It’s summertime, and that means at long last spending time on the porch with beautifully blooming pots of flowers and tall cool drinks in hand. It’s also the time to finally do something about an ugly porch. Porches, like wives, need maintenance but it can cost less to pretty-up an ugly porch than to pretty-up an ugly wife if you do your homework and shop well. I’ve said it before, and I will say it into infinity; I hate plastic building materials—‘’plastic’’ is a blanket word that can cover quite a bit of territory. But, depending on the material and the brand there are some exceptions.
If it’s the siding that’s looking shabby a new coat of paint in a soft attractive color or some new siding can work wonders. Sometimes a good alternative to siding the porch, or the whole house, is to cover the porch walls with faux brick or stone which is much less expensive than the real thing. Although it isn’t impervious to fast balls and other damage it is quite durable.
If your porch floor is showing its age often just a nice coat of floor paint is all that’s necessary or re-stain it. This is by far the least expensive option. Other options are composite decking. Composite decking may be more affordable than you might think. Fairly good decking runs about $3 to $7 per sq. whether that is affordable for you depends, naturally, on how large your porch is. Ceramic tile is both beautiful, slip resistant, and easy to install. Ceramic tile can run from less than $1.00 per square foot up. Keep in mind ceramic tile has to be grouted but it’s still a good option.
Composite railing systems offer an inexpensive way to replace old railings or create a whole new look. Look for a premium composite substructure and permanent finish and be sure you buy a composite system that is guaranteed not to crack, peel, or blister. Other composite porch components are available too to complete your look.
Sometimes just a new door can dress up a tired porch. Today’s doors are as beautiful as they are durable. About $300 can buy a nice steel entry door that is secure, durable and easy to care for. Not all of these are finished but they are pre-primed for easy finishing with your choice of paint color. Choose a color to compliment your siding. Choose one with decorative glass to give your porch an elegant touch.
The furniture for your porch is as important as the walls, floor and door. Choose furniture to compliment the style of your home and the color of your siding and flooring. All weather wicker is the perfect choice for Victorian and Country style homes, wooden rockers for Country or rustic style homes, and wood with a casual design like Craftsman for other style homes. A porch swing is a charming touch to porches that never go out of style. Don’t forget tables to set glasses, books, flower pots and other warm weather necessities. Outdoor foot stools are appreciated after a long day’s work or relaxing on weekends.
Flowers and plants
Some plants like Boston ferns can come outside to decorate the porch in warmer months and don’t have to cost a thing. Other cost effective ways to bring natural beauty to your porch is to buy bedding flower plants and plant your own hanging planters. Feed and collect rain water to water your flowers with to get big beautiful flowering planters ASAP.