Simply: A deck with a roof, attached to a house.  Usually made of wood or wood substitutes, but also sometimes of masonry or other materials.  Most porches are of the open air type.  If the porch floor is more than 30″ off the ground, codes usually require that a railing exist.  This affords the opportunity to show off fancy millwork such as spindles (turned balusters), raised panel newel posts, columns, etc.  Or, a porch may be closed in by screens to keep the bugs out or porch panels of glass or acrylic to help regulate temperature or wind.  These are often called “3 season” porches, and sometimes have infrared heaters, ceiling fans, rugs, and other items that make the porch usable for a greater part of the year.  Complete the porch in with windows and home-like heating and cooling, and it is no longer a porch, but is an addition to your home.

So having dispensed with the boring definition, let’s describe the good stuff.  A porch is a place where:

  • friends meet
  • neighbors become friends
  • iced tea is sipped while absorbed in a good book
  • guitar playing is learned
  • the TV, smart phones, and other distractions are LEFT BEHIND
  • blood pressure is reduced
  • teenagers get in trouble for necking on the porch swing