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The porch is an important element of a home’s design and functionality, but it’s also part of American culture. On social media porches have been honored with their own hashtag – #porchsitting.

Dan Stevens, who played Matthew Crawley on “Downton Abbey,” made a very astute observation about the differences in American porches and those of his native England.

“A British porch is a musty, forbidding non-room in which to fling a sodden umbrella or a muddy pair of boots; a guard against the elements and strangers,” Stevens said. “By contrast the good ol’ American front porch seems to stand for positivity and openness; a platform from which to welcome or wave farewell; a place where things of significance could happen.”

He’s right, and that’s why Honest Abe’s customers take time to think about the design of their porches. There are decisions to make about roof type, temperature control, size, electrical, finish, railings, posts and whether the porch is screen enclosed or open. Once these decisions are made, it’s just a matter of working with Independent Dealer Dewayne Crumley to create the design and estimate the cost.

Size Matters

If the porch is no more than a covered spot to access the house, it need not be very large. However, most Honest Abe customers want the porch to expand their living space. They want chairs, tables and swings. They want to decorate for the seasons. They want room to entertain friends and family or just relax on their own. Though a traditional porch width is 8’, it can be any size. Just tell Honest Abe’s design and sales team what’s desired.

Protection from the Elements

A real porch has a roof. Otherwise it is a deck. There are two types of roofs, and both will shield from the broiling sun or pouring rain. The shed roof is a flat section that pitches away from the house. A gable roof creates an “A.” Each have their functional and visual purpose, so it is not uncommon for a home to have a shed roof on the front and a gable on the back or vice versa depending on the home’s window configuration.

Hate Insects?

Most people cannot really relax when bugs are bugging them. In addition to the annoyance of insects crawling on one’s body or trespassing into food or drinks, there’s a health concern. Mosquitoes are a nuisance that also carry diseases. The sting of a bee or wasp can be fatal to some people. The decision is whether to leave the porch open or enclose it with screen. Independent Dealer Dewayne Crumley, working in conjunction with Honest Abe’s designers will create a porch plan to accommodate!

Turned On, Tuned In

Remembering to add electrical outlets and wiring for lighting and sound during the design phase will save time and money later. A porch can look old-fashioned and at the same time have lights, fans, wall sconces, charging stations and even speakers. Dewayne can help navigate these decisions.

A Porch IS Outside

In reality the temperature of a porch cannot be completely controlled. Fans designed specifically for the outdoors can keep hot air from becoming oppressive. Heaters, either portable or built-in, or perhaps a fireplace can shave off the chill. Think about this before the plan is finalized to account for wiring.

No matter the design of a porch, it’s safe to say life is better with one. Ashton Kutcher, actor and entrepreneur, summed it up pretty tidily, concluding that “true luxury is being able to own your time – to be able to take a walk, sit on your porch, read the paper, not take the call, not be compelled by obligation.”

One doesn’t have to be a celebrity to create that lifestyle, and the right porch is a good start. #porchsitting

Story by Claudia Johnson @2023, Serenity Log Homes