by Sandra L. Mahoney, James M. Crisp
Published in Fine Homebuilding Issue #282, May 2019
Reprinted with permission © 2019, The Taunton Press, Inc.
Synopsis: Using three case studies, two architects explain how to design a porch that will fit with the layout and design of a particular home. The article includes a checklist of questions to answer when considering porch design, as well as details on siting, proportions, style, roofs, foundations, posts, and railings. Section drawings give guidance for the connections between the roof and sill and the columns and beams, and the decking surface and drainage.
It’s been said that there is no architectural element more nostalgic than the American porch. We agree. There’s a soft spot in our hearts for porches—so much so that we co-authored a book on the subject, On the Porch: Creating Your Place to Watch the World Go By (The Taunton Press, 2007). Porches play a unique role as a transitional space between the outdoors and private interiors. Our firm has projects in upstate New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, which means we are surrounded by rural settings and historic homes, many of which include porches. They provide a deep well of inspiration. There are very few homes that we have designed in the last 20 years that don’t include a porch. No matter the region, house style (or lack thereof), or budget, we believe there’s a porch to fit. Whether modest or grand in scale or function, a porch is sure to enhance your home—experientially and monetarily. Of course, the success of any porch lies in good design and proper detailing.
(end of excerpt)
Last Updated: October 15, 2020
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