A Common Addition

Enclosing a Porch or Breezeway

Enclosing an open porch or a covered terrace or winterizing a porch that is already enclosed can be an excellent way to get more living space, and at a good price. If a porch is basically well constructed, you can make it into a year-round room for about $50 a square foot. And if a porch is already enclosed, you may be able to winterize it for $25 a square foot.

No “Crackerbox” Porches

Not every porch is worth bothering with. In many older houses, and in some that are not so old, you’ll often find crackerbox porches that were tacked on after the house was built with little regard for either the appearance of the house or the way in which the porch was put together. We call a lot of these porches “two-by-four porches.” because two-by-fours were the heaviest lumber used in their construction. Usually both the roof and the floor have begun to sag because the framing is inadequate. This will eventually lead to the need for a Houston roofing contractor to repair the leaks. And the porch may have a definite “tilt” because it is supported by a few decayed wood posts set in the ground. If you have this kind of porch, you are better off if you remove it entirely. Having no porch is a better option than one that continual requires repairs. To try and  reconstruct such a shoddy structure would cost more in the long run than starting from scratch. A new and, properly constructed porch with a roof that matches the rest of the house would be the best option. The appearance of the house will be vastly improved because its original lines will be apparent and the effect will be cleaner and crisper.

An Original Porch Is Best

The ideal porch to work with is one that was designed and built at the same time as the house. Porches of this type seldom have a tacked-on look, and they usually are well constructed. Depending on its size and location, a porch can be put to all sorts of good uses if it is made a part of the main body of the house. Even a small back porch off the kitchen can be converted into the very popular “mud room.” If it’s big enough, you can add a toilet and lavatory and also let it serve as the home laundry. I your house is old enough to need a new roof this is probably a good time to consider any other additions you are think about. Many times your Houston metal roof contractors have relationships with other reliable contractors they have worked with and can guide you through the process of getting the addition done along with the roof.

 A Large Rear Porch

A good-size rear or side porch can be made into an extra bedroom, study, TV room, or dining room. Not long ago we saw a house in which a portion of the side porch had been used to make space for a much-needed second bathroom. (In our present house the kitchen is located in what was once a screened-in side porch.) If the porch adjoins the living room, the wall between the two can be removed to create one large room. This is also something you can do if you have a covered terrace at the rear of the living room.

A Side Porch

The open porch at the side of this house (left) was seldom used. The owners therefore decided to enclose it for added living space and year-round use. New outside wall framing was installed across the top and bottom of the porch, and stock sliding windows with insulating glass also were installed (right). The new clapboard siding matches the gable end of the house. [National Woodwork Manufacturers Association]