Knowing how to build a porch can save money no matter if you are doing it yourself or hiring a contractor.
A new or remodeled front porch not only adds value to your home but also lots of curb appeal as well.
Porch construction is fairly straight forward; however, it pays to understand how the different
components are installed and the many options you have.
We'll show you what is involved and offer tips and ideas
for every facet of your building project (and some you may not have previously considered too).
Most DIYers with solid carpentry skills can build a front porch.
Our porch building guides walk you through the process and we even help you assess your skills.
Our son's porch on his former home was torn down and rebuilt.
Here's a video that Dave put together showing you the process from beginning to end - in just over a minute!
How to Build a Porch Directory
Our "How to Build a Porch" guides below show you the basic steps and give you important factors you need to consider
when building along with tips and ideas to make it easier.
I've tried to arrange them (or group them) in order of a typical construction porch project.
These may vary based on your specific building requirements.
Important Safety Notes
Because every home and porch are different, it's not possible to cover every situation;
however, the processes are much the same. Using ladders and power tools is inherently
dangerous; take all necessary precautions according to manufacturers instructions along with a good
dose of common sense.
Because each construction project is different, the information provided on our site is
for informational purposes only and should not to be used for actual construction.
Front porches (and decks) need solid foundations upon which to build.
See construction processes, diagrams, photos, repair methods, and expert advice podcasts....
Build Your Porch Floor to Last
See how porch floors are constructed from the beam to joists, bridging, and your selected porch floor material. Learn about
an amazing porch floor option too!
Porch Flooring Construction Tutorial
We offer both a written and audio tutorial for installing your porch flooring, from resolving foundation issues to the final touches!
Flash It to Protect It
Not all porches need ledger flashing; however, most should and flashing on decks is a must.
See how easy it is to do and how it can prolong the life of your porch or deck.
Porch Decking Material Options
Find the perfect porch flooring material for your porch or deck. You'll be surprised at just how many options you may have.
Build a Porch / Deck Pictorial
See step-by-step how a porch or deck foundation and flooring is constructed. From installing the foundation to laying out and
cutting stringers for your porch steps, this is a must see!
Build a Porch Roof
Step by step narrative of shed-style and truss-style roof construction, from installing the rafter plate to setting your beam
and rafters. Easily calculate rise and run, learn about metal roofs & roofing materials.
See our recommended porch construction books.
Porch Roof Construction Ideas
Covers all aspects of roof construction and material selection along with metal roof ideas which are very popular. Excellent
information for anyone contemplating building a porch roof.
It is a lot easier to run cable before the joists are covered or
the porch ceiling is installed. Plan for receptacles, ceiling lights and fans, wall sconce lights, and even running
conduit under your porch for yard lighting.
Know Your Porch Electrical Options
Wire your porch to make it not only inviting, but also...
Porch Column Construction Options Learn about porch column placement, design and style options, material selection, trim options, and curb appeal ideas. We
also address load bearing issues, ventilation requirements, structural and non-structural columns, wraps, and more.
Porch Railings and Kneewall Options From railing photo galleries to design options, select the right style and material before your build as it may affect your overall porch
Porch Hand Rails We explain building codes and options for outdoor hand rails along with a myriad of design options you should see...
Building Front Porch Steps
See how porch steps are constructed, how to lay out the stringers, and calculate the
Install Your Front Porch Ceiling
How one couple installed bead board paneling on their front porch - good ideas for finishing off your porch.
Discover Our Front Porch Design and Build Audio Program
If building or remodeling a porch is on your to-do list, we recommend you listen to our audio program and get tips from building experts.
Gregory Tatsch of Vintage Woodworks has been making porch parts and helping thousands of people across the country build wonderful porches.
Gregory has been featured on HGTV and in other publications and in Part I, Gregory
shares his tips and ideas for designing and building the perfect porch.
In Part II, Gregory elaborates on design ideas and learn the relationship between length and depth, where to
position your steps and porch columns, and much more.
Discover our entire audio program directory where you'll find lots of ideas for designing, decorating, building,
landscaping, and accessing your porch!
Front Porch Transformation
Here you can see some more before and after pictures of our son's porch.
Their "before" porch was about 4 ft. by 42 ft. and is now 9 ft. by 42 ft.
That extra 5 ft. makes all the difference.It's a fantastic investment in their home and their family. The kids love playing on the porch.
Typical narrow porch on two-story home
A nice wide more usable outdoor space
Entrance to porch and home centered on front porch
Entrance moved to driveway side of home for easier access
Homeowners were able to use the original porch columns, balustrade, and beam on this porch remodeling project.
They painted the porch floor black and also changed the window shutter color from red to blue.
Because they have little ones, they made a swinging gate for both ends of the porch to match the balustrade (railings).
Poorly built DIY porch and deck structures are one of the leading causes of construction injury and death.
We cannot over emphasize the importance of constructing a porch (or deck) the right way without taking
shortcuts to save money.
If you do not have the right skills and complete confidence in your abilities, hire a licensed contractor.
Basic Carpentry Skills
If you have built back yard decks (to meet code requirements) you probably have sufficient skills to
build a porch foundation and add decking materials.
It is very important to have a thorough knowledge of your local building codes and get a permit for the construction.
Building and attaching a roof to your home is a different story. If you have never successfully accomplished
this construction we recommend you enlist the help of qualified contractors.
It may look easy (and sometimes it is); however, proper roof construction is a must.
Screening your porch is a relatively easy and inexpensive DIY project that can be accomplished by anyone with basic carpentry skills.
You'll need to either build or purchase screen frames and screen materials.
In either case, we will walk you through the "how to build a porch" process of selecting the right screening material and building a
Intermediate Carpentry Skills
If you possess intermediate skills, have built decks and storage structures with roofs and have a working knowledge of your
local building codes you may be able to successfully build a porch.
Again, if not completely confident, or not completely confident in specific areas, use the services of a licensed contractor.
Many gable and most shed roofs are not difficult to construct if you have the right skills and experience.
Hip roofs and wrap around roofs require more advanced skills and probably shouldn't be attempted by a novice.
Converting a porch to a three season porch should be within the range of intermediate skill levels
dependent on the quality and style of porch you want.
There are plenty of tricks of the trade you can use to minimize costs yet produce a quality and stylish porch.
Be sure to see our building a three-season porch section.
Professional Level Skills
Converting a porch into an actual room addition or 4-season porch, however, may require professional level skills as there may be
structural and electrical issues.
However, if you have the skills and are willing to pull permits with your local building codes department, it can be a rewarding
project and it will add space to your home.
Knowing how to build a porch is priceless!