On the Porch: Creating Your Place to Watch the World Go by
Porches are more popular than ever--they're great for adding curb appeal, welcoming friends and neighbors to your door, and creating a friendly outdoor living room. There's no better way to end a hot summer's day than to sit back with a tall frosty lemonade on your porch swing and watch the world go by!
A porch can change the way you live in your house--it can entirely change the way your house looks--it can change the way you relate to your neighborhood. There is, simply, something magical about a porch. It slows you down, it tells you to take some time, to read the paper, to sip a glass of iced tea, to watch the weather roll in.. For those dreaming of a front porch or those with porches in need of redesign, On the Porch will be their bible, the only book to cover the topic from porch types to planning and design, to tips on good construction, to maintenance and porch adornment (lighting, overhead fans, rockers, hanging plants, trellising). An important component of the book will be showing, using before and after photos, how adding a porch can entirely change the look of your home.
Architects James Crisp and Sandra Mahoney offer a complete design guide to porches, from considering the porch's function to choosing wood alternatives, lighting and finishing design touches. Some of their advice:
Before designing a porch, research zoning regulations, such as minimum setback from your property line and percentage of your property that can be covered with a structure.
Homeowners often make the mistake of allowing just enough space on the porch for furniture, without thinking about how much they'll move around it. Although it's possible to squeeze quite a few chairs around a table, guests will be more comfortable if they can pull them out, stand behind them and allow others to get by.
When debating the choice of a screen porch with an open-air porch, consider that a screened porch will dim the natural light inside your home. On an open-air porch, you will have to deal with bugs.
A porch doesn't have to look like it's from the 19th century. Modern porches are sleeker, taller and more open.
Add an extra design element to your wood flooring by laying the boards in creative ways, on the diagonal or in a geometric pattern.
Composites have entered the market as decking and have made the transition to trim pieces and boards, providing good weather-resistant material.
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