Once as standard as a yard, many modern houses have abandoned the use of a porch, but it should be considered again with any home additions and remodels. As purposeful as ever, the porch has benefits most homes have completely lost.
1. Porches build community. It shouldn’t seem antiquated or dismissed as quaint to desire closer relationships with neighbors. Just a few decades ago, front porches served as the most social space in the house, where passersby could stop to visit, and where guests were entertained in the evening. Just because technology seems to have reduced the frequency of human contact doesn’t mean everyone should follow suit. Building or expanding a porch can strengthen relationships better than any other room addition.
2. Porches access nature. After a long workday in a cramped office, most people settle into a similar space in their living room: air-conditioned and contained. No matter how large or nicely decorated a home is, it can’t replace the freedom of the outdoors. Fresh air invigorates, and drinking a glass of wine or eating under the sky in the evening can relax someone better than any hour of television.
3. Porches protect kids. Most parents want their kids outside more than glued to a television, but the realities of the modern world have made the outdoors a dangerous place. With an expansive or screened porch, kids can play while still under the protection of the home, or if their parent can work on the porch, they can take advantage of the whole yard or street and remain under a watchful eye.
While not as common as they once were, porches remain a powerful addition to any home. When remodeling, they shouldn’t be discounted as some remnant of Mayberry but rather, considered still a viable and functional part of home life.