The Secret To Making Your Property More Desirable (and Valuable): A Guide To Choosing A Portico

First impressions count and if there’s one thing that will add immediate impact to your property this year, it’s installing a striking stone portico.  Not only will this offer your doorway welcome shelter from the elements, it will add undoubtable sophistication and elegance to your home.

What’s more, installing a portico (or porch, as they are sometimes known) can actually help to increase your property’s value right away.  Homebuilding & Renovating, the UK’s number one website for self-builders and home extenders, included adding a porch to their top 20 tips for adding value to the exterior of your home.

With various style options available for both new-build projects and renovations, as well as straightforward installation, choosing a portico could be the best decision you make in 2020.

  • A Haddonstone portico that inspired Rebecca Doyle

The history of the portico

The portico has been around for thousands of years.  Its history dates back as far as ancient Greece, where the idea of creating roof structures and walkways inspired many pivotal and religious buildings, from the roofed colonnade of the Parthenon in Athens to the Temple of Zeus at Olympia.  Fast forward to the 18th century and porticos were a frequent addition to smart Georgian homes and imposing buildings.

Today’s porticos can be found on some of the UK’s most desirable and stylish homes.  From new-build developments to lovingly restored renovations and extensions, more and more homeowners are opting for the refinement of a classical stone portico to help create their dream home.

  • A luxury property in Esher, featuring many of Haddonstone's stunning architectural designs.

What is the difference between a porch and a portico?

The terms ‘portico’ and ‘porch’ are used interchangeably.  A portico, is usually made from stone and is constructed of several architectural components.  Columns are used to support an entablature, which sits above the entranceway and can also be found gracing the tops of pavilions and classical temples.  A porch in comparison, is generally an enclosed entranceway and are usually made from brick, render or stone.

Why choose a portico?

There are few building projects that will instantly add the glamour, style and sophistication to the facade of a property, than a stone portico.  A portico is usually favoured as an alternative to an enclosed front porch as its imposing, more impressive style offers much grander proportions.

The main reasons for choosing a portico are:

  • Significantly increases your property value
  • Creates instant ‘kerb appeal’
  • Offers shelter from the elements
  • Before

    rebecca doyle portico
  • After

    rebecca doyle portico

Porticos offer you so much choice

Because porticos are constructed of multiple individual components, they are incredibly versatile.  So whatever the scale of your entranceway, and whether you plan to retrofit a portico to the facade of your existing property, or integrate it into the design of your new-build, creating a design that works for your particular property is generally very straightforward.

What’s more, there are multiple different styles to choose from, depending on the proportions and style of your property.  From elegant townhouses and Victorian redbrick mansions, to turn of the century brick and render coach houses, there are almost limitless options available to suit any type of property.

And, porticos are not just for residential properties.  They are chosen to enhance the facades of some of the world’s most beautiful hotels and spas.

  • Before

    redbrick mansion
  • Before

    Redbrick mansion

How do I build a portico?

Whilst a portico may look elaborate, choosing and installing one doesn’t need to be complicated.  In fact, an experienced portico manufacturer will walk you through the process of choosing your portico step by step.  They will provide you with easy to understand drawings, therefore ensuring that you are 100% happy with your chosen design before you take the plunge.

Then it’s over to the installation and this is also much more straightforward than you might think.  All you will need to do is commission a professional specialist installer.

The highly-skilled, knowledgeable and experienced team at Haddonstone can assist you in choosing an installer in your area.

Which portico designs are available?

This really depends on what you would like to achieve!  There are a multitude of different portico styles, sizes and shapes to choose from.

One option is to choose a standard design, which will on the whole work for most property types.  Or, if you are looking for something completely unique, you could opt for a completely bespoke design.  This will allow you to combine individual elements in order to create an exclusive design that is individual to your property.

Here are a few design considerations:

Style

Porticos can be constructed in either straight, curved or octagonal shapes. A pediment is also a very popular way to surmount your portico.
The design of column you choose will determine the style of your finished portico.  Smooth, plain columns work well on any style and age of property, whether you have a modern new-build, or an historic building.  Whereas fluted columns will provide a more classical aesthetic.

Crowning your choice of column, one of Haddonstone’s plain Doric-style, or a highly decorative Ionic, Corinthian or Tuscan-style capital can be chosen.

Depending on what you are hoping to achieve, columns can also be reinforced – meaning that you can even create a first-floor balcony, walkway or terrace.

White cast stone columns example, handmade by haddonstone

Proportion

It’s worth considering at an early stage how far you would like your portico to project from the facade of your building.  This will determine how many columns you choose, as well as their height and width.  It’s all about getting the proportions right and again, this is not something to worry about.  Your portico manufacturer will be able to assist with this.

  • door surround

Other options

Typical porticos are not for everyone.  Sometimes they are just not quite right for you, or your property.  In this case, a smart door surround is a great option for creating a grand entrance, without going as far as installing a portico.  What’s more, like porticos, door surrounds can be retro-fitted onto an existing property, or easily incorporated into a new build design.

Many clients will also choose complementary flooring or steps underneath their portico to add extra polish.

Whatever you decide, we recommend talking to an experienced, professional portico manufacturer, who will be able to recommend the best option for your particular property.

What do I need to install a portico?

Installing a portico is a surprisingly straightforward process.   To get started with your portico project, all you need to do is:

  • Choose your preferred entablature style
  • Measure the height and width of your door
  • Decide on the desired projection from the facade of your building
  • Consider if you need a contractor or not.

  • Haddonstone portico

What is the average cost of a portico?

Installing a portico is more affordable than you might think and many clients believe the investment to be worthwhile, as it can significantly increase the value of any property.  Prices start from around £3000, on application.

How do I choose an installer?

We recommend that you choose a professional contractor that has experience of installing porticos.  Your portico manufacturer should be able to advise on professional installers in your area.

Guest blog: Adding a portico to my brick and render coach house

Lifestyle influencer Rebecca Doyle of @thehousebuild significantly enhanced the facade of her 1903 brick and render coach house, by installing a bespoke Haddonstone portico.

In her guest blog, Rebecca describes how she chose the portico for her unique project and offers some helpful tips to anyone planning to install a portico themselves.

Read Rebecca's Blog

To make a lasting impression to your property, whether you are renovating or designing your new dream home, a portico offers elegant style and sophistication.  With a choice of portico designs for all building types, straightforward installation and the bonus of adding real value to your home, installing a portico may be the best decision you make this year.

 

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