Porches – and the feelings they create – are making a comeback. They are reminiscent of another time when life was more simple, and sitting out on the front porch to enjoy watching activity in the neighborhood was a pastime all its own. Increasing numbers of private home builders are including porches in dream house plans, for a number of good reasons.
Traditional Front Porches
There was a long period of time when porches had almost disappeared from building plans. Many different home styles now have porches, bringing back visions of old country homes or farmhouses. Even city row houses have porches, although they may not look quite as inviting. When it comes to building a custom home today, homeowners seem to like the idea of a more traditional front porch – and many are asking home builders to include a porch in the blueprints.
There are many reasons for this; the one most professional home builders agree about is that the traditional front porch may be a way to return to the traditional family and comfortable neighborhoods. This may or may not be true; however, with families spread out more than ever before, it is one that seems to be quite relevant to those building their own homes. Custom built homes reflect the families that build them, then the front porch may be an important extension of that concept. Whatever the reason, families are choosing porches again.
What Is A Good Porch?
Although most people think of the traditional farmhouse style, a good front porch can be styled to match other types of architecture as well. Since a well-designed porch is one that is spacious and comfortable and can be used by the entire family, it must be part of the plan. So it is much more than an expensive ornament – it is actually useful. Following are some features home builders consider in porch designs:
- Length and Width – This is a big decision, so it deserves extra consideration. Traditional porches spanned the entire length of the front of a house. Although that is no longer necessary, they should be wide enough to be useful. These two measurements greatly influence the look of the porch and whether it will be inviting enough to use, unless its purpose is mostly for looks. To be useful, home builders say a porch should be at least five feet wide for furniture to fit comfortably. The ultimate decision should be based on its intended use and the size that fits the architectural style of the home design.
- Post Size and Type – The style of the home must be taken into consideration when deciding on post size and type, as there are many options, ranging from lathe-turned, wooden posts to wide columns – and even columns made of brick, cement, and other materials. Home builders advise that column style should be conducive to the architectural style of the home, as these elements can truly bring out the character in a home’s front-facing appeal.
- Front Door – While porch size and appearance as well as post style and size are important, so is the centerpiece of this presentation – the front door. A beautiful porch typically shows off an equally impressive main entrance, so home builders do not ignore this. Stately doors with frames that match the posts and general style of the home are essential as is a door painted a complementary color.
Homes with front porches look stately yet both friendly and welcoming. It is no wonder that today’s architectural styles include porches -which is why so many home builders are including a front porch again in their designs!