Monday, February 22, 2010

The Portal

Since my last post was on the hip roof I thought this might be a good time to add a couple of thoughts about the portal or porch.

To see a rewrite of this post go to: Ideas For The Portal.

 One of the last projects on our house was to add one and the first thought was where to locate it. I like the east side of the house as it would catch some morning sun, which is always nice, and would be shaded from the harsh western sun allowing for sitting comfortably in the hot summer evenings. Since our house was adobe the portal adds protection for the walls from the rain and snow. The house faces east so it also protects entering and leaving through the front door and creates a proper entry when approaching the house. 
The next thing to consider was how wide to make it. I prefer a long, relatively narrow portal. In this case it is about five feet wide and the brick terrace extends out beyond both the posts and the drip line of the roof as you can see in the photo above. A basic design consideration is that you may be limited in width by how much your sloped roof drops and still have enough head room under the header over the posts. It is a juggling act between the width of the portal, the slope of the roof, and the height under the headers. Do the math first.
 I put simple skylights over the windows and doors to keep from making the house to dark. In this case because I used corrugated metal roofing I worked in the corrugated translucent fiberglass panels. Spacing between the rafters and the translucent panels was key to create the skylight effect.
Last but not least I added masonry pedestals under each post to protect them from moisture damage.