A good porch is a bit like a cardboard box or a snowstorm.
Think back to when you were a child. Remember how much fun it was to crawl into a cardboard box and look out on the world, sheltered and safe, yet able to watch everything in the big world?
Remember the last time it snowed—how the world got quieter and closed in.
Timber frame porches are the best kind of porches. Why? The vertical posts, horizontal beams, and diagonal knee braces picture frame the views.
There’s another reason: You feel safe and sheltered. Why? You can see (and touch) the big wood posts and beams that hold up the roof—the structure is visible—unlike with conventional construction where the 2×4’s are hidden behind plywood. Seeing what’s holding up the roof is certainly gratifying and perhaps even reassuring on an unconscious level.
A design tip: make the steps very wide (like 6’ or 8’ wide). After a hard day’s work outside, you’ll love sitting there a few minutes after removing your muddy boots and admiring the work you just did. Furthermore, when it’s cold outside, but the sun is shining, sitting on your steps feeling the winter sun on your face is guaranteed to lift your mood.