My back porches have been the source of a few sleepless nights.  My vision for the front of house has been clear from the very beginning, but the plan for the porches has always been cloudy.  The porches are not original, they were added around 1940.  If you recall my earlier stories about the house being a two-family house, it's my belief that the porches were added as a requirement of second egress from the upstairs apartment.

Here's what that area of the house looked like a few years ago.  After ripping out the ramp, the old concrete patio underneath it, and the sidewalk that ran across the entire lawn...

...I ripped out the staircase that rendered the lower porch unusable, swapped out the old barn railings for a square-spindled balustrade and painted them to match the house.

And after renovating the front part of the house, the porches were painted to match the new exterior.

Here's a closeup of them.  They're just not right.

If you've been following for a while, you'll remember I investigated closing in the porches to expand the kitchen and create an incredible master bedroom suite.  It would a good idea ONLY if I were planning to sell the house in the short term.  The square footage it would add to the house would provide a great return on investment.  But as everyone agreed, keeping the porches is a better idea.  

So I've been collecting images of two-story porches on old houses and narrowed it down to two.

The first option uses a series of single columns with a second story porch that sits behind the columns.  In the end, I felt this would give too much importance to the back porches.  Better for a front facade I think. 

I think the better approach is to break up the vertical elements into two distinct sets of smaller posts/columns on each floor.  

I also want to replace the windows in the kitchen and master bedroom with French glass doors.  This is a much more symmetrical treatment that seems perfect for a Greek Revival.

This is the architect's drawing of the new plan.  It may look a little funny just because we've left off the siding so the columns and balustrades are more clear.  It would have clapboards just like the rest of the house.  I think I'm happier with this than anything else I've considered.  By closing up the old door, it also leaves room inside between the dining room and kitchen for a pantry closet or an old hutch.

It does break up the porch into two smaller areas.  I could get maybe three chairs one side and little cafe table on the other.   I think that would be just fine.


I've got a lot of little projects that need finishing up so I hope to work on those and enjoy the summer a little bit.  So I won't be posting too much unless anything newsworthy comes up.  I hope everyone enjoys their summer!