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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Re-open an enclosed Craftsman porch?

jonrayJanuary 12, 2013
We are doing some remodeling to a 100+ year old Craftsman. 30+ years ago, the front porch was enclosed. The front door was moved to be off-center and a front bay window was added along with a couple aluminum windows. We removed the acoustic ceiling tiles which covered the original wood ceiling and found an old porch ceiling light hole which would have been centered with the original door (picture shown).

We're debating whether to re-open and somewhat restore the original porch. The main downside is losing the square footage (although it's somewhat narrow) and the cost of the project. The architect liked the idea but our contractor doesn't think it's worth it. Thoughts? (and thanks for your opinion)
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You need to show a picture of your house. Other than that, the question is, are you using the enclosed porch? Does it have problems, fo ex, inadequate heating? Will you use the open porch? Was the enclosing nicely done, or a bodge? What's your budget and what's the cost?
    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 11:58PM
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I love the look of a porch and If part of it is screened in, it is a great place to take a vacation in the warmer months. I have a side porch that is screened in and realy from spring to fall it is the best place to go to read or just chill out.

When you think anout it there are a few rooms that get a lot of use in our homes. This space can make such a difference to the curb appeal and you'll get use it in an entirely different way than any other space in your home.

Good luck!
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:05AM
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Curb appeal is an important part of your home's value. Depending on circumstances, I figure that somewhere around 10-15% of a house's value is curb appeal, landscaping and exterior maintenance. When I look at properties for rehab and resale, I usually pass by the ones with substantial exterior alternations.

Perhaps your contractor is thinking about whether the change will make the house more desirable to live in while the architect is likely looking at the overall visual. From a strict usage point of view, it is difficult to see the sense in taking part of your house and making it only usable for a limited portion of the year. But, if you're a porch person, you'll not regret the returning the house to its original layout. Was it originally an open porch or a glass porch? (Do you know?)

I own one property which has a full width glassed-in porch across the front. We get so much use out of that porch in spring and fall, and even some in winter since there is no smoking allowed in the house. It's also a good place for visitors - all of our close friends know the porch door is always open

Nothing says "Welcome" like a comfortable chair on a beautiful porch.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:38PM
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As one whose craftsman turns 103 this year, I say restore the porch. In my neighborhood, there are a few homes where, somewhere down the line, someone enclosed the porch and it just ruins the lines of a craftsman. Of course, I also live in Arizona where we can use the porch most of the year. Still, they make pretty good outdoor heaters now, so that might be an option that will extend the months of its use.

Oh, and aluminum windows are a travesty. I do hope you'll replace those.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:57PM
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