Farmers Porch On Colonial Style House

By Todd Fratzel on Curb Appeal, Decks & Porches, House Plans

Farmers Porch

Farmers porch on colonial style home.When I designed our new house my wife only had a couple of must haves. The biggest wish on her list was a full length farmers porch. I was skeptical at first because I wasn’t exactly sure how our large colonial style home would look with such a large porch on it. As it turns out I think it turned out to be the defining architectural feature of our home and it’s best asset!

Farmers porches are also one of the biggest requests that we get from prospective buyers at work. As beautiful as they are it’s important to realize how expensive they can be. The average farmers porch can cost between $15,000 and $25,000 to build. There are lots of front porch ideas available on the net and in books if you’re not sure what type would look good on your home.

Farmers Porch Features

Farmers PorchOur farmers porch is 6 ft deep and it wraps around a porch of the house to connect the front entry with the mud room entry. The roof has a 3:12 pitch in order to fit below the second floor windows.

It also features vinyl posts and railings and vinyl beadboard ceilings. We selected Cambara decking for the stairs and decking which adds a very elegant finished look.

Farmers Porches Add Value

Well built porches can add both curb appeal and value to your home. Porches are often high on the list of features that prospective home buyers seek when looking for a new home. While the entire cost of building one may not be completely realized at sale time the value of closing the deal may be well worth the cost.

If you’re interested in learning more about the details of this farmers porch then I suggest you read:

In addition to the aesthetic value of this farmers porch it creates an excellent area to sit with family and friends in the summer. I know its been the most complimented feature of our new home and one that we are very glad we spent the money on. If you can afford the extra expense then I suggest you add a beautiful farmers porch to your new home or existing one.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Baba says:

    This is one of the things we have to replace on the Stone House project. Although not orginal to the building, a farmers porch was added on sometime in the 1940’s and has since fallen. We love the idea of a farmer’s porch and so will be adding it back into the facade of the Stone House. Love your farmer’s porch! It turned out great.

  2. I agree the Farmers Porch gives the home so much more features. I love it~!

  3. I love these porches. Your wife is spot on. They are gorgeous.

    Your home, actually, looks very much like the look we STARTED with on our last custom home. It morphed into something much different, but you can see we certainly ended up with LOTS of porches. (The back, which was a walk-out, also had two levels of balconies.)

    We had one HUGE problem with them, however. The builder sloped them slightly–as per our instructions–so they wouldn’t get flooded with water/snow. But when the guy came to do the finish work, he put flashing on the edge, which raised the edge back UP. Then, when the spray coat was applied, we ended up with a little pool running the entire length of all the decks.

    This was worse on the captain’s walk on the roof, as you can imagine, and caused leaking into the playroom. Over and over.

    Lesson learned: make sure your builder is EXPERIENCED with balconies/decks. What a nightmare.

    Still going to put a front porch and big covered balcony in the back. But we’ll do a better job this time!

  4. Oh, in case you want to see our last custom home with it’s many porches, it’s here:

    BTW, you’re a lucky man that your wife only had a COUPLE of “must-haves”! Both my husband and I have so many constraints on our homes that the design is by far the most difficult part!

  5. Todd says:

    @ Alison – Sounds like you guys learned some very valuable lessons about how important it is to build decks and balconies properly. I can’t ever stress enough home important drainage and flashing is around a new home.

  6. Karen Williams says:

    Do you have before and after pictures? We would like to add a farmer’s porch to a colonial house, but there are only two steps up to the porch and was wondering if that would affect the look.

    Karen Williams

  7. Carl says:

    Hi, I own a Garrison in north Massachusetts, and we’re considering adding a farmer’s porch to the front of the house. I can’t find ANY info on contractors that would specialize doing this… can I see your before and afters, and how did you find the contractor to do this? Any info is helpful.
    Thank you

    • Todd says:

      @ Carl – No real before and after because we built the house this way from the beginning. The company that I work for built this house. I designed it and crews that I supervise built it. The thing to do is find a small local architect that can draw some sketches for you. Most good contractors can then build it.

  8. Tom says:

    Great looking porch!! Me and my fiance are building a very similar colonial. My father in law who will be handling the construction insist on casement windows for a solid seal. I like the harvey casements that have the grids to look like double-hungs. I’m not completely sure about the functionality on the porch, as well as the look of casements on a colonial. I’m really struggling with this, any advice would be appriciated.


