Phil Nash from Scotts of Thrapston discusses the many different styles and materials available for porch canopies, and the benefits they can bring
Porch canopies come in many different styles and materials, are easy to install, and can add both practical and aesthetic qualities to a home.
Firstly, there is kerb appeal; a porch canopy is one of the first things that a visitor sees when arriving at a property. Everyone knows that an attractive house is a desirable house, and the addition of a porch canopy can greatly improve any home’s appearance. This in turn can improve saleability in a competitive housing market.
The use of door canopies is also a cost-effective way for housebuilders and developers to add real character to a development. They are especially useful in turning a row of modern terrace homes into properties with personality.
Alternating the styles of the canopies can improve the appearance of the street and, more importantly, bring a certain individuality to the properties and the development itself.
Canopies come in a vast array of designs and are a quick way of evoking a period style. With current trends encompassing retro and vintage, new build house designs are frequently looking at times gone by, and the addition of a porch canopy is a quick and easy way to evoke a certain period in history, including Georgian and Victorian.
In addition, colour can play a part. Traditionally porch canopies are finished in a natural wood or with a white paint finish. However, they can be painted to match the front door for a more striking and distinctive look, and create a real focal point.
The British weather is notoriously damp and wet, and there’s nothing worse than standing outside a front door, getting soaked while fumbling in a handbag or coat pockets for the keys.
A well-designed porch canopy is a functional way of providing shelter from the elements, both rain and sunshine, while also protecting the front door and door furniture, helping to improve their longevity.
Porches can prove to be a particularly welcome feature on a new build property, especially if the house design has a small entrance hall or there is direct access from outside into the living area.
However, it is worth noting that a badly designed porch can also ruin the look of a property as well. One style guide is to use the roof design of the property as a starting point. For example, if it is a hip roof, then a canopy that has a hip design may complement.
Equally, the quality and materials used to produce the product are of great importance. Porch canopies are available in all different sizes, shapes and finishes and, in general, are quick and easy to install.
They can be made from various materials such as Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP), stone and timber, including Redwood, Whitewood, Oak, Douglas Fir and Accoya.
GRP canopies tend to be delivered as a single unit, while sturdy, sustainably sourced, timber porch canopies can be delivered as kits, to include structural joinery timbers, plywood, gallows brackets, porch posts and post bases, which can be quickly assembled on site.
A key advantage of timber porch canopies is the ability to design and manufacture bespoke porches / projects rather than having to settle for an off-the-shelf GRP style with set dimensions. Furthermore, timber porches offer structural performance, allowing for all tile solutions to be fitted.
It is wise to appoint manufacturers who have a reputable experience in working with and supplying to housebuilders, developers and contractors, whether the projects are small or large.
Working with manufacturers who can deliver just-in time scheduling means that prompt deliveries can be made to the development site when needed, making planning easier for site managers and helping project management timings stay on track.
Working with a reliable and experienced manufacturer also means that they can handle varying orders, from a volume order of standard porches to bespoke feature canopies for luxury properties.
While a volume builder will iron out design features for a development as part of its planning permission and reserved matters, an individual builder, working on a renovation project, probably will not need planning permission to add a door canopy, unless the property is listed, in which case advice needs to be sought.
Ticking the boxes for looks and practicality means that door porches are an excellent feature for new build homes and developments – helping to make properties stand out from the crowd while also giving customers a feature that provides a real benefit to them.
Phil Nash is sales manager at Scotts of Thrapston