Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Porches are useful for more than sitting

Our house was built by my Great-Great Uncle in 1892. Over the years, a large family, some poverty and time took her toll. The House is built like a bank barn, in that the front grade is 6 feet lower than the rear. This design allowed a nice big front porch to be about 7 feet above grade. The porch was pretty deteriorated when we decided to remodel the house, so we replaced it, and actually made it a bit larger. It now measures about 10X28 feet.The height lets us store unsightly stuff below it, like coal, firewood, and ladders. The railing is made from rough cut local hemlock, and are large enough to store tomatoes, winter squash, or other vegetables for curing. My Lovely and Economical wife has a clothesline on for drying on days when it just might rain a little. We use it to process things like tomato juice that would mess up the kitchen. She often stores big pots of soup to cool there in the colder months, as the dogs cannot reach it. The decking is local rough cut White Oak. Because it is elevated and does not touch the soil, the decking does not need to be treated. Over the years it has gotten hard as stone. There is a trapdoor to get to the storage area below, or throw firewood up for our parlor stove. The porch is actually an invaluable working part of our homestead, though we do have a wooden bench large enough for the occasional nap as well. I hope to die here, but; should I ever design a house, I think it would include some kind of covered workspace like this.

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