Posted: 18/10/2014 at 11:39
I'm just not sure why you want an arch so close to the house. If the front garden's a very open space, why not plant a crab apple or ornamental cherry/almond down nearer the boundary? There's a house on a corner site near me which has hedging on the boundary and a cherry either side of the front gate forming an arch but the gate is around forty/fifty feet from the front door and is therefore in a suitable position.
I'm afraid I'd only consider a wooden or metal arch for climbers anywhere near the front door. As for conifers of any kind - the country's littered with houses where the occupants have to have lights on during the day because conifers have been planted a few feet from the front door and they block all the natural light. They might start off as nice little 'shrubs' - but they grow...and grow....
Sorry to rain on your parade Ron, but planting anything big, or potentially big, that close to the house means constant maintenance to keep it to size (which often ruins the plant) ...and eventually removal.