Porch Roof Designs
Porch Roofs Provide Protection and Much MoreThe right porch roof designs can add lots of appeal to your home. Mary and I are often asked what makes a great front porch design. Underneath, most porches are the same: foundation, piers, joists, rafters, beams, etc.
So what does differentiate an ordinary porch from an extraordinary one?
Is it the size? Architecture? Materials? Or is it the intangibles that give it special curb appeal? It may be all of the above.
We think; however, the porch roof really helps to define the space.
photo courtesy of The Porch CompanyWe love porches and our goal is to define for you what exactly makes a great front porch design. Come along with us as we show you in this front porch design series that a well designed front porch can indeed be more impressive than the sum of its parts.
Video: All About Porch Roof Designs
Dave and I explore the world of porch roof designs
Porch Roof Designs for Ranch Style HomesWe'll use 3-D renderings and actual photos of roof designs on both a ranch and two-story home to better illustrate various design features.
Pictured above is a ranch style home on which we will show with three different basic front porch design options.
Ranch Style Home with Flat Porch Roof DesignsLet's add a flat roof which is normally the least expensive to build. Although simple in design it adds lots of appeal. In this example we centered the roof over the front door.
Off-setting the roof to the left or right of the door is also an option and would also change the overall appearance.
A flat porch roof structure may not be an option in some geographical areas due to snow or other factors, so check with your local codes department if considering such a design.
Spacious front porch with a flat porch roof
Ranch Style Home with Shed Type RoofNow let's add a shed-type roof to our ranch home. The shed roof breaks the expanse of the main roof making it an almost seamless transition.
Again, we could locate the roof anywhere along the front of the home to give it a different perspective. Locating the staircase in a different location can also dramatically alter the overall design as well.
Slope is a critical factor when adding a shed roof to a ranch home. Local building codes dictate the minimum slope of your porch roof.
Many times, the slope (or pitch) of the ranch home's roof is such that a shed roof is not workable.
In most cases the porch roof will be the same pitch as your home's roof slope. Just extending your home's roof over the porch area may result in not having sufficient height underneath depending on the depth of your porch.
Ranch roof slope affects porch ceiling heightThere are roof design solutions to resolve this issue. One, is to build a raised shed roof as shown below.
Shed-style porch roofA variation of the shed style is to create a gable at the peak of the roof and extend it over your porch as here:
Modified or gable-style raised shed porch roofA third option is to use a hip style roof for your front porch as illustrated below.
Hip Roofs For Ranch Home PorchesHip roofs can be an ideal solution for those wanting to add a porch to a ranch home. By design, they offer both width and depth that in many cases, a gable or shed roof cannot.
Nicely designed hip roof on a ranch home
Hip roofs make for nice front porches
Hip roofs integrate easily on ranch style homes
Ranch Style Home with Gable Type RoofHere's the affect of adding a gable to a ranch porch roof. The height and slope of your gable will be normally determined by the height of your main roof and width of your porch.
Often times, you will need to adjust one or the other to meet your architectural requirements. The specific porch roof location will create a different overall design.
This front porch is a good example of a gable roof on a ranch style home. Note the sunburst pattern at the top of the gable. Gables have the added benefit of giving you options for adding interest and additional appeal to your porch.
The slope on this gable front porch roof is rather steep and has what I call a "heavy" appearance. Although appealing in its own right, I would have opted for a more lean looking structure by opening the front of the gable to expose the ceiling.
Note how the slope of the gable roof matches that of the home's roof on this more contemporary gable roof design. We really like the rounded entryway which gives it a more open feel. Because of the gable structure you can opt to close in or open the ceiling area - we love options!
Gable roofs give you design optionsHere's a unique gable and shed style roof combination - how ingenious! Looks great too!
This roof design adds lot of appeal
One of our favorite gable front porches
Porch Roof Designs for Two Story HomesA typical two-story home can also be dramatically changed with the right porch design. Adding a porch roof to a two-story home can be tricky. Unlike adding one to a ranch style home, you must consider not only the slope but more often than naught, the second story windows.
3-D rendering of two story home
Two Story with Flat Porch Roof DesignsAdding a flat roof immediately adds charm to this home and can make for an expansive style front porch. Flat roofs give can give you added depth as you do not have to be as concerned with the slope of the roof.
However, they are not permissible in all areas of the country so be sure to check with your local building codes department.
Two story home with a flat roof design
Two Story with Shed Roof DesignA shed-type roof also adds lot of curb appeal. This is perhaps the most popular porch roof style for 2nd story homes; however, the size of your roof (i.e., that is the depth of your porch) may be restricted based on the slope.
In addition, some local building codes may require a minimum distance between the 2nd story windows and the roof.
Two story home with shed roof design
Typical two-story home with porch's shed roof designTo add more interest, consider building a gable over your front entrance as shown below.
Two-story home with porch's shed-type roof with gable over front doorAdd an arched opening for more appeal:
Modified or gable-style raised shed porch roofThis farm house has a classic wrap around shed type roof. Note how the side of the porch has been enclosed as a screen porch - that's a neat front porch design idea
Country farmhouse with a shed roof design over wrap around porchA shed roof is easy and cost effective to build. Adding exterior trim, like the dentil moldings on the porch roof structure (photo below) adds extra appeal and can be used to break up its straight lines.
Two Story with Gable Roof DesignThe gable roof option on this two story gives it a more sophisticated look. A gable roof also gives you the opportunity for more porch depth; however, the length of your porch may be determined by second story window placement.
If a longer porch is needed consider a combination gable and shed roof as depicted in the next slide.
Two story home with gable roof over front porchGables also give you other design options as depicted here. This could have been closed in; however, the architect chose to open the gable and use a tongue and groove ceiling to accentuate the overall design.
Beautiful home with combination gable and shed roof over porchHere's a unique front porch design that includes two gable roofs joined by a shed roof.
Front porch with two gables joined by a shed roofLet me show you an example of how slight modifications to a roof design can change the appearance of the front porch. I've selected two homes with very similar front porch designs in the two photos below.
Note the positions of the gables and how it changes the overall appeal of the porch.
Gable positioned over center of front porch
Gable positioned over front door
Hip Roofs on Two StoriesShed and Gable roofs are not the only roofs in town. Hip roofs can be stylish too. Hip roofs have equal angled sides and are most often, but not always, found on cottage style homes.
They are; however, ideal for two story homes as seen below. They give you ample porch depth without having to be concerned with roof pitch.
Hip style front porch roof
Hip roof on two story brick home
Porch hip roof on two story homeHip roofs, as shown below, are a variation of the hip roof and are also common on porches. They can be ideal for second story homes whose window placements do not allow for a continuous shed or gable roof.
Hip style front porch roof
Hip porch roof with gable over entrance
Porch Roof IllustratorUse our porch illustrator to see how different roof designs affect the appeal of a home.
Variations of Porch Roof DesignsDon't rule out variations of roof designs. Here's a shed roof with a slightly rounded hip roof making this a very interesting and appealing front porch design.
Combination shed roof and mansard roofHere's a bungalow with a typical hip roof and its front porch with a flat roof.
Hip roofed bungalow with flat roof over porchIf you like the slightly rounded look, you might go all the way - these round porch roofs offer a very sophisticated appeal.
Round roof design on picturesque front porchThis is a round roof on a true southern charmer! Southern homes have almost idealistic porch roof designs!
Classic grand southern front porch with round roof
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how the style of your porch roof affects your overall front porch design. Most importantly you want to make sure the design is compatible with the style of your home.
Stunning Victorian homeAs you can see, superb porch roof designs do more than just cover your porch and can directly affect your overall porch and home's design.
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