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Old Posted Mar 22, 2018, 6:45 PM
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House features

Last month I went to St. John's for the first time ever (to visit my daughter who's been there for 3 years now). I know, I should have gone much sooner. Not disappointed in the trip!

She is renting a house with three friends. Now from the outside it looks like a house you may see in Calgary. But once going through the front door, I saw something that you don't see around here (Calgary). A boot room (for lack of a better word). Not just a space to keep shoes, but a room with another door to the main part of the house. The room was kind of like an air lock or something.

I thought that's cool. It would be nice if my house had this. Didn't think much of it beyond that. But then we went to the parents of one of her room mates for dinner (another cultural experience I was fortunate enough to take part in), and the parents house had exactly the same feature. But unlike my daughters place, it was a 60's house rather than a 5 year old house.

And the again in an 80's house.

Now three houses isn't every house in St. John's but three in a row seems like more than a coincidence.

So.... Is this a common feature of a house in St. John's? Or maybe Newfoundland in general?
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Old Posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:19 PM
PEI highway guy PEI highway guy is offline
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IF Bthis room is what I think it is, some areas of the Maritimes would call this room a mud room. coats/ shows etc usually at a back/side door. My aunt even has her washer/dryer in her mud room.
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Old Posted Mar 22, 2018, 8:17 PM
rthomasd rthomasd is offline
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We call it a porch and have a saying ...

The worst thing you can have in your house is no porch
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Old Posted Mar 22, 2018, 8:23 PM
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^You need it because there is no concept of building an overhang of the roof to shelter one when unlocking the door. It means you're soaked by the time you enter the house.

Of course the issue that most precipitation is horizontal and not vertical as many outside of St. John's expect is probably why they don't build overhangs. A good place to dry off inside before really getting inside is pretty important. I personally loved the porch/mud room when I lived there.
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2018, 12:23 PM
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It's not something I've ever thought about, but every house I've ever lived in has had this. I'm in the process of buying a house, and nearly every house has had a similar mud room. Our realtor described it as a good thermal break between the front door or garage door which may be opening/closing all the time, and the rest of the house. Of course, it's much better to think of it as a place to take off your wet coat and shoes after being out in the sideways rain all day
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2018, 6:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWin View Post
Last month I went to St. John's for the first time ever (to visit my daughter who's been there for 3 years now). I know, I should have gone much sooner. Not disappointed in the trip!

She is renting a house with three friends. Now from the outside it looks like a house you may see in Calgary. But once going through the front door, I saw something that you don't see around here (Calgary). A boot room (for lack of a better word). Not just a space to keep shoes, but a room with another door to the main part of the house. The room was kind of like an air lock or something.

I thought that's cool. It would be nice if my house had this. Didn't think much of it beyond that. But then we went to the parents of one of her room mates for dinner (another cultural experience I was fortunate enough to take part in), and the parents house had exactly the same feature. But unlike my daughters place, it was a 60's house rather than a 5 year old house.

And the again in an 80's house.

Now three houses isn't every house in St. John's but three in a row seems like more than a coincidence.

So.... Is this a common feature of a house in St. John's? Or maybe Newfoundland in general?
As other have said, that's the porch and is extremely common.
Another interesting feature in Newfoundland is that the light switch for the bathroom is almost always on the outside of the bathroom as opposed to inside. My cousin's wife (from PEI I think)who would visit with my cousin and would mention how she always gets confused by the light switches.
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2018, 9:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jeddy1989 View Post
As other have said, that's the porch and is extremely common.
Another interesting feature in Newfoundland is that the light switch for the bathroom is almost always on the outside of the bathroom as opposed to inside. My cousin's wife (from PEI I think)who would visit with my cousin and would mention how she always gets confused by the light switches.
When I moved into this place our light switch was on the inside of the bathroom, but when we did a bathroom renovation the contractor moved them to the outside. Turns out it's common in a lot of places in the world to have them on the outside as a safety feature, especially in places where the electrical is 240V. Here in North America its no issue with 120V home electrical, so they can be on the inside. No idea how we developed this preference though.
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2018, 11:59 PM
Tommyswally Tommyswally is offline
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The reason it is on the outside is because you are not supposed to be able to reach the light switch from sink, tub or shower. Electrical code
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2018, 5:35 PM
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The reason it is on the outside is because you are not supposed to be able to reach the light switch from sink, tub or shower. Electrical code
And you can annoy people who are in there in the middle of the night by turning off the light from the outside
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All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us? NOTHING!
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2018, 7:05 PM
Tommyswally Tommyswally is offline
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And you can annoy people who are in there in the middle of the night by turning off the light from the outside
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2018, 1:04 AM
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Newfoundland houses traditionally used the back door for everyday entry, the front door was used rarely for special or more formal occasions. The back door always had a large entry room, normally called the porch, often appearing as an addition to the main house. In modern houses this feature has moved to the front door of the house because it is used more. Many historic older homes I'm familiar with did not have the front entry room, unless it was added later, and the front door entered directly into the front hall, presumably similar to anywhere else in North America. This enclosed "porch" feature has to do mostly with climate, and perhaps lifestyle, but I think you will also find it today in other cold climate areas such as Greenland.
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