Installing a porch for your mobile home is a great way to extend your living space. Creating outside room for the summer months makes a beautiful entertaining or relaxing space and can add value to your home.
Once you get the go-ahead to construct your porch, you need to start making some clear design decisions. Pinterest is a great place to start searching for inspiration – you don’t need to be an architect to plan a deck, but you do need to know what you want!
Open to the elements?
The first thing to decide is whether you want to keep your deck open to the elements or whether you want to go one step further and add a roof or even some lightweight glazing.
Adding a roof has several advantages, especially if your mobile home is in a country with a sunny climate. It’s an instant way to add shade and can provide a sheltered place to take your boots off in miserable weather. You could even go all the way and glaze the sides to create a conservatory look and feel. But beware, this type of structure can get extremely hot when the sun beats down.
If you love the idea of a roof but don’t want to create a permanent structure, consider a contemporary pergola or an awning that can be packed away during the winter.
Whether you have small children charging around or you’re an older couple, there are a few safety considerations you’ll need to take into account. Because your porch will be raised to the level of your front door, you’ll need access either from steps or a ramp – your mobility needs or those of friends and family will dictate the decision you make.
Next, you’ll need sturdy grab rails supported by equally sturdy posts. With children and animals, you might consider adding a knee-high wall or cross rails and putting a gate at the top of any access points. Whether you choose paving or decking, use a material that is non-slip in the wet, particularly if you aren’t adding a roof.
Budget for materials
Your porch will need to be built on a solid concrete foundation, at least 12 inches thick. This is especially true if you’re adding a roof. Hardwood decking is more expensive than softwood like pine, but it’s much more durable. Wood has a unique beauty, but more and more people are opting for low maintenance, long lasting composite decks – however, these are the most expensive option.
Always budget for the best quality you can afford, and don’t forget to add in the cost of fixings and treatments to keep your deck looking its best.
The finishing touches
This is where you can really personalise your deck and give it character. Consider extending a roof so you create a carport or building your deck so that you can create storage below your porch. Even if you don’t opt for a roof, consider screening each end for privacy and think about built-in features like a barbecue or fire pit.
Plan for low energy LED or solar powered lighting, so you can lounge on the deck during those long warm evenings, then add loungers, sofas or a dining table to complete the look.