Before the renovation Barbara and Joel often ate in the yard and the porch made eating outside a breeze. They finally decided to keep it open so they could chat with people walking by, and it's not usual for passing friends to end up joining them for dinner.
"We use the porch in tons of ways," she says. "For meals, for meetings, for just sitting on our own and working. It's also great when we have parties."
When building the structure, contractor Lindsay Nicol of Crossford Construction had to consider such factors as working around a curved front wall. He was also careful to make the new structure seem an integral part of the house rather than a belated add-on. Pine columns support the porch, creating a classic yet casual first impression, while the cedar decking and ceiling add warmth. The result is a wide, welcoming outdoor gathering spot that is spacious enough for an elegant party and cozy enough for some solo time with a good book.
"My favourite time of day on the porch is the hour or two before sunset," Barbara explains. "The light is lovely, there are often hot air balloons floating overhead, and it's nice to sit outside with friends drinking a glass of wine as the kids play."
Her husband Joel Westheimer agrees: "There's something about wrap-around porches that both of us have always loved - different conversations going on in different parts of it, or one big conversation around the table. It has become a real focal point of our social-community life."