Colour photo of a porch with parts labeled

Some porches, such as those of Colonial houses, can be very large. They can include lacework, a cornice, posts, a handrail, railing posts and a bottom rail.

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Some porches, such as those of Colonial houses, can be very large. Others are more modest, like those of the Mansard-roof houses. And that of the Bungalow can have wrought iron elements. Preserving the forms and original elements of the overhangs gives the house more character.

The upkeep of the porch stands as the most economical solution for maintaining a balanced house volume.
Whenever possible, reproduce the old elements. A carpenter can reproduce and simplify an element based on the original item. Carefully check for structural damage due to freezing and thawing periods. Pay special attention to any structural defects before starting to repair railing posts, posts, and handrails.
Some porches, such as those of Colonial houses, can be very large. Others are more modest, like those of the Mansard-roof houses. And that of the Bungalow can have wrought iron elements. Preserving the forms and original elements of the overhangs gives the house more character.

The upkeep of the porch stands as the most economical solution for maintaining a balanced house volume.
  • Whenever possible, reproduce the old elements. A carpenter can reproduce and simplify an element based on the original item.
  • Carefully check for structural damage due to freezing and thawing periods.
  • Pay special attention to any structural defects before starting to repair railing posts, posts, and handrails.

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.

Sketch of a balustrade and staircase

There must be a handrail on at least one side of a staircase of three steps or more and 43 inches (1100 mm) wide, and on both sides of the staircase if wider.

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of a balustrade with parts and measurments labeled

This saw mark protects the balustrade from rot by keeping water from accumulating under the hand and bottom rails.

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of balcony balustrades

If the porch or balcony floor is located more than 5 feet 11 inches (1,809 mm) above the ground, the balustrade must be at least 42 in. (1,070 mm) high. You can build them in one of the two following manners : Choice 1 or Choice 2.

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Colour photo of balustrade models

Balustrade Models

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of the parts of a post labeled

All dimensions must be checked and adjusted by the owner before making the post.

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of post models

Models of Posts

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of riser models

Riser Models

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© Société d'histoire du Lac St-Jean, 2004. All Rights Reserved.


Sketch of latticework models

Latticework models

Société d'Histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean

© SARP Collection


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • describe the evolution of homes in Canada and the architectural influences that have marked them;
  • compare house styles and materials used in the past with those used today, then identify similarities and differences between them;
  • assess the impact of some materials on the environment and the manufacturing (and architectural style) of houses;
  • explain the influence of history (for example: the Conquest, the Confederation) on the architectural style and its evolution.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans