More front porches, fewer decks, patios and garages Construction companies are pleased to see the current increase in new home orders. They also notice that buyers ordering a home are focusing mainly on living quarters. The percentage of homes built without a garage or carport hit 13 percent in 2010 and 2011 and is rising again since then. The National Association of Home Builders says skipping the garage is often about using public transportation if the new construction is built closer to employment centers and public transit. The Census also shows that the number of new homes built with decks and patios has flattened. They are expensive and take up space, usually behind the house. If the building lot is large enough to accommodate them, people think the deck or patio can be added later. There is a current trend toward smaller homes that have a front porch. The porches have social appeal, and with plantings, lighting and porch posts, they enhance the entrance to the home. Two-thirds of new homes built in 2011 had a porch, a percentage that has been rising for about 10 years. One Philadelphia developer says he specializes in townhouses with porches, because that's what people want.