Put A Porch On That

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One of the easiest and best ways to improve the usable space of your manufactured home is to add a porch to it. Since a porch is outside of the initial home it doesn’t count as square footage in terms of HUD regulations. So a smaller Park model home could be significantly extended by adding a porch, or two. Even if you feel you have plenty of space a porch is a great way to add entertainment spaces or luxury living to your home. Here are some tips on porch designs and uses.

1. Something very important but often overlooked are door and entry placements.

If you put these in the wrong places you are going to limit the usefulness of your porch as well as make getting in and out of your home an obstacle course. The flow through should be easy without obstructions. If you want to place a large table or other items on the porch make sure the entry path goes around it. Ideally, the entrance to the porch and home door are directly opposite each other so it’s a smooth entry. Put the big things in the wings.

2. Depending on your lot size or how your home is positioned you can choose different types of porches to suit your needs and available space.

If you have the room you could do a wrap-around porch that provides excellent space increases in multiple directions. You could even subdivide such a porch into spaces for different uses with multiple entries into the house. Another option is more than one porch. An entry porch and maybe a bedroom porch. The possibilities are numerous.

3. If you have limited space in the interior of your home you could enclose your porch spaces to create more interior space.

 As mentioned before the porch is external to the home so it does not violate HUD specifications for manufactured homes since the additional space is considered external to the home itself, even if it is used as an indoor area. You could make these spaces indoor/outdoor if you want to be able to exchange usage or open the room up to outside air. By placing large shutters that can be opened to allow the outside in you can effectively have an outdoor room that becomes an indoor room when the shutters are closed.

4. An excellent addition to any porch is a gable, roof, or awning.

A roof will keep the weather off your head and provide shade as well as create a more solid permanent space. You can also attach ceiling fans to provide a breeze on hot days. A gable can be great if you want to let some sun in but have partial shade too. Gables are also great for attaching vine plants to provide a living roof giving outdoor shade and moisture to your porch. An awning can be a great compromise between a roof and a gable allowing shade when you like but full sun when it is retracted. Awnings are also a cost-effective and potentially temporary feature since you can roll them up and put them away.

5. Some great ideas for open porch uses:

  • Install pet doors and railing so you can keep your extended family close by. You could have a pet gate to keep them in the porch area or you could let them roam about if it’s ok.
  • Put in an outdoor fireplace or fire pit with seating to create a nice area for you and your family and friends to congregate. Nothing quite like an open flame to create a bonding atmosphere.
  • Set up a grill area and an outdoor kitchen. Nothing like a barbeque station to make your porch a go-to space.
  • Put in tables and chairs to make your porch an outdoor dining spot.
  • Install a hot tub or cooling pool to make the porch your own recreation resort.
  • Put in lights, speakers, and maybe a tv screen to make your porch an outdoor living room. Maybe get a projection tv and use the home as the screen.
  • Create a greenhouse with planters and grow your own spices and vegetables.

6. Some great ideas for enclosed porch uses:

  • Remove the home doors so going back and forth to the porch is easy making it part of the house.
  • Put in a table and make it a game room.
  • Put in a big screen tv and sound system and make it a tv room.
  • Put in some plumbing and make it a large bathroom.
  • Make it a dedicated laundry room. If you put in the indoor/outdoor shutters you could hang laundry and let it airdry in the fresh air.
  • Create a fantastic walk-in closet.

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