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MT brick ranch
MT brick ranch  

MT brick ranch closer up
MT brick ranch closer  
Hello from Montana!  We bought a 1950's brick ranch home last summer with no front entry; the steps had been removed and the door boarded up. We have questions regarding the style of the porch we want to add and its proportions.  The house itself is 50 feet wide plus an attached 2-car garage set back a little on the right.  We do not want to block existing windows. The width of the entry that was removed was 5 feet. We will be adding a curved sidewalk and planting beds with curves on both sides of the porch.
 
1. Is five feet wide enough for the porch to look proportionately correct?  

2. How deep should the porch be?

3. Can we make the "porch" a stoop or should it have a roof?  It is on the north side of the house.

4. If we have build a roof over the stoop, do we make the gable a 5/12 pitch like the hip roof?
 
5. We do not think we can find brick to match the house, a mixture of red, green and brown.  What materials would you use for the porch columns and the floor?

Thank you so much for any direction you can give us!

Roy Kelm

Answer
Hello Roy - thanks for your question.  If ever a house needed a front porch, this is it.  Wonder why the door was removed?

To your questions - 5 feet is a bit narrow, not so much for the proportions, but because it's a little tight for more than one person to stand on. I'm assuming you'll want some posts on the porch somewhere, and that takes up some usable space.

I'd make it at least 6 or 7 wide.

Depth - if it's just to cover guests, then you'll want at least 4 feet of room to stand; if you're planning on sitting on the porch, 8 feet is the minimum to be able to walk by someone seated.

Roof - definitely.  It's the most important part of the overall entry presence (see the porch here: http://rtastudio.com/Portfolio/Remodeling/Prairie/Prairie%20Ranch%20Remodel.htm). And yes, the pitch should probably match, as should the depth of the overhang.

The brick on the house is a very common style, you should be able to come pretty close to a match.  If not, go with a solid color, maybe a dark brown or red, on both the columns and the porch floor.

You might also submit your house to my business partner's blog at www.architectinheels.com - she occasionally chooses a house or two for an online redesign (I'll put in a good word for you!).

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Richard Taylor, AIA

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Ask me about all aspects of house, remodeling. , and room addition design and construction. Ask me about historic homes, renovation, and restoration. Ask me about materials and techniques, and about how you can get the best value for your design and construction dollar. Ask me how you can make your home a very special place. I can't, however, answer specific structural engineering questions in this forum - that's something you'll need on-site observation for.

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I own a full-service residential architectural firm, and have been designing custom homes, remodelings, and room additions across the country since 1983. Check us out at Richard Taylor Architects and RTA Plans. I have written and been published extensively on the subject of residential architecture.

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American Institute of Architects, City of Dublin Architectural Review Board, Vice Chair of City of Dublin Planning and Zoning Commission, American Planning Association, Board Member Historic Dublin Business Association, Past Editor of SPLASH (a software forum), Past Editor of Open Directory Project, Assistant Scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America

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Business First of Columbus, Suburban New Publications, About.com, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch Residential Architect Custom Home Architect Remodeling Architect

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Bachelor of Environmental Design (Architecture) Miami University 1983
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2010 Dublin Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year

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