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Chesnut Hill Porch Rebuild

Location: Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia

Building type: English Cottage

Renovation style: Arts & Crafts

This exterior project was a real restoration opportunity! We love renovations that reveals some history and tells a story about how the original owners used the space that we are renovating. In this case, we found that this porch had multiple iterations over the years and peeling back the layers was part of the fun!

A Rear Service Porch to the Historic Kitchen

The porch began life 130 years ago as a small raised-seam metal roofed area off the rear of the original kitchen with a simple hip-style roof  130 years ago. Open on 3 sides, this was the rear service access to the back kitchen of the beautiful Chestnut Hill stone house. Half a century later, the new owners expanded the porch with a shed roof and added a powder room onto the porch. Then another owner enclosed half of the porch to create a cramped, enclosed old mudroom that had been most recently been used as an ineffective office / library. It was clear that the owners were proud of their landscaped rear yard and wanted to create more opportunity to enjoy the space with their teenage children.

The owners approached us with the dream of tearing down the enclosed office room while maintaining the shape of the expanded roof and exposed hip rafters, as well as the powder room. The final appearance needed to be convincing that it was original to the house, so traditional construction methods and design details needed to be considered.

The project was a success! The elegant, open porch now draws the family outside for outdoor meals and overlooks the well kept garden. We replaced the office walls with a new post and beam structure and railing system, durable slip-proof decking, and a beadboard ceiling. The tired blue stone steps and foundation received some much needed attention.

We love to help our clients see the options when designing the interface between interior renovations and outside spaces! Read our blog on Sunrooms and Porches for more stories.


  • Waterproof slip-proof decking
  • Period-appropriate trim details and fixtures
  • Custom exterior painting