Front Door Portico Design Considerations

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Whether you want to include a portico into your new home, or want to add one to an existing home, they can add a lot of style and elegance to your decor. Porticos are entryway elements that are usually highly decorative, with columns and a peaked roof. Influenced by European designs, they are often seen on colonial architecture in the United States. This basic idea can be expanded on and applied to many other architectural styles, but the basic principle remains the same. When you're thinking about adding a portico, the elements below are the ones you need to consider when designing it.

The Decking

The foundation of your portico is the deck it sits on. Most portico decks have a base layer of either concrete or wood. Porticos with concrete decks usually cover this with some other material, such as brick, tile or flagstone. On the other hand, you might choose to have your concrete etched or stamped.

If you use wood instead, it's important to make certain that you have properly sized and spaced the joists underneath to support the entire weight of the portico, including the pillars and roof. Wood portico decks can either be covered in natural wood or in composite materials designed to resemble wood.

Railings and Columns

The columns in a portico design serve two purposes: decoration and support. They hold the roof above you while at the same time providing aesthetic appeal. Unlike the columns, the railing is entirely for decoration and does nothing for the structure. The columns are a component of your portico that need to be carefully designed by your architect or engineer to ensure that they can stand up to the weight of the roof using the materials you have selected. These columns can be made out of concrete, wood, stone, brick or even block. As far as positioning goes, they can be placed at the corners or spread out evenly along the perimeter of the portico.

The Siding

In some portico designs, the triangle just below the roof is sometimes built with the beams exposed. But more often, it will have a closed-in appearance, which requires that front part be covered with siding. This protects the structure and makes it more visually appealing. The siding can be made of wood, aluminum or vinyl. This is a good area to put up a sign or plaque with your family's name or the street address.

Roofing Materials

When choosing the roofing material for the portico, you can decide to duplicate the material and design you have on your home's current roof, or you can choose something very different to make your portico stand apart from the rest of your home. While you could use asphalt shingles, for a little bit more you can get a traditional look with slate, clay tiles or even wood.

To make a traditional entry door, contact a professional like those at American Home Center Inc.


27 December 2014

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