6 Wood Burning Fireplaces(Revisited)

Every autumn as leaves and temperatures fall, I anticipate the first fire in the fireplace. I continue to build fires well through the cool spring nights. Each new fire is a personal test of my log selection and arranging skills-some of which I fail; my father-in-law and I have a running contest to see who’s fire will smoke and go out the fastest.

When my home (and his) was built in the late eighteenth century, building fires was serious business. […]

7 Metal Roofs

On a renovation we recently completed, the metal(tin) roof had a stamp on the back, the installer gave a 25 year guarantee.  The roof was a little worse for wear, but was not leaking.  The guarantee expired in 1905.

For most of us, the expected life of a metal roof is beyond our expiration date.  That is not true of most modern cedar shingle roofs which I have seen fail in less than 10 years(due to acid rain and fast […]

8 Covered Entries

A covered entry to a home makes sense.  Believe me, on a cold rainy day when I cannot find my keys, my covered entry is worth it’s weight in gold.  Shelter is not the only reason to love a covered entry.  In addition to protecting whomever is standing in front of the door, a roof above also protects the entry itself.  Even if those two great features were not important, a covered entry announces the front door, accentuates a […]

Modern Farmhouse Design (Revisited)

There is no absolute prototype for a farmhouse, but most of us can recognize one when we see it. By definition the originals were located on farms and were integral to the life and work of those farm families who lived there.

Depending on when and where those homes were built, they could be made of stone, brick, shingles or clapboard. Most farmhouses had porches since there was no air conditioning and many farm and family chores were undertaken there. […]

4 Screened Porches

As I sat down to dinner on our porch the other night, I knew something was wrong.  The kids were already scratching.  I turned on the ceiling fan, which normally blows away all but the most determined bugs and it barely had any effect.  The next thing I knew, the kids were going for the bug spray.  We made it through dinner, but until this crop of mosquitoes has gone south, we will be eating indoors. It dawned […]

By |October 3rd, 2011|Categories: Porches|Tags: , , , |7 Comments

Alfresco Dining

With summer in full swing, my family and I take every opportunity we can to eat outside on our porch or on a patio off the kitchen.  Somehow with the flowers blooming and the birds singing, alfresco dining feels to me, less like an average meal, and more like a celebration.

Some of the homes we design have incredible views, and while we do everything we can to take advantage of those views from inside, what better place is there […]

View From the Porch

There are few things I enjoy more than relaxing on my own porch after work.There is no doubt in my mind that there is something psychologically unique about a porch. We are neither inside nor fully outside and exposed...

Porch Renovation

Older homes have a character that often is impossible to replicate. A 200 year old home has traces of daily life so different from our world today.
By |May 10th, 2010|Categories: Porches, Renovations|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Sun Room

The best time to enjoy a sunroom can be the middle of winter. While we always think of sitting in a sun room looking out over a lush garden, the time when we need sun the most is when those plants are well below the snow.

Porch Costs

I have always been a fan of porches.  When I was little I would spend hours on my front porch watching the world move by.  Now that I have kids, summer hours are often spent sitting, swinging, eating and entertaining on our porch. The wonderful thing about being out on a porch is that you are physically neither inside nor completely exposed to the elements on the outside.  Psychologically I almost feel as though I am on vacation when […]