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THE FRONT PORCH IS KEY TO NEIGHBORLY CONNECTIONS

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THE FRONT PORCH IS KEY TO NEIGHBORLY CONNECTIONS

A front porch provides opportunities for people to meet and connect with their neighbors, often developing close, life-long friendships.

Spending more time outside at the front of the house will improve communication between you and your neighbors. Keeping the lines of communication open through in-person contact is an important part of being a good neighbor. It’s hard to do that from your backyard or inside your house.

Move some of your outside activities from the backyard to the front porch, such as enjoying your morning coffee or happy hour. Wave and say “hi” to your neighbors out for their walks. In time, you will become familiar with everyone’s walk schedules.

“I find people love to greet their neighbors out walking especially when there are pets involved,” says Rochelle Horn, Designer/Sales Consultant, Rosie Right | Design. Build. Remodel .

Invite a neighbor over for a glass of fresh Arizona sun tea. Find out what they do for a living, what their schedules are, and who lives in the house. Share your information as well. Knowing this kind of information can build a strong, healthy neighborhood.

When sitting on your front porch, you may find ways to be helpful. If you see a neighbor struggling with a load of groceries, offer to help. If you notice a neighbor doing yard work with less-than-ideal tools, lend them yours. Help can go both ways.

If You Build It, They Will Sit

Builders have noticed the front porch trend. Over the last decade, many master-planned community builders have offered front porches as part of the outdoor living space. They work with municipalities to modify setback rules to encourage the building of front porches, which ultimately enforces a stronger sense of community.

New home builders including Mattamy Homes and Pulte offer plans with a front porch. Tucson homebuilder, John Wesley Miller Company’s successful downtown subdivision, Armory Park del Sol, finds its architectural inspiration in the surrounding nationally-designated historic neighborhood of Armory Park. Their gracious porches, along with dramatic arches and contrasting details mirror the lovely historic homes nearby.

If your current home does not have a front porch, add one. Be sure the community you live in a community that does not have restrictions against it. Hire a contractor licensed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors to build it.

Creating a Cozy and Welcoming Front Porch

HomeZada offers these tips for creating a relaxing and neighbor-friendly porch.

Tidy Up Your Porch

Before adding furniture and decoration to your front porch, deep clean it. Get rid of any displaced items or junk cluttering your front porch. Be creative and make homes for things that you like to keep on the front porch — a tall pot for umbrellas or a low shelf for shoes that are too dirty to come in the front door. A tidy porch will make others feel welcome.

Install A Swing

Install a porch swing as an alternative or in addition to traditional seating. A porch swing can make a big difference in your front porch’s overall appearance and comfort. Add a few pillows and cushions for cozy and comfortable seating while enjoying the outdoors.

Apply New Paint

One of the easiest ways to upgrade your home, including your front porch, is by applying a new coat of KPNX News . Make sure the paint works well with your home’s aesthetic and is approved by your HOA.

Install Outdoor Lighting

To make sure the beauty of your porch is still visible even at night, consider adding outdoor lighting around your front yard and on your front porch. Not only will this make your porch glow during the night, but it’s also good for safety purposes.

Consider small accent tables without angles for better traffic flow. Chairs without arms will reduce visual and physical bulk.

Overgrown trees, shrubs, and other plants can overpower a small front porch. Pay careful attention to plant labels at the nursery and opt for dwarf or midsize plants. Scaled-down plants add restrained structure and beauty to a small front porch.

Prevent Crime

As well as being a convenient and comfortable way to connect with neighbors, a porch is an instrumental part of community security. We don’t need statistics to tell us that porch-sitting reduces crime in communities. Neighbors who are engaged and outside watching over the neighborhood, are more likely to spot people who may not belong and are canvassing the area to commit nefarious deeds. Criminals are not interested in areas where they can be noticed.

In November 2021, KPNX News reported that Arizona ranks 15th on CCTV Camera World‘s list of larceny-theft rates, which is what people stealing packages off porches fall under.

“The pandemic has a lot to do with this too because when people were staying home, not going shopping in malls, in outdoor stores, they were doing a lot of online shopping,” Sgt. Chuck Trapani with Mesa Police Department said. “And when you do online shopping, it’s delivered to your house.”

And as noted in the story, online shopping will not go away, even after the pandemic does.

Using tracking information provided by carriers to see when your package will arrive, will help prevent package theft. If you know a package will arrive and no one will be home to retrieve it, ask a trusted neighbor to pick it up for you, instead of leaving it on the porch. Some delivery companies let you pick a day for delivery that could coincide with a time when you are home. Porch vaults and boxes give an easy and attractive way to keep packages safe such as Porch Box.

Even if you’re not in a community that participates in Neighborhood Watch, spending time on the front porch helps you to be aware of your surroundings and neighbors.

There are so many things we can do to be a good neighbor. So, get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and meet your neighbors!

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PODCAST

Over decades, the front porch has become a lost home feature, yet it provides opportunities for people to meet and connect with their neighbors. Let’s rediscover that lost feature! Spending more time outside at the front of the house will improve communication between you and your neighbors. We detail why and how to make the front porch inviting. Plus, John Eisenhower has thoughts on how to handle nuisance trees between property lines in a neighborly way.

 

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