Q: A good builder keeps up with design trends, but I confess that porches have me stumped. What purpose do they serve, and what features should I incorporate into a porch?

A: PORCHES ARE A DISTINCTIVE AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT, ORIGINALLY ADOPTED FOR PRACTICAL MEASURES OF weather protection and cooling. Over the years, porches were left off of houses due to the advent of air conditioning, the lack of neighborhoods with sidewalks, and increased traffic. For many people, porches are a nostalgic image of home. No matter what the architectural style, a porch can be an asset. The design of a porch is very specific to the climate, the neighborhood, and the architecture.

The best thing about a porch is the transition between the house and the yard, and the welcoming connection to the neighborhood. Porches make a place for the individual as part of the larger community, but still offer personal space.

Guest Architect:

ROSE MARY MC MONIGAL

McMonigal

Architects

Minneapolis

612 - 331-1244

www.mcmonigal.com

PORCH BASICS: This house shows an open yet covered porch wrapping around two sides of the house. It catches the breeze, shades the house, and encompasses wide vistas.
PORCH BASICS: This house shows an open yet covered porch wrapping around two sides of the house. It catches the breeze, shades the house, and encompasses wide vistas.

PORCH POTPOURRI: Porches come in all shapes and sizes. A glassed-in porch offers year-round enjoyment (top), while a sleeping porch (middle) allows for a summertime night out. For a vacation property (bottom), a free-standing porch makes for a novel approach.
PORCH POTPOURRI: Porches come in all shapes and sizes. A glassed-in porch offers year-round enjoyment (top), while a sleeping porch (middle) allows for a summertime night out. For a vacation property (bottom), a free-standing porch makes for a novel approach.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.