Adding or improving your porch can make a huge difference to your house. Whether you would like to enclose an open porch, add an accessible WC or create an elegant portico, we can develop the design and take it through planning to construction.

Home Building have some examples of porches.

Porch Types


The entrance to any building is important. In the UK porches range from a modest canopy to a grand portico.

The porch can remain as outdoor covered space for shelter while unlocking the door. It could have a door but remain as outdoor space, for shoes and boots and a doormat. It could be an extension with accessible WC. It can also be a grand statement of wealth. 

The following list of porch types is not exhaustive:

  • open porch
  • closed porch
  • WC porch
  • utility porch
  • modern porch
  • traditional porch
  • modest porch
  • grand columnar / portico porch

Have a look at some options from Google Images

Design Parameters for Porches

A porch conversion can be as simple or complex as your budget allows. The first stage is to agree on plans and sketches which together describe your wishes. The simplest porches are open to the elements, next are closed porches which are in front of the main front door and are not heated spaces. These are usually good for closing the door to the elements before taking shoes off and going into the main house. Beyond this are porches which move the front door to the front of the porch, so the porch becomes part of the insulated house. In effect this is more of an extension, as the porch will now be added onto the internal floor space. Finally, the most complex conversion is to fully insulate, move the front door and add a WC or utility with all the modifications to water, electrics and drainage that are required.

Many people have a strong idea of what their porch should look be like. We are able to develop your ideas into drawings of a professional standard, for planning and construction.

Example – WC Porch Conversion

Although all new houses need to have a WC on the entrance level, most old houses do not have these. These WCs are particularly useful for mobility impaired and older people, and a large existing porch is an ideal place for a WC as long as there is still ample width for the entrance passage. The benefit is that the WC in the porch will not encroach upon any of the existing ground floor rooms.

If new walls are to be built on new foundations and party wall notice will be needed for your neighbour. If building beyond the limits of permitted development a planning application will be needed. The technical design will need to meet building regulations, but the builder will be able to use a building notice rather than a full plans application.

The porch will become part of the insulated house, so will need to be fully insulated, including the floor and ceiling. If the floor is concrete or brick it will be necessary to take this up and lay insulation to concrete over. It is important to use membranes carefully as this was previously external space, and external walls will become internal spaces. Drainage for the WC will need to link to the existing system in the driveway.

The Porch does not necessarily need to be of brick and block construction to pass building regulations for Approved Document L1B. You can use a single skin of brickwork and then line with insulated plasterboard to save space. Alternatively you can use a timber wall which is much more lightweight.

Planning & Permitted Development

Many extensions do not need planning approval. Instead, they fall under permitted development. The guidance determines whether your plans need planning. We can help you with this. Each house, boundary and neighbouring property offer a different set of parameters. This can reveal grey areas in the guidance. For this reason, it is sometimes better to apply for planning. There are other benefits in applying for planning. We can apply to change the materials if you so wish. We can make the roofline higher where needed. Sometimes the design is on the limit of permitted development. We can apply for a certificate of Lawful Development. This will confirm that the design is permitted development or not.

Visit our Planning page

Click for information about Planning for Extensions on the Planning Portal

Party Wall Notice

Observe the Party Wall 3m and 6m rules. Sometimes you are building within 3m of your neighbour’s property. Your excavations may be deeper than their foundations. A party wall surveyor will need to issue a party wall notice to your neighbour. You may be within 6m away from your neighbour’s building. Your excavations may be deeper than a 45 degree angle downwards from theirs. Again, the party wall act applies. A party wall notice will need to be issued to your neighbour.

Sometimes you share a boundary wall impacted by the design. Again, a party wall notice will be needed. This informs the neighbour of your project and how it will impact upon them. The neighbour can agree to the contents of the notice. If they do not agree within the timeframe, a party wall award is developed, which states that both parties agree to the changes. Both parties must sign the award before development begins.

Click for party wall information

Porch – Technical Design

The above example shows the level of technical detail required for a WC porch, which is similar to what would be expected for full extension, even though the amount of space is reduced. These details will ensure the conversion meets building regulations.

Visit our Technical page

Click for information about building regulations

Click for information about LABC

Structural Design

Any structure should have calculations so it is always worth chatting to a structural engineer to see what’s required.

Enquire about an Extension

Call the office on 0113 318 3078 or 07772 750 855, email enquire@we-draw-buildings.com or send a message via the contact page.