Help! Save The Marriage!

Since yall are the smartest internets in all the land, maybe you can help Husband and me resolve a domestic squabble discussion*.

Our house, as well as 60% of the houses in our development, looks like this.  Without the white splotch over the house number, of course.


For some time, I have been wanting to remove the railings and spindles on the porch, just leaving the tall posts.  (In fact, in my master plan, we will replace or cover the posts with ones that are more modern looking.  I’ve seen squarish posts on some houses that I like a lot better than the
"turned" style that you see on my house.  And the "gingerbread" doohickeys are going buh-bye as well.  The
previous owners added those, and while they are a nice look on an old
Victorian home, they don’t really do much for me and my decorating

Anyway, I have seen houses with porches like mine without the railings and spindles, and I think it’s a nice look.  I’ve been talking about taking them down for a while now, but Husband keeps putting me off.  He seems to think he has more important tasks to accomplish, like finishing our basement.  I can see his point, but I’ve been keeping this project in the back of my mind.

So last Friday night, when we had company for dinner, one of our guests casually leaned on one of the railings and accidentally pushed the whole thing right off, spindles and all.  That’s some quality construction right there, I tell ya!

At first our poor unsuspecting guest was surprised and embarrassed, but then he became quite perplexed when I started jumping up and down with glee.

You see, I knew right then that I was about to get my wish.  We explained the situation, and then the men continued to remove the other front railing until the railings and spindles were history!  Woot!  Woot!

So today, our house looks like this.


Isn’t it so pretty and open!??

Incidentally, the garden plot in the forefront of the picture, yes the one with the charming  mismatched mulch, is the fruit of our labors a week ago last Saturday.  And if you look real close, you can see one of the vents we were trying to hide.  It isn’t exactly hidden, but hopefully the plants around it distract you from noticing it as readily as when it just poked right up out of the grass in the middle of our front lawn. 

Oh.  And that tree is, in fact, growing at an 80-degree angle, thanks to the winds that regularly gust through our development.  That is not my poor photography skills deceiving you.

But I digress, as usual.  Back to the porch. 

If you click on the second picture and look really close, you should be able to see that the railings and spindles on the sides of the porch remain.  The one on the side near the garage is unnecessary, as the ground is fairly level with the porch.  But.  On the end of our house, there is a drop-off of almost a foot from the porch to the mulch.

One party in our marital union thinks it looks ludicrous to leave just the railings/spindles on the sides of the porch and votes to remove them as well.  Said party suggests raising the flower bed a bit so that the drop-off isn’t dangerous or building it up with extra mulch, then putting a table and chairs on the end, or a rocking chair, or potted plants, or basically anything other than a railing and spindles, to keep children from falling off the end of the porch into the thorny rose bushes.

The other party in our union is determined that it would be a code violation as well as just plain stupid to take off the railing and risk life and limb for purely aesthetic reasons, and further, said party states vehemently that it does not look silly at all if we keep the front open while leaving both sides closed as they are right now.

So this is where you come in.  In the interest of marital harmony and our desire to celebrate our twelfth anniversary this August*, could you please give your honest opinion as to whether or not the remaining railings/spindles should stay or go.  And I suppose, if you think that we should replace the broken railings and spindles on the front and leave it as it was, you can voice that opinion as well.

We’re counting on you.  Don’t let me down, now!

*My marriage references are purely for dramatic effect.  Husband and I are not fighting over this or anything else at the moment.  Not that we don’t ever fight, but when we do, I won’t be sharing it with all bloggityland.  We are, however, at an impasse as we don’t agree on how to proceed, and I am interested to see how yall think the porch looks as it is today.

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22 Responses

  1. Unless of course it is really a code violation. Just in case you ever want to sell the place…trust me on that one :-).

  2. I vote to remove the railing from the left side near the front door but leave the one at the other end of the porch.

    Aren’t you glad I stopped by?

