nothing wrong with "porches"-

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JGropp
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nothing wrong with "porches"-

Postby JGropp » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:48 pm

There's really nothing wrong with "porches"-
per se except they could be better designed. J-


Image

(Click) http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2009278375&zsection_id=2002242419&slug=zhom30porch&date=20090602
Last edited by JGropp on Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby greenmod » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:49 pm

I'm curious what you consider a good porch design?

I love my front porch. And my side porch. And my back porch. It's great to have an outside, covered area when you live in the NW. My kids can skateboard and ride scooters around the three sides of our house and stay dry. Plus is gives us a place to leave muddy boots and have a little storage that is hidden from the road.

Image
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Joe
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Postby Joe » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:54 pm

Porches are great, especially when the owner has a ratty sofa or a broken down refrigerator on it. :wink:

I find porches to be a waste of space. they often become dumping ground for bicycles, boxes, and trash. The New Urbanism theory that porches make good neighborhoods is wrong. people like their privacy. They don't necessarily want to see everyone's business on the porch.

I would rather see that space moved to the back or side for private outdoor living. I'll see my neighbors when we're walking the dog, going for a jog, or washing the car.

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JGropp
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engawa

Postby JGropp » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:49 pm

Our house is a slab-on-grade with
many ways to get outside easily.
In Japan, an engawa serves as a
all around porch raised above the
ground as yours is. Nice house. J-

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Postby Perks » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:53 pm

I think Joe is starting to say my thoughts before I can even think them.

I too find porches to be generally useless, at least in the "traditional" sense of a three- or four-foot deep wasteland. My mom keeps plants on hers. Greenmod's seems big enough to be actually useful. I for one prefer to be able to simply walk out onto the land, and I actually have enough doors in and out of my house that I almost always have trouble finding either pair of my flip-flops (my house is shoes-free) when I want to head outside.

I know lots of my neighbors, but none of it has ever come from me sitting in front of my house.
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Postby greenmod » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:12 pm

We don't sit on the front porch. No chairs (or ratty sofas) out there. We do have a large cedar chest that holds outside "stuff" (rollerblades, skateboards, gardening tools, etc) that I don't want to walk all the way around the backside of the house for (garage is on the back, roof of which is our very large back deck, we are on a steep hill). The best two things about the design of my porch is it is deep (6') and it doesn't have traditional railings but is sided like the house. It hides the ratty sofa :wink:
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Postby Joe » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:21 pm

I am sure there are always exceptions to the rule (greenmod).

go drive through a crappy neighborhood sometime of mostly pre-WW2 houses and you'll see what I mean. I have lived in enough crappy neighborhoods to know the ratty sofa eventually makes it to the front lawn until it rains :wink:

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Engawa-

Postby JGropp » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:06 pm


Jerry Gropp Architect AIA PS


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Yup

Postby modfan » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:46 am

Those 'vestigial' porches aren't very useful they aren't very deep so putting 'outdoor furniture' on em is moot. But a deep one with a porch swing, that is nice. My grandma's house was that way and our house when we first moved to Claremont had one too.

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Deep porches-

Postby JGropp » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:57 am

Deep porches are a problem
up here in the rainy Northwest
in that they shade the windows
too much. Skylights help unless
there's a second story. Jerry

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Re: Engawa-

Postby jesgord » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:02 am

JGropp wrote:Image

(Click) http://www.japanlinks.ch/traditional_japanese_house/english/exit.php
Here's a Japanese Engawa. J-


Nice example Jerry. The Japanese do have an amazing design sensibility. I have recently become enamored of MCM Japanese architecture that incorporate the traditional design elements. There are a few period books, that I would recommend for anyone interested:

Contemporary Japanese Houses by Sieke and Terry (1964)
Image
Image


Japanese House Its Interior & Exterior by Kiyoko Ishimoto 1963
Image


Contemporary Japanese Houses Vol. 2 by Terry 1969
Image
Image

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Re: Deep porches-

Postby greenmod » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:20 am

JGropp wrote:Deep porches are a problem
up here in the rainy Northwest
in that they shade the windows
too much. Skylights help unless
there's a second story. Jerry


What it really comes down to (as usual) is design. The front of my house did not have windows originally, only clerestory along the top. We get plenty of light though since the whole back of the house is windows with a view. I would love to go back to windowless front, but I would severely miss the cross breeze in the summer.
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deep dark porches-

Postby JGropp » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:55 am

Image
Just a few blocks away from
my MI home. Far too many
deep dark porches up here in
the rainy NorthWest. Jerry

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:55 am

Apples and oranges. Loggias and covered walkways are different from pre-WW2 porches.

