5 min read

Project of the Month: Lakefront Porch Addition and Outdoor Kitchen

Featured Image

The owners of a cottage located on Canandaigua Lake enjoy entertaining family and friends. To optimize the time they spend at the lake, they asked us to design and build a lakefront porch addition with some unique features that allow them to extend the season. This challenging project took six months to complete and was started just as the snow was melting in March. The new outdoor living space includes many amenities such as a gas fueled pizza oven and grill, bar sink and refrigerator, and a wood-burning outdoor fireplace.

lakefront porch addition

This open porch addition built onto a lake cottage provides a multi-purpose outdoor living space and a spectacular lake view. We also built the steps, pillars and reset the retaining wall to complement the addition.

Homeowners’ Objectives

We worked with the homeowners to address their specifications for the outdoor living space they envisioned:

  1. Provide shelter from the sun and rain. The owners enjoy spending time outdoors but needed a shelter to extend their use of the lake frontage. The sheltered area should also blend with the architecture of the cottage. An open porch attached to the house would provide them with the covered space they needed.
  2. An outdoor kitchen. Having a place to prepare food and drinks outdoors was important to them for entertaining guests. They wanted a functional kitchen with a built-in grill, pizza oven, outdoor refrigerator, a bar sink, counter space and storage cabinets.
  3. An entertainment and seating area. Days on the lake can become very warm. The owners wanted an area where they could escape the sun and relax. The air temperature at the lake cools down at night so they also wanted an outdoor fireplace to be able to use the outdoor living space in the evenings and on cool days when entertaining guests.
  4. Comply with town zoning requirements and incorporate access to the lakefront and the view of the lake. Zoning requirements for lakefront properties are often stringent to protect the waterfront, water quality and the environment. This would be an important consideration to address in the design of the project.

McClurg’s Solutions

1.  Design the lakefront porch addition to complement the home’s architecture.

The porch addition was designed and products were selected to blend with the home’s architecture. Ceiling lines for the porch replicate the shape and design of the windows of the home. A gabled roof was used to optimize the view of the lake from inside of the home. The roof serves as the structural support for a stone veneer outdoor wood-burning fireplace.

open porch addition with stone chimney

The gabled roof complements the shape of a large arched window and does not obscure the view of the outdoors. Boral cultured stone veneer was used on the chimney and the areas for built-in appliances and storage. Copper gutters were used for both function and aesthetics.

2.  Design the kitchen to accommodate outdoor appliances. 

The homeowners chose upscale stainless steel finish outdoor appliances from Lynx that are designed to be built-in and will withstand the elements. These appliances include the grill, refrigerator and storage cabinets. A gas-fueled pizza oven from Alfresco was selected for the project. There is also a built-in bar sink and granite counters.

To protect the kitchen during winter months we installed plumbing that is self-draining. The owners are having custom covers made to protect the appliances and counters when not in use.

outdoor kitchen

A gas grill, refrigerator, storage cabinets and a bar sink were built into a stone veneered island with a granite countertop.

3.  Provide ample space for entertainment and seating.

The porch will comfortably seat twelve or more people. There are two dining tables that will seat ten adults, and cushioned lounges and chairs for enjoying the view or sitting in front of the fireplace. The porch includes lighting and a ceiling fan for ventilation.

Several features were added to enhance the comfort and function of the space:

  • Wood-burning fireplace and pizza oven. One of the main features of the porch is its stone fireplace with a nearby pizza oven. The fireplace hearth is granite and there are storage areas for wood and kindling capped with granite to create more counter space.

outdoor wood-burning fireplace and pizza oven

The fireplace wall includes storage, a pizza oven and additional counters.

porch addition with composite decking floor

Composite decking complements the siding of the cottage. The slip and splinter resistant surface is ideal for those who want to walk barefoot on the porch.

  • Lighting. Both recessed and spotlights were installed on the ceiling. The fan contains a light. Lights were also installed on posts. There is a skylight on the gabled roof that brings natural light into the space.

porch addition lighting

Lighting was integrated into the intricate interior design of the ceiling.

4.  Comply with lakefront zoning requirements.

We needed to obtain a zoning variance from the town to build the addition. The structure of the current home and its driveway were at the maximum allowance for impermeable space, space that will not allow water to seep through. The problem required a creative solution to obtain approval. We redesigned the driveway, taking up asphalt and replanting grass, to meet the permeability standard to get the project approved.

porch addition with lake view

In lakefront communities zoning ordinances are important for both the safety of residents and to protect the environment, especially in a setting like pristine Canandaigua Lake shown here from the porch addition.