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When life was slower and simpler, many houses had substantial front porches. These were places to relax, catch up on the latest neighborhood gossip, or cool down on a hot summer night.

But with the industrialization and inventions of the 20th century the desire for front porches waned. By the 1930's, real porches were being replaced by small entries or simple canopies for the front door.

A modern variation on the porch is the sunroom or sunspace, conservatory, greenhouse, or solarium. Although these all-glass enclosures are seldom used as front porches, they serve some of the same purposes as an enclosed porch. When used as a breezeway, a sunroom can also link an addition or garage to the house.

Sunrooms have frames of aluminum or decay-resistant red cedar that hold the glass panels. Glazing may be single-pane, but in newer, more energy-efficient sunrooms, double-glazing is nearly always used. Sunrooms generally rest on a concrete foundation and slab floor.


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