Almost all privately-owned homes have some type of porch. People have porches for a variety of reasons. The porches are even more useful if they are covered. That use is increased again if the porch is a wrap-around.
Image from Dalrymple | Sallis Architecture
But what makes a wrap-around porch so special? Why do people want them and how much do they cost? We will cover all of this and more with our wrap-around porch guide. Check out all you need to know below.
What Is A Wrap Around Porch?
A wrap-around porch is simply a porch that wraps around your home. This is because the term porch comes from the Italian word “portico” which refers to a raised entrance to your home. The term wrap-around is even more straightforward.
Wrap around is just a porch that wraps around your home. A common misconception is that the porch has to wrap all the way around your home but this isn’t the case. A wrap around porch can wrap even partially around your home.
Veranda Vs. Wrap Around Porch
Here are two terms that are often confused with one another. While words like gazebo and patio are fairly easy to understand, the word veranda is easily confused. Though there is one group of people that understand.
That’s because the word “veranda” simply means porch Portuguese. However, in American terms, the word veranda always means a roofed porch that is level with the ground floor of the home. Which is different than a balcony.
A balcony is level with at least the second floor of the home, not the bottom. That’s what makes it different than a veranda or porch. A balcony can even wrap around the home like a porch, which would be a wrap-around balcony.
How To Build A House With Wrap Around PorchImage from Lexar Homes
Building a wrap-around porch isn’t something you start thinking of one day and have it fully built the next. There are steps you need to take to ensure everything is done correctly, legally, and safely.
Do I Need A Permit?
This is a wonderful question that we see a lot. The answer is that it all depends on where you live. You should make sure that you don’t need a local building permit whenever you undergo any type of construction.
This is especially true when building onto the exterior of your home. So contact your local building office to get all of the details. Don’t hesitate to do so as you may regret it in the end. Luckily, most permits last about six months.
Wrap Around Porch Size
As far as length goes, most wrap-around porches wrap all the way around a home. However, some only wrap halfway around while others may wrap a third the way around. As long as it covers at least two ends.
Now when it comes to width, you can expect somewhere between four feet and 12 feet for the porch. Though 6-8 feet is most common. This allows space for furniture while still allowing plenty of room to walk.
Wrap Around Porch Materials
Though you can get creative and build-out of concrete or brick, most porches are built out of wood. A common type of wood to use is redwood. Redwood decks and porches are gorgeous and last a lifetime.
Just remember that power-washing, refinishing, and staining may need to be done every few years to keep your porch looking alive. But aside from that, you should be good with using any type of outdoor-safe wood.
Building The Porch
Now, it’s not a great idea to build a wrap around porch on your own unless you have a lot of experience. This is because you will need to build a good foundation, a level platform, and a stable railing for this type of porch.
Step 1: Prepping Area
Once you’ve decided where to build your wrap around porch, you need to secure a building permit from the local office. After that’s done, you can mark out where you want to build with stakes and level the land there.
Get rid of any bumps or uneven areas in the land with hand tools. It doesn’t have to be perfect as we will make things level in our next step. But do your best to level it out by eye and to get a good area marked out.
Step 2: Pour Concrete Footers
Next up, you will need to dig holes at the end of where the porch will be. Dig them no more than 12 feet apart, ensuring there are holes at the corners of the house. This is where you will add posts and secure them with concrete.
Installing concrete footers is easier than it sounds. But it’s very important that each post is level and secure before you move onto the next step. So, learn how to ensure that they are level before you begin building them.
Step 3: Install Framing
If you’ve ever built a frame, this shouldn’t be a problem. This is the frame that your deck boards will lay on. It needs to be done after the concrete dries and it should be very, very stable. Use appropriate deck bolts.
If you’ve never built a porch or house frame before, then make you get help at this point. It’s very important for your family’s safety that everything is done correctly. So get help even if it is just to walk you through the process.
Step 4: Laying The Decking
After you find out that the deck is level and secure, you can start adding the deck boards. Find a board that works well for outdoor use and that you love the look of. Then, start securing them to the frame.
After you add the deck board, you can add a railing and a roof. These two aren’t necessary but are recommended. Making a full wrap-around porch complete with these two things will add substantial value to your home.
Wrap Around Porch CostImage from Grand Floridian Builders, Inc.
A wrap-around porch can be quite pricey. But if you do things slowly, you should be able to afford one before you know it. The average cost for a wrap around porch is somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000.
Most of the cost will be in flooring or decking because this will be about 30-50% of the cost. Then, the second biggest cost will be the roof. After that, the costs are fairly low compared to the other two parts, which will be visible.
Breakdown Of Expenses
- Permit – $100 – $500
- Railing – $500 – $1,500
- Columns – $500 – $3,000
- Foundation – $1,000 – $4,000
- Roof – $3,000 – $7,000
- Flooring – $5,00 – $10,000
Farmhouse With Wrap Around Porch IdeasImage from Pure Salt Interiors
The most popular type of wrap-around porch is a farmhouse with wrap around porch. That’s because the farmhouse was one of the original types of houses to offer wrap-around porches. These porches are still inspiring today.
While you can make it your own in any way, here are some things to consider if you want to enjoy an original farmhouse with wrap around porch.
Do you spend most of your time outside in the evening or morning? Think about this so you can decide if you want to watch the sunrise or sunset more often. You can choose both if you have a 360-degree porch.
If you have close neighbors, you will want to make sure your porch isn’t facing them. At least not the area you will be sitting out on. So take this into consideration when you are planning where you will put your furniture.
Farmhouse porches are usually large than other wrap around porches. They need room for furniture, for family, and for strolling in the evenings. So make sure you get at least 6 feet out, more if possible.
Swings, benches, rocking chairs, lanterns, and milk can stools. These are just a few things that can make a normal porch look like a farmhouse porch. It’s important to get furniture that looks like farmhouse furniture.
Colors, colors, colors! Most farmhouse porches are either stained a rustic color or painted. If you paint them, make sure you stick with farmhouse colors. Whites, creams, greens, and other vintage colors work well.
Finally, if you are building a farmhouse wrap-around porch, then repurpose something. This can be furniture, beams for your house, pillars, or even the wood you use for your steps. Make the materials matter.
Is A Wrap Around Porch For Me?
If you’re still wondering if a wrap-around porch is for you, then don’t worry because you’re not alone. A lot of people are struggling with the question. Even if your budget is $10,000 it will be difficult to get it done.
So price is the main factor here. It can also be difficult to get permits for a wrap-around porch. And lastly, some people just don’t have the yard space for a wrap-around porch. So wrap-around porches aren’t for everyone.
However, if you have space, the money, and the permits. Then go for it. Not only will you get a lot of enjoyment out of a wrap-around porch but your money will be returned if you choose to sell the house.