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Small Porch Designs and More

For Massive Curb Appeal

Do you have a small porch? Dave and I live in a geographical area that has many condos, apartments, and homes with relatively small sized porches.

Unfortunately, many new homes are also built with small front porches to minimize construction costs. Often times, a large porch is just not an option.

You can increase the curb appeal of a small front porch and even extend it so as to create more outdoor living space. Our photos, porch designs, plans, decorating, and landscaping ideas will surely inspire you to create what Mary and I call "porch envy"!

small charming porch

Small front porch. Big on charm.

Best of all, you don't have to be like Martha Stewart or Bob Vila to create a pleasing front porch. Enjoy exploring our ideas for small porch designs and

"Turn the Ordinary Into Extraordinary"

Small Porches Rock!

We want you to enjoy the world of small porches - we have lot of ideas, designs, and plans for you to explore. Here is what you will find:

porch with craftsman-style columns

A Curb Appealing Small Front Porch

Designs for Smaller Porches

Small porch designs are based on mostly these visual structural features: the roof, porch columns, and porch railings. Change any one and you change the overall attractiveness of not only your porch, but also your home as well.

Use our porch pictures below to find the right combination of these features from which you can create your delightful porch.

Then use our porch railings, columns, and roof sections to nail down exactly the look you want. You can even use our Front Porch Generator to see how different features affect the overall charm of a front porch.

Or, we have small porch plans too. Below you'll find access to several porch / portico plans you can use on your home.

Let's start with small front porch roof designs:

porch with rounded archtectural features

The lines of the roof and door complement each other on this smaller porch (or portico). Also note the rounded steps which continue the architectural lines. Although this is a very small porch it is still offers lots of interest and charm.

Exterior house trim used on this small porch creates a decorative arch and a bit of privacy

Notice how this smaller porch is dressed up with this decorative lattice in an arch style. The curb appeal is boosted and it also adds some privacy and a bit of filtering for sunlight.

sophisticated concave small porch roof standard concave small porch roof

The same architectural style can have different affects as depicted in the three photos above. The one on the bottom left is more formal and substantial in appearance whereas the one on the bottom right copies a more country look with its standing seam metal roof and bead board ceiling.

This type porch roof can work well when there is insufficient space for gable roof like the ones in the photos below.

The above pictures remind us of a question from a reader about constructing a small arched porch roof on his existing entranceway.

porch with gable roof

Gable roof height is directly correlated to the length of the porch. Therefore, the longer the porch the higher the gable. Unless originally designed for a gable roof, it is often difficult to add a gable to a two-story home unless other modifications are made as well such as moving windows.

Adding a gable to a ranch-style home is far easier in most cases.

wide gable roof on open porch

The photo above is a good example of a high pitched gable roof over a small-sized porch. Local building codes might require a high pitched roof which is designed to shed heavy snows more easily.

gable roof over small front porch

Photo courtesy of Janet Shutt

What a sweet small porch with an inviting porch swing. Do you see the adorable mailbox? Just a lovely small home with Victorian touches.

wide gable roof on open porch

The photo above is a good example of a high pitched gable roof over a small-sized porch. Local building codes might require a high pitched roof which is designed to shed heavy snows more easily.

The two photos below use flat roof designs over the porches. Note in the first photo an additional patio area with a pergola has been added to increase the outdoor living space. This is a great way to increase the size of a small porch.

porch with flat roof

small front porch with flat roof

In the photo above, the flat roof covers a corner-style front porch.

porch with both gable and shed roofs

Porch design with a combination gable roof over the entrance and shed roof spanning the remaining porch. This is a very popular small front porch design with plenty of flair.

porch with herrigbone railings

Mary and I really like this porch design (above). It is another example of a combination gable and shed roof design along with an attractive Chippendale-designed balustrade (railings). Decorative railings can add visual flair to almost any size porch.

yellow porch with a hip roof design

This small porch has a hip roof. Hip roofs work well when there isn't space for a gable or a shed type roof. As you can see in the photo above, a shed roof could not accommodate the length of the porch as it would have been too close to the gable roof above. (Note the exterior trim which fancies up the porch and home - more about trim below)

arts and crafts front porch
Photo courtesy of buyamack

This is a well designed Arts and Crafts porch. The porch roof mimics the home's roof lines and the larger columns make the porch more impressive. Note the generous landscaping which adds a truly pleasing feel to this home.

We've only begun to share our small porch design ideas with you. You will find plenty more photos and ideas you can use throughout our site; enjoy the journey.

Looking for Small Porch Plans And Designs?

porch plan book cover If you'd like to add a small portico/ porch to your home, we have found a very nice set of porch plans that may just be what you need!

The Porch Plan eBook from Renovation Design Group in Salt Lake City...
  • Is a 37-page pdf that contains detailed architectural small front porch plans (i.e. porticos)
  • Is ideal for anyone considering adding an attractive smallish porch addition
  • The detailed plans may be sufficient to preclude paying additional plan fees for your project.
  • You will receive six separate plans from which to choose. Pictures shown below.
  • Great for the do-it-yourselfers. The diagrams show everything from foundation to roof structure giving you enough information upon which to assess your own abilities.
  • Buy porch plans now. Downloadable immediately upon purchase. Satisfaction guaranteed - 100% refundable within first 60 days.

