In this guide, we’ll cover a variety of common questions that we get asked from people looking to learn more about cast stone porticos. It will take you through how much a portico costs, the benefits of adding a portico to your property, the installation process, the requirements for planning permission, material options for porticos, and the maintenance procedures for a cast stone portico.
If you’re not sure what a portico is, or need more of an introduction to these stunning architectural pieces, head over to our previous blog ‘What is a Portico on a House?’, where we go into the key distinctions between porches and porticos, the different types of portico, alternatives to porticos and much more. View the article here.
Why is it called a portico?
The term “portico” originates from the Latin word “porticus,” which referred to a covered walkway or colonnade. In architecture, a portico is a structure consisting of a roof supported by columns or pillars at the entrance of a building. It serves as a covered porch or entranceway, often providing shelter and creating a distinctive architectural feature.
Cast stone portico cost
Whilst the cost of a cast stone portico will differ depending on the design, size and quality, an average price for one of our stunning cast stone porticos is around £4,000.
Cast stone is one of the most cost effective materials for a portico, being incredibly durable, low maintenance, and an exceptional finish that’s almost identical to materials that cost four or five times more, such as natural stone.
Is a portico worth the money?
Adding a portico to your house has a wide range of benefits, including:
Enhanced Curb Appeal
A well-designed and visually appealing portico can significantly enhance the curb appeal of a house. It creates an inviting and impressive entrance, making a positive first impression on potential buyers or visitors. Aesthetically pleasing architectural features like a portico can contribute to the overall attractiveness of the property.
A portico provides a covered and protected area at the entrance of the house. It can offer shelter from the elements, such as rain, snow, or direct sunlight, making it more convenient for residents and visitors. This additional functional space can be viewed as an asset, especially in regions with varying weather conditions.
Porticos can add architectural character and distinction to a house. They can be designed to complement the architectural style of the property, creating a cohesive and harmonious look. Unique and well-crafted porticos can differentiate a house from others in the neighbourhood, potentially attracting buyers seeking standout features.
Does a portico add value?
Yes, a portico on a house can add value to the property. While the exact impact on resale value can vary depending on various factors, including the market and specific buyer preferences, a well-executed portico can contribute to a higher perceived value of the property. It can make the house more desirable to potential buyers, potentially leading to increased buyer interest and higher offers.
Installing Cast Stone Porticos
The involvement in the installation process often differs depending on whether you’re a residential or commercial client, however the process of measuring, designing and installing the cast stone portico remains much the same.
How do you install a cast stone portico?
Here’s a quick run-through of the process you’ll need to cover to install a cast stone portico on your home:
Whether you’ve hired an Architect or not, once you’ve decided on the design of your cast stone portico, you should provide our team of CAD specialists with the specific measurements for your portico.
Of course, it’s important to know whether you’ll require planning permission, and there are a number of best practices you can follow to maximise your chances of being granted planning permission. We will cover this in more detail in the next section.
Foundations and Footings
Your builder will need to construct a solid and level foundation, typically using concrete footings. They will ensure that the footings are properly aligned and sized to support the weight of the portico.
This is the stage where load-bearing components such as the pillars are installed.
During the assembly stage, a concrete ring beam is installed behind the architrave, and the cornice and copings are laid.
Portico Roof Installation
Once the structural components are in place, your builder will install the roof framework, which may include rafters, beams, and trusses.
The usual roof structure is to use suitable timber joists with an 18mm ply top and this being then covered with code 4 lead flashing or similar GRP effect roofing. The leadwork / GRP needs to be fitted by a competent craftsman and needs to have a 150mm upstand and lead flashing into the existing structure.
For a more detailed guide for installing a cast stone portico, head over to our Cast Stone Installation Guide for more information.
Our team of specialists will provide your builder with all of the technical specifications they’ll need to install your new cast stone portico. Contact a member of the team for more information.
Do you need Planning Permission for a Portico?
Each and every project is different, and some projects will require different permissions from the local authority compared to others. Whenever our clients have required planning permission, we’ve found that taking samples of the stonework to the meeting can help significantly.
What is the best material for a portico?
Cast Stone is the best material for a portico in almost every environment, as it provides the same aesthetic benefits of natural stone, but it’s approximately four or five times cheaper. The most commonly used materials for a portico are Natural Stone (such as Limestone) or Cast Stone.
Cast Stone is a high-quality manufactured material that utilises specialised mixing techniques to achieve an outstanding final appearance. It offers a cost-effective alternative to natural stone, demands less upkeep, and can be manufactured more efficiently within shorter timeframes.
