GardenDrumThe porch makes a comeback

Photo Infrogmation of New Orleans

Photo Infrogmation of New Orleans

The porch, that covered area between a house and the street or garden, is making a big comeback in American house design.

Although it had been a traditional part of American architecture for centuries, particularly in the South, only 20 years ago less than half of all USA new single-family homes had a porch. Now it’s nearly two thirds (63%).

These screened enclosures are forming a new place for outdoor living, rather than an ‘outdoor room’ tacked on to the back of the house. Some are the essence of modern living while others hark back to a by-gone era with ‘sleeping porches’, bench swings and rocking chairs.

Roswell screened porch Photo Carrie Qualters

Roswell screened porch Photo Carrie Qualters

More interestingly, many porches are being built on the front of the house, creating a more friendly interface between private home and street.

Seven cats on the front porch. Photo Bart Everson

Seven cats on the front porch. Photo Bart Everson

According to Robert Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture,

“the porch friendlies up the house”

as people can sit and interact with neighbors and passers-by.

As the porch is also under the main roof of the house, it is better protected from weather extremes than a separate enclosed area.

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