch will ultimately affect the amount of maintenance needed and whether you can handle the upkeep yourself.

Potential Problems
While the benefits associated with adding a front porch to your house are myriad, there are also potential problems that need to be taken into consideration. For starters, a porch may create a safety hazard for children and pets. Since the porch will be located at the front of the house and connected to steps, it’s possible for kids and animals to wander into the front yard or street. Enclosing the porch and making sure there’s a door or fence blocking access to the road will provide peace of mind if there are children and pets in the mix.

Insects can cause problems, as well. Some species, such as termites, can wreak havoc by damaging the wood used to construct a porch. Mosquitoes and bees can also be a nuisance, biting or stinging people who are trying to relax outdoors. These issues can also be alleviated by enclosing the porch with a screen.

Insurance Issues
If you decide to add a porch to your house, the increase in value may mean that your homeowners insurance rates will rise, but that doesn’t mean that you should keep your recent addition a secret from the insurance company. If you fail to notify the insurance company, and someone gets hurt while on your porch, your claim could be denied. This could leave you on the hook for any and all medical bills associated with the injury.

Get Professional Advice
A front porch can provide you and your loved ones with a place to relax and enjoy some fresh air, in addition to increasing your home’s curb appeal and value. Discuss designs, materials and prices with several contractors, and be sure to notify your homeowners insurance company about any upgrades you make to your property.