Porch Patio Ideas

Extend Your Small Porch with a Patio

Our porch patio ideas include an innovative way to enlarge the size of your porch!

A porch extension (or patio) for small porches along with the right landscaping, outdoor furniture, and a few amenities adds real appeal and value! It gives additional outdoor living space and adds to the beauty and functionality of your home.

A porch extension is easy to do and is relatively inexpensive as compared to many other similar construction projects. Because it does not need a roof nor extensive foundation, a patio area can be constructed from a variety of materials, like stone, brick, pavers, concrete, and more.

Patio porch extension on new front porch construction
An adjacent patio area gives ample space for entertaining or relaxing (photo courtesy of The Porch Company, Nashville, TN)

Note how the pergola doesn't block the light from the interior space, one of several advantages of a pergola. It is structurally sound from which to hang a porch swing; how neat is that!

Patio porch extension on new front porch construction
Pergola style patio porch complete with porch swing
Speaking of pergolas, look how this home has not only taken advantage of a patio space near their front door, but also covered it with a handsome front porch pergola.

Patio porch extension with decorative porch awning

Mary and I would love a spot like this to read the newspaper and have a cup of coffee. Wouldn't you? Our patio ideas make it possible.

See Mary Anne's Porch Patio: Before and After

Our friend Mary Anne transformed her front entrance into a curb appealing and quite functional patio porch. Not only that, she added outdoor wall art to create a most welcoming art gallery on her front porch area.

She yearned for a larger front porch area for entertaining and we're delighted for you to see her result. Truly an ideal solution.

Her lovely brick home has an ideal area for a patio porch addition. The ground is fairly level and she has adequate space to integrate an entertainment area.

brick home without a front porch
Before construction of patio porch
Before: Her small porch enclosure protects her front door entrance from rain and wind. Mary Anne wanted to keep that, if at all possible. Notice the bay window to the right of the front door that extends out from the front door about 6-8 feet.

small front porch on brick home
Before: Her small front porch is ready to be expanded

nicely designed patio porch on brick home
After: Wonderfully designed patio porch extension
After: As you can see, Mary Anne and her daughter designed a patio porch that's makes for an optimum solution. Mary Anne now has space for entertaining or just relaxing in comfort. Her new porch expansion adds immense curb appeal, making it an aesthetically pleasing addition.

What a nice use of space that truly enhances the look of Mary Anne's home. Love this patio idea!

patio porch with swing
Delightfully comfortable for entertaining or watching the sunset
Mary Anne's outdoor wall art not only brightens the entrance but also becomes a nice conversation piece. See more of Mary Anne's art and learn how she prepares her art for the outdoors.

outdoor artwork flower on patio porch
Beautiful outdoor artwork on display
Did you get some helpful patio ideas from Mary Anne's before and after pictures? We hope yes!

Take a Look at These Small Front Porches with Patios

When adding a porch roof isn't practical, here's a solution for ranch homes. This pergola serves this family well. They can enjoy the benefits of a porch on their extended patio area in shade.

long pergola roof over patio on ranch home
Long patio porch extension covered by pergola roof

ranch home with patio porch without rof
Patio porch without pergola roof on ranch style home

L-Shaped Home Porch Solution

We are often asked how to add a porch to an L-Shaped home. Matching roof lines can be difficult or almost impossible. A simple solution for some may be a patio porch like the one shown below.

L-Shaped Home With A Patio Porch
Patio Porch On An L-Shaped Home

Patio Porch Parade

We've found lots of examples of some pretty neat and innovative patio porch examples as we've crossed the country. It is a perfect and very cost effective way to expand a small porch or portico to create the same comfort a large porch may offer.

Many patios are covered with a pergola which is an easy way to create a bit of shade. You can also use it to support climbing flowering vines to produce even more shade and add color at the same time. We hope these examples will give you many patio ideas whether or not you are extending your porch.

We found this patio idea in northern Ohio - all decked out for fall. We found this one interesting as the walkway doubles as an area upon which to expand their small porch for the season.

patio porch with furniture and plants
Patio area complete with outdoor furniture

patio porch with furniture and plants
A lovely way to have a patio porch area

porch extension decorated for autumn with pumpkins and wicker chairs

The brick planter creates a sense of harmony between the porch and patio making it a seamless transition with this patio in southern California. Note how the Adirondack chairs are painted to match the home; a real nice touch.

Patio seating area utilizes space previously used for landscaping (most likely)

Another appealing southern California patio porch extension. Such a nice way to enjoy your front yard and neighborhood.

appealing front porch extension with chairs

Extending your porch makes it not only more inviting but appear larger as well. Also note the use of awnings and pergola-style roofs, other options that adds both comfort and appeal.

