Simple Porch

Simple Porch

In 2019, Fine Homebuilding magazine asked Sandee Mahoney and me to write an article on porches. (We are co-authors of On the Porch, Creating Your Place to Watch the World Go By).  The following are excerpts of that article:

People use porches in a number of ways. Some porches are simply a place to sit, breathe some fresh air, and enjoy conversation. Others are meant for entertaining, cooking, or sleeping. The key is to be extremely clear about how you intend to use your porch. We have found it is helpful to have clients answer a series of questions to inform the design:

● What will the porch’s primary function be? ● How much time will you spend on it? ● Will you be eating out there? If so, can it be located close to the kitchen? ● How will traffic flow between the porch and the house?  ● Is easy access from the driveway important? ● How much maintenance are you willing to do? ● Where on the house should it go? Where are the setbacks in that location? ● What should the budget prioritize? ● Do you want ceiling fans, refrigeration, grills, exhaust fans, and/or heating? ● Is privacy important, or do you want a neighborly porch? ● Are there windows above it? If so, is a walkout surface desirable? ● Are you interested in framing an existing view? Do you want to create a new view? ● Will you want to screen or glass it in?

Even though we can ask all of those questions, in terms of location, more often than not, there are only one or two places where a porch will fit on an existing home, so that choice is easy.  Sometimes, we build a porch, and our clients find ways to enjoy it they never dreamed of.

All I can say is I love my porch, and I cannot think of a better place to spend a summer evening.  To read the full article, go to The Particulars of Porch Design.  You can also see a lot more of our porches by going to our Pinterest Porches board.

Porch Addition To Antique Home

Porch addition to Antique Home

Relaxing Porch

Relaxing Porch

Furnished Porch

Furnished Porch

Gone To The Dogs Porch

Gone to the Dogs Porch

Photos by Rob Karosis  Curated Brochure by Crisp Architects: Portfolio

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About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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