Friday, March 26, 2021

Porch Joists (and a bit of a rant about regional architecture)

 My it takes me a while to get back into a blogging routine after a break! It doesn't help, I suppose, that the family has been distracted watching scammer payback videos on YouTube. At least it has made me aware! Always unplug your router if one of them gets control of your computer! Better yet, just hang up if it's Microsoft!
But anyway, I could have been blogging.

One sunny day in June, the porch was getting underway!

We are porch advocates! We knew that we did not want a skimpy porch. Ours is ten feet deep, and forty feet long. If you want to have an outdoor eating area, a mere four feet deep will not do! A nice long, deep porch is also good for children to play on when it is too rainy to run around in the yard.

Now for the rant: the state I live in is known for its rain complaints. I have seen many moldy, dry-rotted houses on the rainy side of the mountains. It did not take me long living here to wonder, why aren't porches part of the vernacular architecture? Specifically, wrap-around porches. They would extend the life of siding, keep the damp feeling down on the inside of the house, and allow the inmates of the house a dry place to walk around and get some exercise in the wet winter. As it is, not a lot of people venture out-of-doors when it is drizzly. A wrap-around porch could bring about healthier movement in wintertime.

Now, not having been here a hundred years ago, I might be completely mistaken in this judgement. Perhaps they did have wrap-around porches then, but they have since rotted away themselves and not been replaced. I know that the new houses have very small porches, if any, and most not more than a dark cave-like corridor to the front door. The rain is still a problem and the architecture has not reflected the solution.

On the other side of the mountains, where the sun shines most of the year, a deep porch is important for the shade and I think I see more porches around. Reminds me of that old Aesop's fable of the quest to get the man's coat...guess the sun still wins.


Rozy Lass said...

People stopped building porches when the television and a/c kept them comfortable inside and entertained. I agree that it is a miserable loss to not have porches. We live in a Queen Anne built in 1898. The porch and tower were removed sometime around 1949 to make it more "modern". Tragic! I hope you enjoy you lovely porch!

Lillibeth said...

Eek! I hope you can re-build a porch on someday:) I can't imagine a Queen Anne without one!
The old folks out on the farm had "sleeping porches" too. I like the idea of a sleeping porch, where the mosquitos can't get in!
I've also seen glassed-in porches though it wasn't ever explained to me why they were glassed in. If it was a sun-room, it was so stacked high with extra stuff it wasn't working anymore! I suppose everyone needs a junk room and maybe enclosing un-used porches was a way to get them.
Thanks for the comment!

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