The Porch with a House Attached

by Liz Dowling

One of the drawbacks of a very small house is the stir-crazy factor.  Our old cottage (above) had “enough” space inside.  But, on a rainy day or when we had a lot of guests….  aaaagggghhhhh!

First party on the weird long enclosed porch

First party on the weird, skinny enclosed porch

There was a long, skinny enclosed porch on the front of our house.  It made no sense and the nine windows barely opened, so it was really stuffy.  But we did use it when we had overflow or needed a place to ESCAPE.

12After a few years of this, we realized that we desperately needed outside space where we could hang out and decided to add a deck to the front of the house.  The plan was to ultimately open up the enclosed porch, but that was a much bigger job ( ie: it was holding up the second floor), so we attacked the deck project first.

We wanted a big front deck with a little jog off to the right to place a couple of Adirondack chairs and an umbrella where someone (me) could (hide) read.

Grace helping with the construction.

Grace helping out with the construction.


Finished product!  Yes, I am jumping ahead...


We chose to use Trex  instead of wood for the deck floor because it is durable, soft on the feet and a lot less expensive.  This is the soft gray color.

17Here it is, finished!  This is before we planted our tiny hydrangeas all around the deck.  They took 100 years to fill in, but finally did.

Miriam Websters definition of a deck is: a flat floored roofless area adjoining a house.  My definition of a deck is: a place to gather with family and friends.  Watch a sunset.  Have a party.  Read a book.  Take a nap.  Sunbathe.  Host an outdoor dinner.  Grill.  Enjoy a cocktail or two.

Which we did.

Annual summer birthday party

Annual summer birthday party



Our project to open up the enclosed porch got postponed for a bit.  Some upstairs windows decided to fall out, so they got replaced.  Then we had to reshingle the house around the new windows.  But, finally we were able to do it.


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My mother coined the term “a porch with a house attached” and she was right.  Everything we did moved outside.  We had a fabulous covered area now that the enclosed porch was open and a great deck.

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The hydrangeas grew in.

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Parties became frequent.


A lot of our initial deck furniture was left behind in the house from the estate sale.  Costco and L.L. Bean helped out too.  For a while, we had a giant sleeper sofa outside under the covered porch.  Many guests ended up sleeping over on that couch.  It looked awful, but was obviously comfortable!

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Many memories have been created here.

My mom, in the middle, who coined the phrase.

My mom, in the middle, who coined the phrase.

In so many ways, I think it was one of the best investments we ever made.

In memory of my wonderful stepfather, Barry Held.  On our porch.

the wry home

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Lynne Arizmendi October 9, 2014 - 9:13 pm

Hi Liz……Love following your stories! You have truly “created” a wonderful life for your family! Memories ARE everything! Thank you for sharing….Hugs❤️

lizanne Shaver October 10, 2014 - 9:22 am

Next summer I am on the porch, giving a toast to all your amazing memories of Barry.. Don’t you love how I just invite myself.. LOVE YOU, Lizanne

Kessa October 10, 2014 - 10:46 am

Liz – That porch has been a big part of a lot of summers. I am so glad that all those years ago I got the invite for my first – I imported an app from Darien because I wanted to make a good impression : ). What a nice photo of Barry and your mom and what a perfect way to remember him! XO

Christiane October 10, 2014 - 11:00 am

I love your sweet stories too!!

Kim Arenas October 10, 2014 - 12:54 pm

Love this post, love the porch, love the house and love how you made it in memory of your stepfather, Barry

Karen Hios October 10, 2014 - 2:12 pm

Liz! I love the way you incorporated the deck into the look of the house. Love the warmth you created! Great family memories….

Anonymous October 10, 2014 - 4:35 pm

Love this post! You have an eye for bringing everyone together and that is what life is all about!!!! So happy you have great memories here and are able to share them with loved ones. Miss you in Charlotte but I am glad for fb to keep in touch with you!!! Many happy memories to come.

Karen Bradley McElroy October 10, 2014 - 5:15 pm

Liz, I too enjoy your posts! Lovely ❤️

Gabrielle Collins October 10, 2014 - 6:56 pm

Liz – Loved this post. When I was growing up, we had a porch with a house attached to it too. It was a screened in porch where we ate all of our meals, had many parties and had tons of sleepovers. Your story brought back some great memories. I love what you did to your house — the porch looks great!

Missie October 11, 2014 - 8:48 am

Double the deck double the fun! What a lovely oasis you created for outdoor living with family and friends! And it was great you kept the integrity of the cottage. So happy that a multitude of memories abound! Cheers to well lived lives!

Amy Harden October 11, 2014 - 10:58 pm

Sp house looks great or shall I say the house attached to the porch! I have a sweet pic of our girls on that first porch from long ago. Your hydrangeas are enviable …… Mine took a hit this year after rotten winter. Love the pic of you and Tim on steps but especially pic of Barry and your Mom – hugs to her and rest in peace Barry…..

Jackie October 24, 2014 - 10:09 am

As you know I love reading The Wry Home, but I especially love the pictures and sentiments in this one!

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