Porticoes are various decorative home front entrance elements that usually have a peaked roof as well as pillars; they are majestic and generally seen in colonial-style residential architecture, every house reflecting the overwhelming influence of Western European design.
Although the basic principles remain, this grandiose design can be easily extended creating sublime custom porticoes. Actually they have a dual role, practical and aesthetically. They have great visual impact while covering and protecting the house entryway.
The deck can be considered the foundation layer of any portico, home entrance or otherwise. You can choose from a concrete pad or wood decking.
Concrete Pad: Of course, concrete is more sustainable providing a stable base. Moreover, a concrete pad can be finished with many kinds of materials, such as tile, flagstone or brick, not to mention that it can be etched or stamped.
Wooden Deck: However, if you choose wood for your deck then you should consult a structural engineer for advice. Only a professional can tell you exactly what you need for a wooden deck. He can ensure that the joist size, spacing and also the underlying support are correctly calculated to handle the total load of the portico roof and pillars.
You can opt for natural wood, or you can cover your deck in composite materials that look like natural wood.
Portico Columns and Railings
The main role of the columns is of course support, but they are also decorative. They are integrated into the overall look of the deck and hold the load of the portico roof above. Together with railings they provide an aesthetic appeal.
In fact, the railings tie into the columns and have only a decoration role.
Columns are another portico element that needs to be selected by a structural engineer who can calculate the load of the roof and your construction materials ensuring in this way the safety of the structure.
You can opt for stone, brick, block, wood or concrete for your columns. They can be placed at the portico corners or even periodically spaced across the depth and length of the portico structure depending on design and especially on the structural requirements.
The portico front part is always exposed to the vagaries of nature, especially the front side between the roof peak and the entryway ceiling. This exposed area, usually in a triangle shape, can have even the wooden beams within exposed.
However, many portico styles have a closed-in look, which is actually not a bad idea. The triangle front part is covered to protect the beams and to provide an aesthetic effect.
There is a wide range of sidings to choose from, such as aluminum, wood planks or vinyl.
The portico front part is also a perfect area to hang a sign or a plaque with the name of the house or family or perhaps a logo that can be centered above the home entrance.
You can tie the portico roof into your home roof, or you can install a completely different roof setting in this way, the portico structure apart from the rest of the house. Again, you need the help of a structural engineer because the weight of the roofing material dictates a proper design of columns and deck.
There are many options for roofing materials such as old fashioned clay tiles, asphalt shingles, slate or wood shingles.