You Get These Six Plans

porch plan book 1 porch plan book 2 porch plan book 3

porch plan book 4 porch plan book 5 porch plan book 6

Note: The diagrams do not address how to join the porch to your home. Assessments must be made to ensure the plan will work on your specific home; each home has its own unique issues when considering such a construction project. Mary and I recommend that you consult with a licensed contractor and your local building codes department before beginning construction.

Looking for Plans for Screened In Porches instead?

Easy Curb Appeal Ideas

No matter the size of your porch, it can pack a punch! Use our small porch pictures along with our small front porch ideas to dress up your front porch.

Use Exterior House Trim and Colors To Accentuate Your Porch

Notice the prominence of exterior house trim on the porches in the three photos below. Adding brackets, running trim, and spandrels (or in combinations) adds dimension and extra "wow" to your home.

They are easy to install and are a quick and relatively inexpensive way to add decorative features to your porch.

exterior house trim on small Victorian porch

Small Porch With A Victorian Flair

Notice the added touches in the photo above. We like the geometric trellis along with the wooden bench. The contrasting colors visually highlight the small porch and give it much more impact than if it were painted the same color as the home. You can't help but notice this porch when you walk by - we sure did!

innovative use of exterior house trim on porch

This is an innovative way to use exterior house trim on a small front porch. Although perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, you have to admit it is eye-catching and quite charming.

brightly colored small front porch

Colorful Charmer

The photo above is a good example of the impact painting can have for a porch. Notice the addition of color to the porch columns and column brackets. Unlike the previous photo, this porch's colors are carried over from those on the home itself to give it an entirely different look.

small porch with vivid landscaping

Simple Exterior House Trim and Appealing Colors

Don't forget the furniture. Notice how the furniture is painted in the same trim color adding to the porch's overall delight and charm. Your furniture's color can either add to or diminish the overall impact of your small porch so take care in selecting (or repainting) your furnishings.

Exterior House Trim Options
running trim on front porch

Want to add exterior house trim to your porch?

Explore your options and see examples on homes so you can find the perfect combination to enhance the look of your porch.

Enhance Your Porch Columns

Changing out, wrapping, or painting your porch columns can help transform the look of your porch too. You can do this easily in just a few hours getting dramatic results!

remodel of front porch

Ordinary Square Columns Adorned With Trim

Anyone can do this. Use ordinary trim pieces from your local building supply store and add them to your square or rectangular porch columns (photo above). You can then paint them to match the color of your columns, your home, or other trim color depending on the effect you desire.

small porch with turned columns

Paint Your Turned Columns

beautiful front porch

Subtle Yet Very Decorative

A little paint will do 'ya. Your turned columns are a canvas waiting to be painted! As in the two photos above, choose either contrasting or complementary colors and have a go. A little paint adds a lot of flair.

Porch Column Wraps
column wraps from Vintage Woodworks

If you have round or square columns and want to change them column wraps may be the answer.

As the name implies, column wraps are fiberglass and are installed around your existing porch columns. Note; however, they are not for structural purposes.

Railings With Purpose

small front porch with chippendale balustrade

Railings do more than prevent you from falling off the porch; they can add immense charm to small front porches like in the photo above. You can opt for standard balusters (pickets) or go for a design that is more decorative.

decorative small porch railings

This design works well for a small porch. Notice the pickets are proportional to the columns making it aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

tiny front porch with chippendale balustrade

Not all porches need railings; however, hand rails are always a good idea. These wrought iron hand railings (photo above) contribute to the porches sophisticated appeal.

standard porch railing design

Porch railings should complement the architectural features of your home. The railings in the photo above appear to be substantially "heavy" which work well with the brick facade of the home. Columns and railings should match architecturally also.

porch railing design using very closely spaced pickets

Note the very close spacing of the balusters (pickets) in the photo above. Although you can vary the spacing to create different effects always ensure you are in compliance with local building codes. Most codes require spacing be 4" or less between balusters. That still gives you lots of design options.

another porch railing design using very closely spaced pickets

Although this railing would not be to code in most places (due to the spacing) it could be replicated to comply. Interesting railings give small porches some what Mary and I call "pizzazz"! Note the colorful front door - another easy way to add curb appeal.

Railings For Porches
victorian style porch railings

To fully appreciate all of your options you owe it to yourself to explore our entire porch railings section.

You will be able to match not only your columns to railings but also ensure they match your architectural style for maximum interest and curb appeal.

Furnish and Decorate Your Small Porch

  • Dress up your front door with seasonal decorations, such as a wreath or basket with straw flowers
  • Hang some pots of beautiful ivy, ferns or trailing flowers
  • Add a simple, small bench. You can put potted plants on it or use it as a place for guests to sit and chat. Also comes in handy as a shelf for packages when you need your hands free to open the door.
  • Have your children or grandchildren make stepping stones with their hand prints, foot prints and beautiful pebbles and gems.
  • Hang banners or wall ornaments.

