uPVC Porches: A Beautiful Porch for the Masses
A uPVC Porch Might Be Just What Your House Needs
Sometimes, what your house needs is an addition that is easy to construct, while at the same time will have a lasting impact on the way your house looks. For some people, the solution may be to add a uPVC porch to the house.
What is uPVC?
The term “uPVC” stands for un-plasticized polyvinyl chloride, a form of PVC plastic that, as the name suggests, has not been rendered softer and more pliable with the use of chemical additives known as plasticizers. Polyvinyl chloride has been produced since the mid-1930s, and in its form as uPVC is well-known as a building material, specifically for windows.
These days, it is also known for being used in major external installations like uPVC porches.
A Short History
Though uPVC has been used as a building material earlier in the century, it only came into its own as a viable construction material for window frames in the 1960s. This happened first in Germany, and the practice spread to England and the USA. The properties of uPVC made it a viable alternative to wood and metal.
These days, 90% of the window frames used in England are made from uPVC. As technology improved how uPVC is processed and shaped, it was then used to create small external structures, specifically small enclosed areas like uPVC porches, which could be put around a doorway, creating a small enclosed space that can function as an extension of the house’s interior.
Pros and Cons of uPVC Porches
Using uPVC didn’t come about because it was natural to do so for modular and ready-use porch enclosures. In fact, uPVC did suffer a backlash in the past as a building material. Thankfully, with new production techniques, it is now back in use. Here are some of the pros and cons of using uPVC porches.
Pro: uPVC is resistant to extreme weather – uPVC is extremely resistant against wet weather, specifically, thanks to its nonporous nature. uPVC window and doorframes still have to be replaced after quite some time, but their durability makes them very cost effective compared to wooden equivalents.
Pro: Recyclable – If you’re going to dispose of a uPVC porch, or will have modifications or enlargements done, then you shouldn’t worry about recycling, as uPVC can be reshaped and used again, once it is exposed to high temperatures.
Pro: Low maintenance – While uPVC will have some slight discoloration after a long time, it is surprisingly easy to clean, and if there are mechanical systems, all you will need is a bit of oil. This is particularly useful if you live in an area where you can encounter smoke or smog.
Pro: Is not prone to warping – Due to the stiff nature of uPVC, it will keep its shape without any warping. This is one major advantage over wood, which tends to warp as it is exposed to water.
Pro: Operational lifetime – A uPVC porch, if properly maintained, can last for around 35 years before the frames will need replacement. The extended lifespan alone makes uPVC a very cost-effective house expansion solution.
Con: Many designs look utilitarian – uPVC porch designs, though there are many of them, often look utilitarian and somewhat drab. Part of the reason for this is to make sure they can fit most structures. It’s a good idea to “spruce” up uPVC porches by adding little personal touches, like a colorful set of curtains.
Con: Being cheap can be disadvantage – uPVC porches can lower the value of older buildings that use history and aesthetics as their selling points. However, if you will be using a uPVC porch simply to expand the usable interior of your own home, then you shouldn’t worry about how it affects overall value. It’s also a good thing that you can use prefabricated uPVC porches that can be easy to take down, so you can restore value (if needed) to your house or building.
Is it Better Than a Normal Porch?
This is because uPVC porches come with many roof options that can fit your house or, building’s general aesthetic. There are also various choices for how the window frames can be apportioned, and the same goes for the door. Even though people can argue that uPVC porches can look uninspiring, if they are constructed correctly, they can practically merge into the design of the original house or building. You can even choose between a traditional roof style, or you can use glass window frames for your roof, so you can have as much natural lighting as possible.
You should also consider how much space you can practically expand into. This is where uPVC porches come into their own, as all you will really have to spend on in terms of traditional construction would be the flooring itself. As long as you can take into account the regular frame sizes into the construction of the rectangular or square porch floor space, then you can maximize the new porch by ordering the proper uPVC porch frames and roofing segments.
As mentioned before, cost is a major factor in the rise of uPVC porches as a practical way to expand your house’s interior space. The average cost for uPVC porches is about $400 (with the glass panes themselves as a separate cost), and with the largest or highest-quality designs reaching up to nearly $700. Do take note that installation costs aren’t included in the mentioned figures, though it you decide to install them yourself, you will definitely save even more money.
In the end, uPVC porches may not be to everyone’s fancy in terms of looks, but no one can deny that they are a cost-efficient way of creating more interior living space for your own home. All you really need to do is find the right design and size for your uPVC porch, so it will look like a natural, aesthetically pleasing extension of your house’s main structure.