Get the Perfect Porch Skirt – Materials and Tips to Match Your Style

An attractive front porch can utterly transform the look of your home and give it serious curb appeal. But often the space beneath the porch itself gets overlooked. Exposed foundations and open crawl spaces don’t do much for aesthetics or function. That’s where adding a porch “skirt” comes in.

Porch skirting, also called a porch apron, refers to materials installed around the base of a porch deck to enclose the open area between the decking and the ground. It serves several useful purposes, from improving appearance to controlling moisture and pests.

front porch skirt ideas

Why Add Porch Skirting?

There are many great reasons to install skirting around your porch foundation:

  • It greatly improves the look of the porch and home exterior by covering unsightly foundations and structural elements underneath.
  • Skirting adds privacy around outdoor seating areas beneath the porch.
  • It helps prevent moisture buildup and deters burrowing rodents or insects from accessing the foundation area and crawl spaces.
  • Skirting hides HVAC equipment, utilities, and other items you may store beneath the porch from street view.
  • The right materials can provide ventilation to allow air circulation and prevent condensation or moisture damage issues.

With all these worthwhile benefits, it’s easy to see why adding an attractive skirt around your porch base is a smart upgrade.

Choosing the Best Porch Skirting Materials

With the wide variety of porch skirting options available, it’s important to select materials that match your needs and home’s style. Here are some key criteria to consider when deciding on the optimal porch skirt for your home:

Aesthetics to Match Architectural Style

A porch skirt plays a big role in your home’s curb appeal, so you’ll want materials that complement your existing architectural features. For traditional or historic homes, options like brick, stone, or wood panels make sense. More modern dwellings can get away with bolder contemporary materials like glass block or metal panels.

Other aesthetic factors like color, texture, and pattern also come into play. For instance, neutral colored skirting tends to appear more seamless and natural than brightly hued materials that can look jarringly out of sync.

Durability to Withstand Weathering

Since porch skirts take the brunt of rain, sun, snow and other outdoor elements, they need to stand up well to weathering over time. Brick, stone, and pressure-treated woods offer extreme durability, while delicate natural woods require consistent maintenance to achieve longevity.

Ventilation is also key for moisture control, so non-breathable skirts may trap condensation and encourage rot or mold growth issues.

Ventilation Potential

Allowing airflow under your porch is vital to prevent humidity, condensation, and associated moisture damage or pest problems. Carefully spaced lattice panels, grated metal panels, or foundation vents can strike an ideal balance between covering the crawl space and enabling ventilation.

Install Costs and Labor

Some skirt materials like brick or stone veneers require professional masonry skills, quickly escalating costs. The good news is that numerous affordable panels and fencing make achievable DIY porch skirt projects for motivated homeowners willing to put in some sweat equity.

Top Materials to Get the Perfect Porch Skirt

From classic wood planks to sleek glass blocks, today’s porch skirting options offer limitless possibilities. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular materials to consider:

Bamboo Rolls

Pros: This natural product offers a breezy, informal look, especially suited for beach or cottage style homes. Bamboo fencing rolls securely around posts while leaving slight gaps to allow ventilation.

Cons: Durability falls short of wood or masonry. Lifespans average 3-5 years before replacement needs.

Lattice Panels

Pros: Lightweight pre-made lattice offers cost-effective coverage that slightly conceals foundations while enabling airflow. Installs in minutes for DIYers.

Cons: Won’t withstand heavy weathering or provide substantial privacy. Requires periodic sealing, painting or replacement.


Pros: Customizable sets of exterior shutters make a stylish foundation skirt when mounted to porch framing. Offer total adjustability for perfect fit.

Cons: Continual moisture can warp cheaper shutters over time. Size standardization issues may require custom crafting.

Stone Veneers

Pros: Mimics classic structural stone at a lighter weight and lower cost. Extreme durability; just brush debris away each season.

Cons: Professional installation advised for structural stability concerns. Higher cost than DIY-friendly options.

Brick Rows

Pros: Beautifully complements existing brick exteriors with seamless design flow. Matches well on older traditional homes. Extremely durable and low-maintenance.

Cons: Another higher priced professional installation option. Mortar repairs occasionally needed.

Vinyl Panels

Pros: Budget-friendly lightweight panels neatly conceal foundations. Quick DIY installation with basic tools. Available colors complement most exteriors.

Cons: Industrial appearance lacks natural visual warmth. Less ventilation potential than lattice or trellis panels.

Trellis Sections

Pros: Perfect for supporting climbing vines or flowers to boost visual appeal. Allows excellent airflow and pest control. DIY-friendly installation.

Cons: Open-air concept sacrifices privacy. Expect some ongoing pruning/debris maintenance with plant growth.

Wood Planks or Boards

Pros: Customizable sizes and shapes enable uniquely creative foundations skirts. Stained/sealed wood boasts unmatchable natural beauty and artisanal charm.

Cons: Won’t survive long without rigorous weatherproofing maintenance every year or two.

Woven Panels

Pros: Woven panels offer a unique, modern option for front porch skirting. They come in various colors and patterns to complement different home styles.

Cons: While more durable than natural fibers, woven panels are still less resilient than wood, masonry and metal alternatives over the long term.

Glass Blocks

Pros: Glass blocks enable light while securing privacy under the porch. They create a sleek, contemporary skirt with minimalist style.

Cons: Installation requires specific expertise to build secure structural framing and prevent cracks or leaks.

Copper Panels

Pros: Few materials surpass copper’s distinct, upscale aesthetic. Natural weathering adds alluring patina over time. Extends porch style beyond foundations to walls.

Cons: Copper costs more than most skirting options. Avoid potential corrosion issues through proper initial sealing.

Key Installation Tips

While each porch skirting option demands slightly different installation methods, here are some universal best practices:

Measure Twice for Perfect Fit

Carefully gauge the exact height and length needed to enclose the entire perimeter under your porch. Remember to account for slight gaps if designing a ventilated skirt option. Better to have extra materials to work with than to come up short halfway through the job.

Properly Prep the Surface

Remove any debris beneath the deck and level the ground area out with grading tools or layers of builders sand for flatness. This prevents future shifting issues and enables straight simple installation.

Secure the Skirting Correctly

Consult manufacturer guidelines on best methods for securing your chosen material firmly in place. Correct anchoring prevents panels or fencing from falling or detaching from the structure over time as temperature and moisture fluctuate.

Check Local Building Codes

Most areas allow DIY porch skirting projects without permits, but always confirm your local regulations first. Structural stonework or masonry may require licensed work in some municipalities.

Accessorize Your New Skirt

Once your porch skirt foundation is beautifully concealing the crawl space, have fun accenting with decorative touches:

  • Incorporate benches, planter boxes or ceramic pots housing vivid flowers
  • Add strings of patio lights or lanterns for magical evening ambience
  • Extend garden beds along the base of the new skirt
  • Paint or stain wood skirting to match exterior color scheme

Customizing your skirt helps the porch feel like an extension of the home rather than an afterthought.

You can achieve beautiful customization with so many types of skirting materials. Taking time to properly install porch skirting yields huge dividends for your home’s aesthetics and functionality over the long term. Give your front porch the perfect frame it deserves!

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