  3. I’d take them down (and the gingerbread pieces). BUT, I’d try to keep them in tact & store them in the garage, in case it IS a code violation & you need to sell as Chichmama said. That way, you can put them back up quickly if needed (can’t be any worse construction that what you had, right?!)

  4. Ha! Very cute. I like that. Generally Husband does “submit” or, as we prefer to say “defer” in matters of style. But unfortunately, in matters of bodily harm coming to one’s child, Husband takes his leadership role very seriously. So. The railing is very much a matter of debate at the moment, since it seems to fall under both umbrellas (style and safety, that is).

  5. it does look odd to have the railing there… but i would not take it down unless/until said flowerbed was raised.

  6. When I saw the first picture I thought your husband was right – the railings should stay as they give the house character. But then when I saw the second photo – WOW. I love it without the railings! The whole house now says – come on in!

    I think you should take down the remaining railing so that it is all consistent.

  7. I like how the conveniently removed front railings open everything up. I understand about the safety/code violations for the side railing though. Maybe raise up the bed some and block it like you suggested. Is there room for a porch swing?

    Your flower beds look beautiful…your hard labor paid off!

  8. I love it open, would do it here at my house but there would be a three foot drop off, not great with grand kids. What about taking the rest off and putting two little steps off the end of the porch on the side where there is a drop off? Maybe some nice pieces of granite or something??? You’d have to move the exsisting plants but they could go on either side of the steps and the kids would have another way to go out back. Just a thought! :0)

  9. I’m loving the steps idea. Although I think that will be a hard sell to the Hubs. Just sounds like more work for him.

  10. I knew a pastor who would tell couples in marriage counseling that in matters of style, the man should submit. Not sure where that verse is… 😉 I’d take down the side railing and the gingerbread things. But I know nothing of code violations–I try to remain purposely ignorant of such things.

  11. I’m with midlife mom; take off both railings and add a couple of stairs. Otherwise, leave the one at the high end of the porch and put a table against it.

  12. My vote is to just go with what your husband says and see what happens. 🙂 When my honey & I have had “ties” like this, I try to let him have the tie-breaker vote.

    Or you could ask your friends to lean on that one too. *wink* Kidding.

  13. Your house is gorgeous! I like the look without the railings and spindles and would have to side with the party to remove the rest of them. Steps are a good idea.

  14. I’d ask to see those code violations in writing. :vD

    Then I’d go for taking the railings down and raising up the bed on the side. And I also think the gingerbread thingys could go too. They are a little different style than the rest of the house.

    All that said your home is beautiful! And I love your little flower/vent hider bed that you guys made!

  15. I would take the railing off on the left side (where it actually is not needed for safety or aesthetic reasons!) and leave the railing on the right as it would be an invitation for a broken leg if it were our house.

    I like the front railings off however, and I’d also remove the gingerbread doo-dads.

    My opinion.

  16. We took ours down…Much higher drop off…please remove for the sake of aesthetics!!! 😉 I am totally in agreement with the party choosing to remove it!!! 😉

  17. Hello, just stopping in to say what a gorgeous house….wow!!! My vote is to take the rest of them down too.


  18. I like them down! Kinda different, and different is good!

    Cute place!


  19. Leave the side rails (at least for now). They aren’t obvious, they don’t detract from the beauty of the open look, and they add some substance to the porch. Without them, I think the rest of the house will kind of overwhelm the porch. If you ever get a great idea that you can both agree on for an alternative, you can always do it then. For now it’s safe, symmetrical, and in no way detracts from the open, inviting look (nor do I think taking them down would add to the open, inviting look the same way pulling them from the front did). Perhaps you could change out those to the more modern-looking posts eventually. That would look nice and would give you the best of both worlds. I think it makes it look solid to have something along the edges. Just thought I’d balance out the discussion a little. 🙂

  20. Drop off? Hah. You haven’t seen the drop off the edges of our porch. 🙂 I don’t think we’ll be adding railings though. My house is grandfathered in anyway.

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