Pergola roof over small porch
Note how this pergola adds extra curb appeal to this small entrance style front porch. It's ideal from which to hang baskets of flowers too.

Gazebo roof over a patio extension

Patio under gazebo roof adjacent to porch

patio area in front of porch

patio extended from porch to garden

patio area with gazebo roof
Patio area extension with pergola style roof
By definition, a patio porch would be covered and that's great if you can do it. Whether covered or not, extending a small porch with a terrace can make your entrance more inviting.

In the photo below, a pergola-type roof was added to create shade. Try to envision this home without the extended porch - it makes a huge difference.

patio area with low landscaping in front

A variation that can work well when adjacent space is not available, is to make a walkway leading to a patio area along side the front of the home. The photo below is illustrative of this patio idea. The shrubbery, once grown, will create a more private area - one among many creative patio ideas.

patio separate from porch with walkway access

This small porch was extended by expanding the area in front with a patio - where shrubbery probably existed before. They used benches and a planter as you can see from the pictures below to add appeal. These three porches are good examples of using available space to create additional outdoor areas.

wide sidewalk to porch allows for extra seating

Use Our Front Porch Designs Illustrator

front porch designs illustrator

See patio ideas on two different style homes - a single story and two-story. You'll find walkway and landscaping ideas too. Have fun using our Porch Illustrator today.

Patio Ideas - Patio Porch Designs

Often times it is difficult to envision your porch extension design. A 3-D rendering can solve that issue and give you a perspective you might not otherwise have. In this specific example, we show you how this very small porch can be extended with a patio, then a pergola-covered porch, and then a fully covered porch to match the home.

Amazing difference to this home. Just imagine how you could expand your small porch into a much more enjoyable space for morning coffee or relaxing with a good book.

Front porch with available adjacent space
Original home

After photo showing patio extension
Proposed patio to extend the porch

After photo showing pergola-covered porch extension
Patio is covered with a pergola-style roof

After photo showing porch extension
Patio is turned into a covered porch

Video: Extending Your Small Porch

Or listen to our small porch podcast here

Patio Ideas for Your Patio Porch

Extensions on your back porch will give you a great area for grilling, additional seating, or just soaking up the sun.

You can't go wrong adding additional outdoor living space! We know the following ideas will help you envision the "possibilities"! Patio extension provides space for outdoor living

  • Widen a small stoop by 6 - 9 feet and you will extra room for planters, a few chairs, or a small bench
  • Here's a great trick - want to make your small porch or stoop appear larger? Resurface with thin tile, flagstone, or concrete pavers in a diagonal pattern.
  • For privacy use vinyl lattice panels and cover with vines on the exterior and hang planter boxes on the other.
  • Add wrought-iron furniture, a few chairs and small table with perhaps a well-placed statue or two
  • Even an area with stepping stones, some strategic planting and a small bench can dramatically change the look of your porch
  • Plant evergreens for privacy year-round
  • Extend the roof over your new patio extension
  • Build an arbor or pergola and cover with vines
  • Use interesting details like vases, unique plants, etc.

Patio Ideas - How to Extend Your Porch
with a Patio Area

If you have space on either side of your porch or even at the bottom of the stairs, extend this area with pavers or bricks to make a patio. This is a great DIY project. If you don't mind using some muscle power, have the time, and have a few tools, you can do this! And it's FUN. Take pictures along the way.

Patio Ideas: Step by Step Guide

It's impossible to cover every situation here, but these basic steps will apply no matter your specific layout. We want to show you that it is easy to do.[Follow any manufacturer instructions that come with your materials.]