    • Todd says:

      @ Tom – Thanks for the compliment! You can actually have the casements built with grids and a special cross bar at mid height to simulate a double hung window. We’ve built several homes with those and they actually look pretty good from the street. I’m not a huge fan of casements for two reasons: first they are much more expensive, two they are harder to maintain. However, they do seal better and if you don’t plan on opening them too often then it’s really a moot point.

      Best of luck! Check out their triple pane glass. We just built a house with it and it made an AMAZING difference!

  9. Personally I don’t like casements on the ground floor near a walkway or on a porch. The casements stick out and can be run into, especially by kids running (we have two). My preference for a porch or ground floor near paths or driveways would be double hung windows, even though they don’t seal quite as well as the casements do.

  10. Tina Lindenmeyer says:

    I love your entire house! Is there anyway you can tell me a little bit about the inside layout. # of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.,

    • Todd says:

      @ Tina – This house is a 4 bedroom (with an additional bonus room… type thing), two baths up stairs, one is a master bath suite. First floor has an open concept with large mud/laundry room, kitchen, breakfast nook, living room, family room, foyer, bathroom, and dining room. Total of about 3,400 sq. ft.

  11. Rebecca says:

    I love porches. They are pretty, but I have found that they also divert rainfall from the roof away from the foundation (we have massive water problems, and can’t have gutters due to the funky eaves of the house). I wish my entire house was wrapped with porches!

  12. Rachel says:

    I love that pourch!
    THis house is so pretty!!

  13. AJsmama says:

    @Karen – we also had porch built during construction. We have 2 steps up to the porch and then it’s a step up from the porch to the door so I guess would have been 4 steps (4 risers, 3 treads) on a staircase. If you only have 2 steps (treads) right now figure the top step before you step up into the door would be the level of your porch floor, the tread below that would be 1 step up onto your porch (with riser above that being your porch skirt). If you are counting the step up into your door in the 2 and have actually only 1 tread (2 risers, 1 being the kickboard under your door) then you won’t have any steps, can build a porch without a railing and step from grade right up onto the porch.

  14. AJsmama says:

    Another question – what did you do for soffits on the outside of your beam? I can see some sort of eave in the photo, but your drawing doesn’t show any soffit, just the fascia, on the outside of the beam.

    We can’t figure out what the material is that we have, it’s not Certainteed, someone thought Alcoa but that’s not it either. Certainteed is close but not quite. The joists aren’t quite level front to back, the joist hangers are a little lower than the joists and the triple 2-by beam, and then the fascia which has a lip on it where edge of old material was resting (the long way) and where we were planning on ending (butt ends) run the short way is lower than the beam, so now we are considering boxing the beam out lower like your to look intentional, running material to it like you did (ending in J-channel?), then running same or different material on the other app. 10″ wide side (“soffit”, again using J-channel?),so material is level on each side of the beam though at 2 slightly different levels. A picture of your overhang outside of your beam/columns would be appreciated.

  15. AJsmama says:

    Thanks – after pulling down all the vinyl the other day, my contractor got 54 pieces of Certainteed. I didn’t want to try to mix old unknown and new Certainteed, have a lot of waste (use only 89″ out of 150″ new stock and 43 pieces of salvaged 145″ stock), so we figured that will be enough to run 75″ from house to beam (if we pad the beam out with 3/4″ PVC and add a 1″ J-channel with 1/2″ expansion gap instead of 1/4″), but then we need to buy a little more (or use the old stuff) for the soffit. We have vented soffits but I didn’t know if we needed to keep the porch soffit the same vented stuff as the house, or just use solid bead on all. I was thinking of adding a spandrell for interest so boxing out the beam with 6″ of PVC (1×8) below the existing wood will serve that purpose plus a break so we can use all of the 12.5ft stock.

    • Todd says:

      AJsmama – I would definitely vent the outside portion to help get some airflow up there. I’ll try to get some pictures for you this weekend.

  16. AJsmama says:

    Thanks – we have a gable vent at the end above the ceiling but between the fascia and the beam last 10″ or so isn’t vented. Didn’t matter when old loose stuff (run the long way with butt joints and not nailed) was in, but maybe we want to vent that now same as soffits on the rest of house.

  17. Daniel says:

    Where can I get building plans for this home?

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