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Porches – worth the investment? Just look what you can do now…!

When you envisage porches, what do you ‘see’?

You will see one of two visions, we expect;

  • The long, sun-drenched porch found on colonial houses across the world, but still popular in America, you can probably see rocking chairs and cocktails in the sun… OR
  • You see tiny porches, connected to the front or back doors of a property, full of wet coats and muddy wellies…

But porches have come of age and they are now additions to homes that many people are now realising that with fore-thought and careful planning, can actually become incredibly useful – and not just functional!

The porch – a potted history

Porches developed from ‘lean-to’s’ and are effectively an enclosed space that sits either on the exterior of the front of a building but also the back too. They were built over doorways as a way of providing shelter from the weather of wet or windy days, and also made a great place for outdoor shoes and coats to be kept.

Some porches are small, and yet examples can be found on stately homes and other grandiose houses too and this is testament to one thing: they were a useful space, offer shelter from inclement weather but could also be space that could be utilised for all kinds of tasks.

Porches, either open or enclosed, were useful spaces, utilised for all kinds of tasks. But, something changed…

Energy efficiency – undoubtedly, the biggest influencing factor on the ‘common porch’ is the need for homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. One way of doing this, is to coat the property in double glazed windows, doors and cavity wall insulation, amongst many things.

But, it still left the problem of the doors opening directly on the outside world and heat can still be lost through doors and their frames. And so, adding porches to properties became one way of adding an ‘extra layer of insulation’. Double glazed porches are a great way of keeping even more heat in a home.

Making best use of space – and so, porches were even more useful and them homeowners started to realise that far from being poky little entrances to their homes, porches could be extended. And when they were, they took on a whole different meaning!

People extended their porches a few feet and then there was space for so much more than just wet coats and muddy boots. They provided safe and secure places to have the dryer or the washing machine, as well as keeping the outdoor toys, bikes too.

Some people also use these elongated porches as places to sit and relax too. How will you use your porch?