  • Have a plan. Successful patio ideas start with a goal. Is it to improve curb appeal? Is it to create a functional space for rocking chairs and a swing? Is it to create a privacy area for reading a book or sharing a glass of wine?
  • Analyze what you have available already. How much space do you have? Can you use any existing landscaping or will you have to purchase new plants, etc. Is your landing concrete, brick, or wood and will you continue with that material on your extension?
  • Topography. What's your slope? Is it flat or do you have quite a bit of slope? No matter the current slope, your new construction must slope away from your house - a must to ensure you do not incur water drainage issues. If your space slopes significantly, you will need to include a retaining wall to create a fairly flat area (more on this later).
  • Note any problem areas. Do you have to move down spouts, large shrub, trees or re-route outdoor lighting? (Note: if down spouts are an issue, consider routing them under this new area you are building.
  • Determine your budget. You can always do a lot with a little. Check out salvage yards and construction companies who often have leftover materials or discarded materials you may be able to have at little to no cost. Plan well - obtain your plants at the end of the season where you live. Unless you need immediate coverage consider seedlings or small plants - they will grow! They really will.
  • If your budget allows you to upscale your project there are a myriad of stones, pavers, flagstones and other materials to fit any lifestyle.
  • Since this is a patio, porch extension piers are not required but a good base is. Use cord, string, a garden hose to mark the perimeters of your patio extension. (Note: make these about 6 inches wider than the actual perimeter to give you room for edge boards.
  • When calculating your area did you consider the size and shape of your pavers or bricks? For this example I'm using 4" x 8" bricks, about 2" thick. Brick pavers come in other sizes; but this size is easiest to work with. I try to make sure an even number fits nicely within the area; otherwise, I have to cut them. That's not difficult but it will add to costs and building time.
  • Excavate the area by removing approximately 6 inches of dirt. To get the right slope I always excavate approximately 4-6 inches on the high side of the patio to 6-8 at the lower end. You will be filling this with stone dust (small gravel) and sand to make it level on top. The slope will help drain water away from your home!
  • Build the frame. The frame will hold your pavers, flag stones, or bricks in place. There are several methods you can use depending on the look you want. I've used everything from treated lumber to edge bricks. When I use treated lumber I always ensure the top of the brick, stone, etc., are above the top of the boards. Plants/grass can then grow to cover the top of the boards. When I use bricks on edge I ensure I have adequate space for proper placement.
  • Attach the frame boards to stakes at each corner of your excavated area. Depending on the span you made need to place stakes according to the length of your boards for support. Level the boards but remember to allow for slope. Plan for 1/4" slope per linear foot of patio to ensure proper drainage.
  • Test it! Lay your outdoor patio tile (like bricks, pavers or interlocking tiles) within the boards to see how they will fit and adjust now accordingly! It will save you money and time later! Of course, follow the manufacturer instructions that come with your materials.
  • If using a brick edge insert them end to end - one right next to the other). Using a rubber mallet, tap them into place. Lay your bricks/pavers within the boards to see how they will fit and adjust now accordingly! It will save you money and time later!
  • Remove your bricks (except your edge) and fill with crushed stone (stone dust works great). Tamp it down. I leave about two inches at the top for sand. Before you fill the remainder with sand, lay down landscape fabric over the entire area to cut down on weeds. Fill the remaining area with sand.
  • Make a screed from a 2x4. A screed is a board whose length is a few inches longer than distance of your framing. It is notched on each end to fit between the frame pieces. It's used to level the sand.

    Move it along to redistribute the sand to low-lying areas. Continue doing this until you have a level area on which to place the pavers.

  • brick patio design
  • Starting from a corner, press the bricks into the sand - placing them as close together as you can. Use a rubber mallet to tamp the bricks down into the sand.
  • You could do a simple basket weave pattern. Or you could do something much more exquisite like the picture shown here. Photo is courtesy of The Sharpteam.
  • Use mason's twine to keep everything nice and even.
  • When you are done with laying the bricks, then it's time to spread sand over them to fill in the crevices. This is actually kind of fun. Use a sturdy broom to push the sand into the cracks, sweeping back and forth until the sand fills the crevices. Work as much sand as you can in between the bricks.
  • Using your garden hose, gently spray the remainder of the sand into the crevices. Do not spray too hard or you will wash the sand away - and you will have to backtrack and fill in the spots you washed out.

Not so hard was it? Remember, these are patio ideas general guidelines to show you that it is doable. Follow any manufacturer instructions that come with your materials.


and more line

Patio Ideas - Plan for Enough Space

Ever build a deck or shed and wish you had added a few extra feet? You are not alone, we sure have. So when building a porch or patio, make sure you have enough space.

porch extension with stucco faux columns
I like the pedestals on each end to help tie the patio to the existing front porch
Before starting, determine how much space you need. Compare that to a room or rooms in your home. How do they compare?

Now, realize that outdoor furniture is typically larger than your chairs and tables inside. So go back and re-compute. Allow room for walking around and such. Then you have a better idea of how much space you need.

Is there sufficient space available to accommodate the total space needed? If not, then reconsider the purpose for your porch. Perhaps all you need is a small conversation area or a space for your favorite plants.

We hope you enjoyed our patio ideas - plan, build, and enjoy! Be sure to see our backyard patio ideas too!

More Ideas for Extending Your Porch

two story home with small front porch
Front porch patio with a pergola roof
We write more about extending your porch right here.

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