Creating a livable porch

Porches are a must down here on the coast. But a porch is not porch unless you can LIVE on it.

By “live” on it, I mean you have to be able to put your feet up, put your glass of sweet tea (or whatever drink you have in mind) down on the table and sit back to talk with a guest.

A few feet of porch space will not do.

Creating a livable porch means eight feet of clear space – minimum – and that’s when your house is on the setbacks and we just can’t squeeze another inch onto the lot. Our favorite depth is ten to twelve feet of “livable” space. This gives you enough room to settle into a soft chair or plan for Thanksgiving dinners around a table outside. Thankfully, it is almost always perfect outdoor dining weather down here at the beach in late November.

The team at Archiscapes just wrapped up another fun coastal cottage for a family that loves to be outdoors. As you can see by all the bikes in one of the photos, they enjoy fresh air and sunshine. So it was no surprise that one of the top items on their wish list when we first started talking about a new house was lots of livable porches. Another great tip is to vary your porches with some covered, some uncovered, some screened and some not. Down here, we have plenty of rainy summer days where it is wonderful to sit out on the porch and listen to the drops hit the metal roof, so a covered porch is a must. But we also have yellow fly season and you won’t last a minute outside without screens. A variety of outdoor spaces, therefore, provides the perfect getaway whatever the season.

I hope these photos give you some ideas for your next house – be it at the beach or elsewhere.



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