Porches were originally designed to be a spot to pause before entering a home, to add more living space, and to provide a place to relax in the refreshing cool breezes of the day. Architecturally, they furnish a dramatic entrance, separate the public space from the private with a smooth transition, and boost curb appeal to your home.
Many of us have forgotten how enjoyable the front porch can be -- the advent of TV, air conditioning, and backyard decks over-shadowed the peace that a front porch can bring to the everyday. The porch is now making a comeback with folks seeking the relaxation a porch affords. In 2006, NPR hosted an extensive investigation of the porch to analyze its place in our culture. In addition, a recent Wall Street Journal article called it “the friendliest place in the house.” (WSJ, Mansions section, Friday, July 25, 2014.) Thus it is no surprise that in June of this year the Bureau of the Census reported that 63% of new single-family homes were constructed in 2013 with porches.
Though it is obvious that porches get more use in the spring and summer months, the front porch encourages interaction with your community all year-round. When the temperatures start to dip, the front porch becomes a place to more creatively showcase holiday decorations. Welcoming a guest into the holiday spirit is a lot easier when you have a front porch to take care of that for you.
Front porches were actually mandated in 1981 for the planned city of Seaside in northwest Florida -- mainly to reduce air conditioning usage. It was found, though, that other advantages of porch “sitting” developed. These included strengthening community bonds from neighbor interactions and helping to prevent crime, since there were now a large number of watchers in every street. Today, many home developments feature front porches. In fact, the majority of the plans offered in Lakeview Landing feature a cozy covered front porch.
If you're interested in learning more about our porched housing developments, take a look at our Communities.