An ongoing series by the Mt. Lebanon Historic Preservation Board by Bryan Morales HELENE MASSOF ABR/CRS RE/MAX Platinum member P PROFESSIONAL R RESULTS I INNOVATIVE C COMPETENT E EXPERIENCED L LOYAL E EFFECTIVE S SERVICE SSOLD 412-833-0900 412-849-1001 cell orches are a part of American ar- and watch the neighbors go by. Given the prominence of porches, their chitecture that tell a great deal about how we live. They serve as upkeep and maintenance brings value outdoor living rooms that connects to both a property and the surrounding people with their neighbors and passersby. neighborhood. Preserving the quality and Porches are found in almost every architec- characteristics of a porch requires little eftural style, and we have plenty of outstand- fort, and like any other part of maintaining your home, regular, minor repairs can save ing examples in Mt. Lebanon. Although porches have been a part of a great deal of major work and expense over American craftsmanship since the colonial time. A fresh coat of paint or stain goes a days, their popularity reached new heights long way towards keeping out water and during the 19th century with the rise of rot. Watch for signs of water damage along mass marketing. Books and magazines the roof of the porch and where walls are became commonly available to potential joined to the main structure, and replace flashing or sealants homebuyers, and There are many wherever necessary. a major part of the More serious isappeal focused on the welcoming ap- local contractors and craftsmen, sues can be found with sagging wood pearance of a genmaking it easy to find PR). If the animal beams across long erous front porch. spans, or found a has not in failing The porches of Vicprofessional help masonry that perihome in walls and torian houses with when necessary. columns, a simple their spindly details od, it is as but the large number of lodominated the era, way to conduct but Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and even cal contractors and craftsmen makes it easy ongoing training. Tudor style homes incorporated porches in to find professional help when necessary. If you are considering work on an existtheir own manner until the middle of the ing porch, it may also be a great time to 20th century. As cars began to play a larger role in modernize some features without altering our daily lives after World War II, homes the overall character of the structure. For design was transformed to accommodate example, original light fixtures from the the automobile society, and the construc- `20s and `30s may not produce enough iltion of porches began to decline for the lumination for modern standards. In many first time in well over a century, as people cases, new materials can closely replicate the became more likely to come and go from original construction while offering greater their garages, minimizing the front door as durability and less maintenance. For peoa primary entrance. As trends have shifted ple with accessibility concerns, wheelchair back to a more pedestrian-friendly attitude, ramps can also be implemented in keephomes with front porches are becoming ing with the existing style. The key in each of these cases is to meet the demands of more and more popular once again. According to local realtors, front porch- modern life while maintaining the original es have again become something many character of a building. The next time you are driving through Mt. potential buyers are looking for. Housing trends may come and go, but porches re- Lebanon, take a minute to notice some of the maing highly desirable for many reasons. great architecture our neighborhoods have to For some people, a porch is their favorite offer. Although porches are just a small part of place to read a good book; for young chil- it, they are one of those things that make Mt. dren, a porch can be a great playroom, and Lebanon a beautiful place to call home. for others it's a comfortable place to relax P Porches 24 mtl ·march 2010