Some of my favorite childhood memories were created on my mommaw’s front porch. Her house sat low in the valley on the left side of a long hollow in southern West Virginia. We would watch the deer and turkeys forage for food in the creek between the mountains. Birds would build nests in the rafters of her porch and we would watch the babies grow.
I learned an awful lot from her and poppaw on that porch and I cherish those memories.
Here’s the view from my mommaw’s porch:
Building a new porch is the first step toward making a manufactured home appear more like a site-built home. You can add visual interest and curb appeal, increase your home’s value by adding additional living space, and give your family a place to make memories.
To put it simply, a new porch can completely change the look of your mobile or manufactured home.
45 Great Manufactured Home Porch Designs
Here are 45 great manufactured home porch designs (and decks) that can help you decide which style best suits your home and provides the look you want:
Note: At the end of the article we provide several tips and professional advice that can help you plan the perfect porch for your manufactured home.
Source: HomePro Construction
Source: HomePro Construction
Source: HomePro Construction
Free Online Porch Design Programs
The best website I’ve found for porch design is Front Porch Ideas and More. You simply won’t find a more informative and thorough resource for porch design ideas online. They also have a very handy Front Porch Illustrator that can help you determine the right porch design for your home. While they do not have a manufactured home to chose from, they do have a standard ranch home that can suffice with a little imagination.
Here’s the home without a porch:
Here are one of the many choices of porch designs (Porch R9- Pitched roof, column capitals, painted ceiling, ashlar floor, and cast bed edging):
Azek Building Products has a deck designer that could be useful to you. You’ll need to create an account and have Java installed but it does create a nifty 3D visualization of your desired designs with precise cut dimensions and material lists.
Planning a New Porch for Your Manufactured Home
Once you’ve chosen the perfect deck or porch design for your manufactured home you’ll need to start planning the build.
Simple deck designs can be built by experienced DIY enthusiasts. If you’re knowledgeable of basic construction methods (footers, post & beam construction techniques, and roofing concepts) and comfortable with tools it should be a fairly straight-forward process. More complex builds are probably best left to the professionals.
Free Porch and Deck Design Plans
You can find lots of free porch and deck designs online. Most come with complete schematics, cut dimensions, and materials list.
Aztek Building Products Free Deck Plans
Aztek Building Products, mentioned above, has several free deck designs on their website. Click here to view all of them. Once you click on the design you like it will open a PDF with several pages of detailed information, from schematics to material lists. Here’s an example:
Decks.com Free Deck Plans
Decks.com has hundreds of free deck plans available on their website. Click here to see them all. You’ll chose the design and then the size and enter your name and email information and they will email you a materials list. Here’s a sample of the various designs available:
What is the Right Size?
Once you’ve decided on the style of your new porch you’ll need to decide on the size.
The scale is an important aspect to consider when planning a porch or deck. You’ll want it to look like it was always a part of the home and to help add dimension, a quality that is sorely lacking on most manufactured homes.
Most professionals advise that you never go under 6 foot on either width or length for a deck or porch.
You’ll want enough space to sit and visit with friends and family comfortably. If you plan on grilling or having a table you’ll probably need at least an 8-foot width. You’ll also need to consider railing placement since railing is rarely positioned at the very edge with traditional porch designs. Typically there will be at least a 1″ overhang and if you are using 6″ columns they will need to be positioned over the framing – this automatically reduces your width by 7 inches minimum thus your 6′ wide porch will only have 5′ 5″ of usable space.
Length will be based on your home’s length and personal preference more than anything. Take into consideration shelter from the rain while walking to your garage or driveway and if you want the porch to wrap around to the side of your home.
Roofing Considerations for a New Porch
The roof of your new porch will impact your home significantly.
You’ll have to consider the rise and run of the roof and how it will be incorporated into the roof on the home. Most professionals suggest that porch roofs have a minimum 3/12 pitch, meaning the roof rises 3″ for every 1 foot of length. This provides adequate rain and snow runoff.
If you have a deck that you want to turn into a covered porch you’ll have to consider a few things. While it’s a great project, you’ll have to ensure that your deck can handle the added weight of the roof. Here’s what Decks.com had to say:
The downside is that porches are more expensive than just a deck and are relatively hard to build. You also must note that decks with porches must be designed to support 80 lbs per square foot compared to 55 lbs per square foot for decks. This extra 25 lbs is required to safely support the roof and snow loads. Decks with porches need to be specially engineered to distribute more complicated loads to the frost Footings are often required on the sides of decks that use a gable porch roof. Footing sizes are larger and need to be positioned so that support posts can directly transfer roof loads through sound framing to solid foundations.
Building a roof is hard work. You will be handling heavy materials while standing on ladders at high elevations. You will need a couple of helpers to build a porch. Building a porch definitely demands more skill and physical conditioning than building the typical deck project.
How to Build a New Porch or Deck
If you will be building your new porch or deck yourself you should do a little research to re-acquaint yourself with the basic building techniques.
There are several great resources online that can help you. Here’s a list of the most informative I found:
Manufactured home porch designs can range from simple decks to ornate porches. The design you chose will probably impact your life and your home more than you realize. Choose wisely! Once you chose your porch design and size you can utilize the free plans and get complete material lists and schematics, both invaluable items to have when building anything.
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