Tuesday, November 14, 2006

When is a porch too big??


I am sitting on the porch of our new house as I write this entry. It is the first time I have actually been able to sit on the porch in one of our comfortable chairs eventhough it is about 50 degrees outside right now.

It only took my about two weeks to get around to cleaning half the porch off. The other half is full of trim boards, paint cans, tools, an old microwave, sawmill blades, a few nail guns, more fire wood, muddy boots and a few bags of trash.

Now back to the question at hand.....

When is a porch too large? I am no architect, but we did design this house. It is 22x40 with a 10x20 covered porch. The porch is equal to almost half the size the main floor living space. Is there some ratio for how to size a porch compared to the remainder of the house?

When Stephanie and I were designing the house we wanted the extra living space a porch would provide. It looks out over our small yard (mostly mud right now) and into the woods. Our house in Chicago had a decent size porch off the back but we rarely had time to enjoy it. I guess the view off our current porch is much nicer than in Oak Park where we got to look at our postage stamp lot and the back alley.

So here are some specifics on the porch. The floor is made of rough sawn poplar with an exposed tin roof above. Three nice ceiling fans provide decent light and a good breeze. To go along with the look of the glavanized roof we had Glen our electrician place some nice bends in the conduit supplying power to the fans. The railing is a fairly simple repeating pattern of a 1x3 board - 3" space - 1x6 board- 3" space - 1x3 board and so on and so on.

The only gutter for the house is on the porch. It is a 6" galvalume half round with some cool brackets. The water flows down a copper rain chain into a stone filled dry well that goes into the woods. Troy at CSC Sheet Metal in Durham worked with us on these items and was very helpful.

We have an extra wood burning stove that my Uncle Bill had in is art studio back in the 80's before he passed away and it has been in storage ever since. We are going to clean it up and install it on one end of the porch. That will be the family room area with the comfortable wicker furniture. We are going to place the grill on the other end with a large farm table for the family meals when the weather is nice. We hope to even use the porch for sleeping in the fall and spring.

Well I guess with all the plans for the porch it may not be too big but could be bigger. What do you think???

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