6 ways to make your porch more livable

Have you often wanted to go sit down on your front porch to relax or to visit with the neighbors, but have never done it because your porch just isn't designed for socializing? If so here are some tips that you can follow to make your porch more livable.

Tip one:
Add more space. Most porches today are simply designed to allow you access to the house, they consist of a few stairs and a landing that leads to your front door. This restricts you from sitting on your porch and relaxing with your friends or neighbors. By simply widening your front porch to cover the front part of your house you are giving yourself some more livable space. You can also deepen your front porch a few feet so that it comes out past those three stairs.

Tip two:
Enclose your front porch. Doing this would actually depend on what kind of climate you lived in. You might want to consider screening in your front porch or adding walls with plenty of windows to allow in that extra light. You will already have the roof and supports so which ever idea works best for your needs should be considered. Walls with windows will prevent snow and rain from splashing on you if you want to enjoy your porch in the winter as well as the summer. A screened in porch will not protect you from the weather but it will help to keep the bugs out.

Tip three:
Add furniture. By simply adding a few rocking chairs, regular chairs and a table you have a ready made spot to relax with a cold drink. Or you can add a porch swing, these are great to sit back and relax in on a cool evening. If your porch is in the rear of your house you can add a grill to your porch d├ęcor. All of these ideas will increase your desire to entertain outside rather than inside, weather permitting that is.

Tip four:
Add lighting. This is especially important to do if you plan on using the porch in the evening or at night. If your porch is hard wired, meaning your light fixtures are connected directly to your house's electricity instead of having to plug into an outlet, you can choose from a variety of overhead lights. If your porch is not hard wired you can use your electrical outlets to plug in lamps or string lights. If your porch is not hard wired or does not have outlets you should consider putting in some outlets or remolding your porch to make it hard wired.

Tip five:
Add decorations. You can add potted plants or planter boxes along the edges of your porch or strategically placed. You can also put a flower bed right in front of the porch to add some color. You can also consider adding hanging plants. Just keep in mind that certain plants attract different types of insects so you might want to use a bug zapper or you can buy wasp collectors that come in a variety of colors.

Tip six:
Paint or stain your porch's wood and add flooring. Depending on what you prefer you can do a stone floor, wood floor, or a tile floor for your porch. This helps to make it another extension of the house rather than a separate dwelling. If you decide to paint the wood choose a color that is going to go well with your house. When choosing the paint make sure you get a type of paint that is designed for porches because it is a more durable paint and can withstand the different elements.

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