UPVC Porches Design Options
What are your options and how much does a UPVC Porch cost?
A good front porch can boost the appeal of your home, as well as give it an extra layer of security and improve energy savings. In effect, a well thought out porch has both visual and practical benefits.
3 good reasons to build a Front Porch
- Firstly, you will improve the look of your home and give it more “kerb appeal”. A well thought out, nicely designed & properly built UPVC front porch will add an extra dimension to the look of your home.
- Secondly, you get some valuable extra space. A lot of folks add a front (or side) porch for this very reason. So many use the extra space to keep things that can clutter up your house. Just having somewhere to keep those dripping coats and dirty shoes is considered a minor blessing for some. A very nice side effect of having this extra space, is it allows the outer door to be closed before the inner door is opened (or the other way around). This will stop your heat from rushing out or cold winds, rain & snow from blowing in. An energy saving bonus.
- Thirdly, you get an extra layer of security. Now you have 2 doors instead of one separating you from the outside. UPVC doors are super hard to break through so having 2 of them is going to make any attempted forced entry a waste of time.
UPVC Porches – Improved property appearance, more space, better security.
There are loads of different types porch designs around, and one of the most popular and cost effective is a uPVC porch. So here is our buyers guide to give you some inspiration.
- Why use uPVC for a porch?
- What types of porch styles are there?
- UPVC porch prices guide.
Why use uPVC for a Porch?
If you take a practical view point to start with, then it can be fair to say that, it’s important your your new porch looks good, offers value for money, lasts a long time and does not need high maintenance.
In these areas, uPVC scores highly.
- Visual appeal: there are around 20 upvc colours and wood-grain finishes
- Value for money: uPVC is relatively lower in cost than hardwood or aluminium.
- Life-span: uPVC is renowned for its durability and can last for decades.
- Low maintenance: No rusting like metal, no painting like wood. All it needs is a quick wash when it gets dirty.
Visual Appeal: White uPVC is, of course, very popular. However, if you fancy something different, there is a good range of foil colours to choose from.
Foil colours are where the UPVC profile is “wrapped” in a coloured film and it is then baked onto the surface under heat & pressure. This results in the colour bonding to the UPVC permanently, thereby eliminating the same kind of deterioration caused by weathering and direct sunlight that you would get with a painted timber surface.
If you want to have a porch that looks like it’s made from timber frames, then the solution could be to use a wood-grain surface finish. The textured surface is also a foil and is just as long lasting, durable and fade resistant as the non-textured finish.
- Value for money: UPVC is abundant in the building industry with hundreds of uses. It is relatively cheap to produce and even recycled UPVC is now turning up more often. The two main competitors to UPVC for use in porches are Aluminium and Wood. Both Hardwood and Aluminium are costlier to use for the frame profiles and so using UPVC is going to reduce your initial costs.
- Life Span: To be fair Hardwood and Aluminium can last as long as UPVC, well cared for hardwood can last a very long time indeed (there are Oak doors hundreds of years old all around the UK). However, the lifespan of a UPVC profile can be measured in decades.
- Low maintenance: This is a feature of UPVC that you will see mentioned everywhere. No sanding, no painting, no re-painting every few years. You are not going to get distortion like you do with timber. No swelling up when it absorbs water, or shrinkage when it dries out like wood. Insects can’t eat it! So no woodworm or other nasty wood chomping bugs to worry about.
All you need to do is wash it when it gets dirty and occasionally put some 3-in-1 oil on any moving metal parts (hinges & locks).Get Quotes
What types of porch styles are there?
Porches tend to be quite individual in their appearance, as most often they are built to suit a particular property. But there are some styling clues, or themes, that turn up quite often such as:
- Victorian: Quite fancy detailing, reminiscent of the styling used in a Victorian conservatory.
- Spanish: More of a veranda, covered overhead but with open front and sides.
- Farmhouse: In the UK this style has a 2-sided pitched roof, half height brick sides with timber pillars and can be open or enclosed.
- Queen Ann: Sometimes wide & ornamental, quite similar to the Farmhouse style, but less rustic.
- Colonial: Often open to the sides and front with flanking circular pillars. You can see a lot of these built onto central London townhouses.
Both of the porches in the previous images make use of UPVC doors & windows for the porch. However, the one on the left has been built new, but the one on the right is a replacement for a pre-existing porch. There will be quite a difference in cost between the two, with the new-build costing quite a bit more due to the extra building work.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a property that has an extended roofline at first floor level, then it is quite popular to create a porch underneath that overhang. Obviously, that saves time & money.
So as you may have noticed, there are as many porch designs as you can imagine. Big porches, small porches, ornate porches or simple porches – you just need to find one that suits your home & style.
Points to bear in mind
Many planning departments are not that keen on extensions to the front of a property, but you can build a porch without planning permission if you follow some guidelines.
Here is what the UK planning portal has to say:
- The ground floor area (measured externally) would not exceed 3m2.
- No part would be more than 3000mm above ground level.
- No part of the porch would be within 2000mm of any boundary of the house and the highway.
How Much does a UPVC Porch Cost?
There can be quite a difference between a straightforward full height UPVC porch and one that uses extensive brickwork.
If you are thinking of having your porch feature a lot of brickwork with a decent sized tiled roof you could be looking at an estimated cost per M2 of £1,000.
The thing about porches is that they require floors & roofs, a kind of “mini house extension”. This can mean, dependent on the size & nature of your design, that you have to create a base or foundation and fit a weatherproof top if there is nothing in place that can act as the ceiling of the porch.
A simple glass sided UPVC porch with a flat roof is comparatively lightweight and therefore can be stood on a less substantial foundation than a brick porch. This factor, in itself, will constitute a major saving on the cost.
Because porches tend to be made to order, it is very difficult to give a precise guide to how much a porch costs, but you can reasonably expect to need to budget as follows:
- A Supply only, self-assemble UPVC porch can cost from £900 & £1,500. Includes uPVC frame, full height glass sides a double glazed door.
- A fully fitted 3m2 sized porch with some brickwork, a UPVC exterior door, 2 side windows, base & roof is likely to cost around £2,500 to £3,500.
In terms of how long it takes to install a front porch, that will depend on what you choose as the design. But if you need foundations and a tiled top, you should allow 2 to 3 weeks from start to finish.Get Quotes