What’s a portico? Smaller than a front porch, bigger than a stoop, a portico is a covered entrance supported by columns – or in this case, posts. Archadeck of Birmingham gave this Blount County, AL, home a front entry makeover with a custom-designed portico scaled in proportion to the house.
It’s fair to say we don’t get many calls for a portico in the Birmingham area, but that might just be because many homeowners aren’t familiar with them. As you can see in these photos, the portico serves two purposes, one aesthetic and the other functional.
First, the portico adds style to the front of the house and directs your focus to the front door. It’s welcoming. Second, the portico serves the very practical purpose of keeping the homeowners and visitors dry as they reach the front door on a rainy day. The homeowners stay dry while unlocking the front door. Guests can ring the doorbell and wait outside without getting drenched. Even a package can stay dry at this front door because it has a covered entry.
The structure we now call a portico dates back to Greek temple architecture, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, so you could say the portico is classically inspired.
How to Know Whether Your Home Needs a Front Porch or a Portico
To answer that question, we would need to ask you a question: why are you thinking about adding a front porch or portico? How do you see yourself or your family using it? Questions like this are part of Archadeck’s design process. We call it a comprehensive needs analysis. By asking all the right questions, we are better able to design an outdoor living space that meets your needs. No buyer’s remorse here!
If you’d like a place to sit and visit with friends or just enjoy the fresh air, you’ll need a porch. Porticos don’t include enough space for furniture. If you want room for rocking chairs, a table and chairs, or a porch swing, you’re going to need a front porch. On the other hand, if you just want a covered entry for shelter and don’t plan to use it socially or for leisure, a portico will suffice. Both the porch and the portico will add curb appeal, so either way you’re covered on that front.
When Considering Costs, a Portico is Budget Friendly
Because a portico is smaller than a front porch, the portico will be more affordable in terms of materials and labor. We constructed this portico in Blount County, AL, with pressure-treated pine, which is usually more affordable than wood alternatives. You could also build this project with low-maintenance composite decking materials; it’s a choice each client can make. With the wooden portion protected by a roof, the wood used here will likely last longer than a wood deck and require less maintenance. The difference is that a deck receives the brunt of harsh weather and UV rays, two forces that cause wear and tear on a wood deck.
A Portico Design any Front Door Could Love
To complete this portico design, we repeated the gable roof style at the front of the home. We were able to match the home’s roofing shingles and used the same siding that was used on the house. The two sections of gabled roof are a matched set, big and little. The effect is charming!
The portico addition has given this home a face lift and increased the home’s curb appeal. This project serves as a reminder that your home’s back yard is not the only place for an outdoor living space. It’s true Archadeck is known for designing and building some amazing decks, screened porches, and cedar porches. Keep in mind, however, that front porch designer and builder Archadeck of Birmingham designs and builds porticos as well. Which of these would boost your home’s curb appeal?
— Home before Archadeck of Birmingham added the new portico.
Does your home need a front entry makeover? Contact Archadeck of Birmingham today to talk about front porch and portico designs. Call us now (205) 576-5780.
— Derek & Carissa Crews, owners Archadeck of Birmingham.