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Re: deep dark porches-

Postby Joe » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:59 am

JGropp wrote:Image


just a matter of time until those porches become "sun rooms" and are glassed off. then they are walled off to add more living space.

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Postby jakabedy » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:36 pm

I understand your strong feelings regarding design, but I think sometimes you can be a bit PNW-myopic. Here in the deep South we can really appreciate a good porch, as the overhang shields windows from the sun and provides a breezy, shaded spot. Even better if it is screened.
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deep porches-

Postby JGropp » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:34 pm

jakabedy wrote:I understand your strong feelings regarding design, but I think sometimes you can be a bit PNW-myopic. Here in the deep South we can really appreciate a good porch, as the overhang shields windows from the sun and provides a breezy, shaded spot. Even better if it is screened.


As you say-
"you can be a bit PNW-myopic"-
right on- I plead guilty- one has
to design to meet local conditions.
I do like deep porches- in the
deep South.
. J-

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Postby eggMCMuffin » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:11 am

My house in Portland has a long front porch (more of a deck really due to the second story entrance, but the principle is the same), which I initially didn't like, but eventually came around to because it breaks up the front elevation a little bit. Until I can think of something better, it stays. I may just put a better looking railing on it and leave it otherwise unchanged.

Image

No comments about the sorry state of my lawn please (or the terrible white trim I still haven't painted), I know... ;-)

However, the porch on our house can at best be described as a decorative feature because (like several others have noted) we never use it. Nobody wants to sit out in front of their neighbors, especially if they have a nice private backyard. The builder or architect kept the eaves as short as possible, which allowed the porch to be reasonably deep without much of a sun blocking issue, but that comes with it's own problems in the soggy PNW. Two years ago I had to cut and sister most of the joists and replace a lot of the decking due to rot induced by years of water pooling and draining. Luckily, I got the joists fixed before the rot could progress into the house $$$ (same joists run from the center of the house all the way out to the front of the deck). Had the eaves been set deeper than the deck (instead of at the same depth) the deck would have stayed much dryer year-round, but the living room feeling like a cave.

A couple of interior shots, just to show the effect (or lack of effect) on sunlight in the living room:
Image
Image
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Nice PDX home-

Postby JGropp » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:11 am

Presume EggMCM is in
Stuttgart on business-
military or other. When
he gets back should at
least remove the horiz.
2x4 at eyelevel- one of
my pet peeves. Jerry

Image

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Postby eggMCMuffin » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:39 pm

Jerry, It happens to be business... Several aspects of that railing are high on the list for improvement in 2011!
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Postby Izzy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:33 pm

I love porches. We visit Ellensburg, WA in eastern wa often. We used to live there, EVERYONE uses their porches for hanging out on a hot night, saying hi to neighbors... It is a walking town and that makes for a lot of people strolling by. Yes, they can collect crap but the same people will collect crap elsewhere too. I say, yay for porches!
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Joe
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Postby Joe » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:12 pm

nice place, egg

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Postby eggMCMuffin » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am

Joe, Thanks-- like most of people's houses on this site it needs stuff, but it's getting there. This three year hiatus has been kind of a bummer in that regard, but it has other benefits, and it allows time to plan (very) carefully :-)

Izzy, good to hear you rise the defense of porches! I agree with you about the virtues of a porch. They're nice places to hang out, and they can look good when done properly (one also has to follow Joe's "this is not a parking place for everybody's junk" rule). I really think, for a lot of people, it comes down to whether or not your porch comes with at least a litle but of privacy. A front or side porch can be a really nice thing provided it doesn't look right across the street into your neighbor's picture window. If you live in a less populated area or have some kind of natural barrier, fence, or partition, a porch could fit very nicely with some of the other indoor/outdoor living elements that many MCMs embrace; atriums, long expanses of floor to ceiling glass, big back patios, etc. The issue is that so many porches are incompatible with the level of urban/suburban density that most of us live around. I chose to buy my particular home because it combined many (but certainly not all) of the design features that I was looking for with a location that was only 10 minutes from the center of downtown Portland (a real 10 minutes, not a realty listing "10 minutes"). I get to miss a lot of traffic every day, but one of the trade-offs was that I knew I wasn't going to have any privacy on that porch...
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