Connecting on the Front Porch

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There is no doubt the front porch will continue to be a building trend in 2012. Front porches are popular on new homes and are being added to existing homes. People feel a need to connect with their neighbors and create community, especially as they move to urban areas.

Large porches extend living space to the outdoors, too. People have meals on the porch or just hang out in a comfy rocker and invite passing neighbors to join them.

Depending on your locale, you may need to screen your porch in to protect yourself from insects. A porch may or may not be covered. Some serve the homeowners year round.

I am fortunate to have covered porches on the north and south sides of my house (that’s one main reason I bought this house!). I sit on the north side in summer and on the south side in winter. Most sunny winter days are warm enough to pull out the camp chair and relax with a cup of tea or a beer.

Examples of front porches

Here are a few examples of front porches, new and old.

Victorian homes are well known for their large wrap-around porches.

I recently wrote about Craftsman bungalows, which have grand porches with large pillars. Here’s a photo from American Bungalow Magazine.

A 1919 farmhouse in North Carolina has been renovated, and, of course, it has a front porch.

My parents retired to the Piedmont of North Carolina, and I saw plenty of run down houses like this one, which still sports a front porch.

Some areas need screened porches, and this one is luxurious.

The whole family can sit on this porch and talk to passersby and the next door neighbors!

The front porch reminds me of a time before technology, riding our bikes in the road, visiting with our neighbors and enjoying the outdoors. I think this is what people are yearning for as most of us sit in front of computers at work all day. Connecting with others and creating community makes a good balance in our hurried lives. The front porch helps with that!

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as upcoming and existing technology to help us live in an ecologically-friendly way. Nan also authors posts on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.