Turning their unheated entry porch into a heated, interior entry space with a powder room and coat closet wasn’t quite as simple as Minneapolis couple Kate and Dean had hoped. They figured they would renovate the porch as it stood, in effect, filling in the walls under the existing roof. But the old porch was so worn and out-of-kilter that it had to be torn down to the foundation and a new, fully enclosed porch built in its place. Architects Dan Nepp and Rachel Hendrikson were able to design the new entry porch so it looked very nearly like the old one, but with double-hung windows, a proper door, and Craftsman-style details befitting the 1920s house.

Adapted with permission fromNot So Big Remodelingby Sarah Susanka, published by The Taunton Press (2009).

Before After
Credit: Randy O'Rourke
Randy O'Rourke

A vertical trim piece added to both the main gable and entry porch gable helps to bring old and new together.

A solid, Craftsman-style door gives the entry porch the substance it could never achieve with the flimsy storm door of the old porch.

Planter boxes lend the new entry porch and housefront a well-cared-for look.

Swing Back

When the old three-season entry porch was fully enclosed, the homeowners gained not only an entry hall, coat closet, and powder room, but also a more functional sitting area. Note that the entry door doesn’t swing right into the living room.