What colour cast stone portico should I have?
It’s crucial to pick a stone colour that compliments not only the walls, windows, and roof on your home, but also the area surrounding your home. We’ve created a guide specifically on ‘How to Choose an Exterior Stone Colour for your Home’.
Can a portico be free standing?
Yes, a portico can be free-standing. While porticos are commonly attached to the main structure of a building, such as the entrance of a house, they can also be designed as separate and independent structures.
A free-standing portico is typically supported by its own columns or pillars and is not physically connected to the main building. It can serve as a standalone architectural feature, providing a covered area or porch-like space that enhances the visual appeal of the surrounding landscape or serves a specific purpose, such as an outdoor seating area or a sheltered walkway.
Free-standing porticos can be found in various settings, including gardens, parks, public spaces, and even as standalone structures within residential properties. They offer flexibility in design and placement, allowing for creative architectural expression and functional use outside of the main building.
What is the roof of a portico made of?
The roof of a portico can be made from various materials, depending on the desired aesthetic, budget, and functional requirements. Here are some common options for portico roof materials:
Metal roofing, such as steel, aluminium, or copper, is another option for portico roofs. Whilst metal roofs are known for their longevity, and excellent water shedding capabilities, they are prone to staining the stone portico that they protect.
GRP (Glass Reinforced Polyester)
Therefore, most clients wanting a stone or cast stone portico installing will opt for a GRP (Glass Reinforced Polyester) roof, otherwise known as fibreglass.
For those wanting a ‘pitch-style’ roof, clay or concrete tiles, slate roofing and woof shingles can be used, however most porticos use a flat roof with a GRP roof.
How do I drain water off the roof of a portico?
On a flat roof, the water will typically be channelled towards either the middle or the side of the roof, which will then reach a drain in the middle of one of the columns, which is then linked to the drainage system.
It’s crucial that your cast stone portico is designed with drainage in mind, and any reputable manufacturer will factor this into the design. To learn more about the design process for a cast stone portico contact a member of the team today.
Are the columns solid or hollow on a portico?
We can custom-make the columns to suit the requirements of the project. This means that the columns are often hollow, in order to make room for other elements, such as integrating a clad steel beam, or to fit drainage. View our range of cast stone porticos here.
Do I need a foundation for a portico?
Yes, a foundation is typically required for a portico, especially if it is a permanent or attached structure. A foundation provides stability, structural support, and helps distribute the weight of the portico evenly to the ground.
The specific foundation requirements for a portico can vary depending on factors such as the size, design, and local building codes. When designing your cast stone portico, the manufacturer should take all of these building elements into consideration during the design process.
How do you maintain a portico on a house?
Here’s how to clean your cast stone portico:
Before applying any product to your stone landscape, it’s crucial to check with the manufacturer for the best cleaning practices.
Remove any debris
Use a soft-bristled brush or a clean cloth to remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the surface of the landscape. This will help to avoid scratches or damage to the stone during the cleaning process.
Create a cleaning solution
Mix a small amount of mild detergent or soap with warm water. Avoid using abrasive or acidic cleaners as they can damage the surface of the stone.
Apply the cleaning solution
Dip a clean cloth into the cleaning solution and gently apply it to the affected stone area. Make sure to cover the entire surface, including any crevices or hard-to-reach areas.
Use a soft-bristled brush or a sponge to scrub the surface of the product. Be gentle to avoid causing any scratches or damage to the stone.
Once you have finished scrubbing, use a hose or a bucket of clean water to rinse the product thoroughly. Make sure to remove all of the soap and cleaning solution from the surface.
Avoid using a cloth or towel to dry the stone as this can leave behind lint or fibres.
It is important to note that some stone materials, such as marble or limestone, may require specialised cleaning methods or products. Consult a professional or the manufacturer’s guidelines if you are unsure about how to clean a specific type of stone ornament.
This comprehensive guide to cast stone porticos has covered various important aspects. Cast stone porticos offer an affordable alternative to natural stone, with a similar aesthetic appeal and lower maintenance requirements. They enhance the curb appeal of a house, provide functional benefits such as shelter and protection, and add architectural character and distinction. Additionally, porticos can increase the value of a property by making it more desirable to potential buyers.
The installation process involves measuring, planning permission considerations, foundation construction, structural support, portico assembly, and roof installation. Proper drainage design is essential, and maintenance involves regular cleaning using appropriate methods.
We hope that you’ve found this guide useful, if you have any questions or need any advice, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team.