Furnishing your small porch can take some ingenuity. You usually just don't have the space for large furniture or other decorative items. Not to worry. Here's a few examples and ideas the work well on any small porch.

small porches are classy
Well Furnished Small Porch

It is important to use the space you have well. The tendency is to one, add too many items or two, not add hardly any at all. Balance is key. In the photo above, both the size of items and their locations adds to the comfort and appeal of the porch.

beautifully decorated small porch

Inviting Front Porch

Take note of the wall hanging displays in the two photos above. These give the porch visual height (not all objects are the same height) and make it interesting. A trick is to make your wall hanging a focal point on your porch. This is especially important if your porch has a knee wall as in the photo above. Otherwise, your porch becomes nondescript.

small porches are the best
Colorful Rocking Chair Bonanza
photo courtesy of rowland-w

Give your furniture new life with paint as in they have done on the porch above. If that isn't possible go for colorful cushions.

Colorful Front Doors

Creating a focal point is key to attaining an inviting entrance. One way to do just that on a small porch is focusing on your front door. You don't have to invest a lot to get a huge return. So be creative and find your paint brush today!

colorful front door on small porch

lavender and white front door on small front porch

stained glass window on front door

Autumn decor for a small front porch

Porch Decorating

Have fun exploring our extensive Porch Decorating section.

It is truly jam-packed with ideas, many from our site visitors, and includes hundreds of beautifully decorated front porches.

We Found the Perfect Small Porch Furniture

Because a porch is small doesn't mean it can't be furnished with comfortable furniture like a traditional porch swing. Relax in comfort and enjoy the outdoors in these gems from, a single porch swing chair and a four-foot porch swing! You'll have fun finding other furniture to fit your porch.

Single porch chair Four foot loveseat

Small Front Porch Delight

tiny porches are the best

This small porch seems to capture it all - hip style roof, eye-catching colors, innovative railing design, stained glass windows, and most of just darn right charming!

Small Porch Transformations

See how these homeowners turned an ordinary small porch into a truly pleasing porch by adding a new walkway, steps, and great landscaping. They painted the white wicker chairs black and planted Oriental lilies in the back. TRae2 says it was a "labor of love."

Susan's New Small Porch Addition

Susan's beautiful front porch is not large, but it certainly is abundantly charming and inviting. Her new front porch was inspired by a couple pictures from Southern Home magazine that she carried around with her for a long time.

See her entire story along with photos of her front porch remodel with us.

Video: Use Your Small Porch To Help Sell Your Home

See how we decorated this small front porch and added more interest and charm.

After being on the market for quite some time, this home soon had more showings and sold within weeks. Have fun seeing how everything was constructed and staged.

Small Porch Expansion Ideas

It isn't always easy or inexpensive to increase the size of a small porch. However, there are ways in which you can extend your porch without breaking the bank.

The photo below is an excellent example of extending a small porch with an adjacent patio area. A patio extension allows for adequate seating and improves your home's curb appeal at the same time.

patio addition to extend small porch

The porch extension above is covered with a porch awning while landscaping provides privacy. Most small porches have an adjacent area that can easily and relatively inexpensively, be turned into a porch extension.

pergola extensions on small front porch

The patio extension above is covered with a pergola-style roof. This allows for shade during the day and along with the right landscaping becomes an integral part of the original porch.

Patio Porch Extensions
patio extension on small front porch

Almost anyone can extend their small porch.

See our porch extension section to find the right patio design for your small porch. We even walk you through the process of creating your own patio area.

See our response to someone who wanted an affordable small front porch.

Seeing is Believing

We help you envision what a new or remodeled front porch can do for your home.

We show a basic ranch style home design and add over 15 different porch variations, ranging from small porticos to an expansive front porch.

basic ranch with new conceptual front porch Have a two-story home? Not to worry. We use a two-story brick home and give you 17 different porch variations plus landscaping and walkway ideas too!

Our goal is to give you porch design ideas you can use on your own home.

Out Front Porch Designs Illustrator
Enjoy using it today!

courtesy of your friends at
"Helping You Create The Porch Of Your Dreams"

Small Home and Porch Plans

Here are some home and porch plans that you can acquire from Family Home Plans to build your home or perhaps use for adding a great porch!

Click on any photo below for more information.

family home plans logo For these and other home and porch plans visit Family Home Plans. They have an amazing library of plans to suit your needs.

Small Victorian Front Porch

Like to see beautiful photos of porches? Mary and I scour the U.S. looking for the best porch ideas you can use. See our Picture Perfect Porches section for some amazing front porches.

We've only touched the surface! Don't stop now - you are only one click away from finding tons of other porch design, building, decorating, landscaping, shading, furnishing ideas, and lots more:

What a charming small front porch in Ontario. The wicker chair sure is inviting!

I love the hanging basket against the yellow home - and the old-fashioned screen door. The planter and potted plant add a lot to this very charming porch.

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Our Sponsors

The Porch Store
Porch Store
Custom Porch Products

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks
For Your Porch Parts

Screened porch windows at
DIY Eze Breeze
Screen Porch Windows

Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products
Complement Any Home!

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