How to turn a lovley old house with solid walls into a warm efficient home




The old porch was pretty much held up by the Honeysuckle, and in terrible condition, but in principle I thought a porch was an attractive addition to the house. It was beyond repair, so I decided it needed replacing.Because of the size of the steps up to the front door, size and design of a porch was very limited. However, I thought the proportions suited the house, so did not wish to alter the steps.

My plan, therefore, was to make a new porch that would serve to protect the front door from the worst of the rain and wind, offer some shelter whilst key fumbling at the door, and also add to the attractiveness of the house frontage.

The old porch. Broken, dishevelled and held up by fauna, but by and large I think it is an attractive and functional addition to the house. I wanted to have some of my own design input, so would not copy it exactly, but would, limited by space, design something similar. 

The enormous honeysuckle took quite a bit of work to remove. I also took this opportunity to clear out all the shrubs. They were all far too large, and quickly grew out of control. I lowered the land slightly too, and took down the iron railings so they could be cleaned and repainted.

house porch replacement, ecoOnce it was all clear the porch pretty much fell down. The door and frame were in a bad state, as was the brickwork over the door, but I would deal with the door once the new porch was in place and offering some weather protection.

I drew loads of design ideas on Autocad so that I could see what worked or didn't (unfortunately I no longer have access to those files)

After much deliberation I decided that a standard apex roof didn't look right, proportionally. The roof of the original porch sloped away from the house at a very gentle angle. I didn't wish to gutter the front or have the rain drip over the steps so instead I made a roof that had a very low pitch sloping to the sides, almost flat.

old house, renovation, eco home, green dealI chose to construct the porch from softwood, as it would be painted green and white in due course.

The top section of the sides and front would have Georgian style window beading and glass panels. The lower section would be wooden.

I kept offering up the sections to check it was looking right and fitting correctly.

I chose a green and white theme for the porch and the railings. I also felt that it was important to keep maintenance to a minimum so laid a green shale stone within the railing area.

The old porch had a trellis affair in the top part of the porch, but I was not going to grow plants against it, and preferred something that kept the rain away from the front door more.

It was a bit fiddly, but I made Georgian bars and fitted glass panels. I fitted hardwood beading to hold the glass in place then painted them green within the white frame.

The new porch, door and frame (door and frame are dealt with in the next article)

A suitably large sheet of lead to cover the roof of the porch would have weighed a good deal and been very expensive. Instead I created my own 'mock' lead.

My 'mock' lead was made of roofing felt glued down to the timber roof and around the edges. I then painted with copious amounts of grey lead paint. It looks very effective, but if it fails in due course i will recover the roof. 

new porch, draught proofing, eco, green dealbuilding a new porch, house renovationfinished porch, eco, house renovation

new porch, house renovation


© Christopher Thompson