To aid you in getting the most from your oak porch, we present a selection of timber frame porch ideas, both decorative and practical. While porches of all kinds have always served a practical purpose, an exposed oak frame adds an aesthetic quality others lack. If you are planning to commission a bespoke timber framed porch, factoring in some of these wooden porch ideas will guarantee a truly unique result. Even ‘off the peg’ timber frame porch kits can incorporate these ideas to individualise them at the finishing stage. Alternatively, they can be used to improve an existing porch, making them more useful, attractive or both.
1. Open, Half Open or Enclosed
An oak framed porch with a fully open structure allows the frame to really speak for itself as the main feature. While it will offer less protection from the elements, for a mainly decorative porch this is hardly an issue. It can also be a cost-effective way of incorporating an oak porch for minimal outlay as fewer materials are used. Half open porches provide more shielding and allow other materials to be incorporated. These can be used to match the overall appearance of the building if masonry and oak framework are both present. Fully enclosed porches offer the most protection and effectively add a distinct utility room to the home for storage of coats, boots and umbrellas. However, if the original front door is removed or the porch is above a certain size, planning permission may be required.
2. Truss Design
For even the simplest porch design of a roof and two support posts, a decorative roof truss instantly renders it more attractive. Matched with the existing roof trusses of an exposed building frame or dormer windows this can be particularly striking. A curved tie beam or braces between the tie beam and supports can follow the curve of the door behind. This will further integrate the porch into the overall design of the house. The huge variety of truss designs allow almost endless design opportunities for timber framed porches.
3. Green or Seasoned Oak
As green oak will still naturally dry and harden, even outdoors, this is more of an aesthetic choice than anything else. For a new build with an exposed frame, green oak is the natural choice. It will dry at the same rate as the rest of the frame, silvering and cracking at the same rate for a consistent appearance. For renovation projects or porches added to older oak framed buildings, seasoned oak is more suitable. As the oak in the frame has already dried and seasoned, the porch will complement the existing woodwork.
4. Outer Wall Surface
The walls of an enclosed or half open porch offer further opportunities for design flourishes. If the house incorporates masonry or rendering into its walls, match this in the walls of the porch. Similarly, oak cladding can be used for a more naturalistic appearance or to match existing cladding. If a doorstep is present, this can be replaced with a raised oak or masonry plinth to further complement the overall design. Rather than solid walls, glazed panels can be added as a cosmetic choice or to illuminate the interior with natural light.
5. Roof Pitch
This is easily overlooked, but the pitch of the porch roof should match that of the house. If not, the effect can be jarring and make the porch look incongruous. Even with simple canopies this can look odd and it is worth drawing up an image of the end result before building to check. An intriguing choice is the combination of a canopy roof with a pitched roof projecting forward. The result is particularly eye catching and diverts rainwater to the front corners of the porch, away from those entering the house.
6. Roof materials
Again, these should be sympathetic to the overall design of the house. Match the porch roof to existing thatch, slate roof tiles or roof cladding. For an enclosed porch, consider incorporating glazing into the roof for extra interior illumination. Canopy roofs should have guttering to avoid sheets of rainwater flowing off the front and soaking those entering. Since the purpose of a porch is to offer protection from the weather, this would be a pointless, albeit ironic, design flaw.
7. Mouldings and Carvings
These are an easy way to add a completely unique finish to your timber framed porch. For a bespoke design, carvings or moulding can be added to the timber frame at the point of manufacture. Family names can be incorporated into trusses, floral or rustic designs can be carved into supports or scrollwork added to tops or bases of braces. Not all companies will be able to add this level of detail, but it can be discussed during design consultations. Alternatively, mouldings in complementary timber can be added to new or existing woodwork to add an extra level of detail. Mouldings are an excellent way to add detail while keeping costs down.
Whether returning home at night or in dark, overcast conditions, finding your keys in low lighting can be an unnecessary trial. Adding electric lighting to the interior of the porch can solve this. The interior of a solid enclosed porch will be always dark and appropriate lighting at the flick of a switch is vital. For open or half open porches, consider adding motion sensitive lighting to activate when needed. Floor level and overhead lighting can be combined and subtly recessed or obvious, depending on the porch design.
Hardwoods Group have a wide range of oak framed porches designed with strength and style in mind. These can be supplied as kits for ease of construction while still allowing the addition of personal details and decoration. A range of cladding and mouldings are also available in green or seasoned oak to match your requirements. We also offer bespoke oak frame porches, designed by you and our expert staff to meet your exact requirements. Contact us to discuss your needs, we will be happy to help.
How To Choose The Right Oak Framed Porch For Your Home
Types Of Oak Mouldings
Do You Need Planning Permission For An Oak Porch?