Think back to when you were a child. Remember how much fun it was to crawl into a cardboard box and look out on the world, sheltered and safe, yet able to watch everything in the big world?
Remember the last time it snowed—how the world got quieter and closed in.
Timber frame porches are the best kind of porches. The vertical posts, horizontal beams, and diagonal knee braces picture frame the views.
There’s another reason: You feel safe and sheltered. You can see and touch the big wood posts and beams that hold up the roof since the structure is visible—unlike with conventional construction where the 2×4’s are hidden behind the plywood. Seeing what’s holding up the roof is certainly gratifying and perhaps even reassuring on an unconscious level.
Design Tip: Make the steps very wide—like 6’ or 8’ wide. After a hard day’s work outside, you’ll love sitting there a few minutes after removing your muddy boots and admiring the work you just did. Furthermore, when it’s cold outside but the sun is shining, sitting on your steps feeling the winter sun on your face is guaranteed to lift your mood.
Open vs. Enclosed Timber Frame Porches
When designing a new timber frame porch for your home, you’ll have to decide between an enclosed or open layout. In our experience, both offer advantages and disadvantages—so it’s important to find the style that best suits you.
Enclosed porches can connect to the front, back, or even side of your home. With the porch enclosed, the space can shelter you from cooler or warmer weather. An enclosed structure can also provide more privacy, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the view!
Open porches typically connect to the front or back of your home, adding more functionality to your outdoor space and transforming the view. They’re ideal for relaxing or gathering, and they welcome fresh air in every season.
How to Use a Timber Frame Porch
How do you envision experiencing your timber frame porch? From adding a rustic touch to creating an outdoor room, this space holds so much possibility. Here are a few ideas for enjoying your porch:
- Hosting space: Do you want a comfortable outdoor space to host family and friends? Invite the whole crew over to enjoy the view or plan a girls’ or guys’ night in.
- Reading nook: We think curling up with a good book gets even better when you can see timber framing the view of your property. What better way to relax and let your imagination transport you away?
- Mudroom: Do you want to keep shoes, boots, jackets, and other outdoor items where they belong? With some thought and planning, an enclosed timber frame porch could make an ideal mudroom and prevent clutter that might otherwise end up in the entryway.
- Morning spot: Why not add fresh air and breathtaking views to your morning cup of coffee? When you have a timber frame porch as your perch, you might even look forward to early mornings.
- Family room: Are you feeling a little cramped indoors? A timber frame porch can be a lovely secondary family room. With cozy furniture and space for everyone, an outdoor family room can be the perfect spot to close out the day.
How to Add to a Timber Frame Porch
Now that you’ve planned how to use your porch, how can you turn your idea into reality? In many cases, the right furnishings can completely transform the space.
If you’re planning to use your timber frame porch for a mudroom, for instance, we might recommend a reclaimed wood bench. It’s the perfect spot for resting while you swap those muddy boots for cozier footwear.
For hosting friends and family, love seats and dining tables can complete an enclosed porch. After all, comfortable seating is the key to creating a space that’s perfect for conversation, laughter, and great food and drink.
If you prefer to use your timber frame porch as an area for relaxation or meditation, consider a hammock or a rocking chair or even a hanging day bed. Imagine taking in the fresh air and the beautiful scenery from your perch. Could it get any more relaxing?
Can You Retrofit an Existing Front Porch?
Perhaps you already have a perfectly good front or back porch but you’d love to add some timber frame elements. If you’re curious about retrofitting your current space or creating a hybrid timber frame porch, we’d be happy to discuss how this process might work.
Here at Carolina Timberworks, we love building timber frame porches. We have a deep appreciation for their beauty, versatility, and durability. To discuss your front porch ideas, give us a call at 828-266-9663 or send us a message. We’re nice, and we’d love to talk with you.