Return to homepage

Use Our How to Build a Porch Guides

From Foundations to Roofs and More

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.

Understanding how to attach your floor framing to the home and your porch roof to your home's existing roof are all critical components of porch building.

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.

installing rafters on new front porch construction

If you would like to consult with or hire a professional, use our handy form to get free estimates from local contractors.

Video: How to Build a Porch in a Minute

Our son and daughter-in-love's porch was recently 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!

Video: How to Build a Porch in a Minute

Our son and daughter-in-love's porch was recently 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!

Directory to How to Build a Porch

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.

We highly recommend you see our Safety Section for more information.

Table of Contents

Foundations and Flooring *** Roof Construction

Electrical and Lighting *** Porch Columns

Porch Railings *** Porch Steps

Porch Ceilings *** Assess Your Skills

Building Essentials *** Porch Building Projects

Porch Skirting *** Paint Your Porch

Front Porch Ideas Generator E-Book *** Share Your Tips with Us

Start with a Solid Foundation

pouring concrete piers for front porch foundation
Construct Solid Porch Foundations

Front porches (and decks) need solid foundations upon which to build. The better your foundation, the better...
read more
installing front porch flooring boards
Build Your Porch Floor to Last

Don't underestimate the value of your joists and porch flooring. Doing it right saves time, effort and money so...
read more

installing ledger flashing under siding
Flash It to Protect It

Not all porches need ledger flashing; however, most should and flashing on decks is a must. See how it is done ...
read more
flashing installed over ledger board on brick
Flashing On Brick Is Not Hard to Do

Don't shy away from flashing if you are attaching your porch or deck to brick. Keeping water off ...
read more

beautiful porch decking tiles with blue cushioned furniture
Porch Decking Materials Matter

Beauty, durability, functionality and cost drive most porch decking material decisions. Make educated decisions ...
read more
installing porch decking boards on front porch
Install Your Porch Decking Material

A five-part series on installing Azek porch decking from resolving foundation issues to squaring...
read more

installing rim boards on deck
Build a Porch / Deck Pictorial

See step-by-step how a porch or deck foundation and flooring is constructed. Pick up tips and ideas you...
read more
waterproofing a deck with Dek Drain
Build a Waterproof Porch or Deck

See how you can waterproof a porch or deck to maximize the area beneath them for entertaining, storage, etc.
read more

Raising the Roof

Now that you have the front porch foundation and floor constructed, it is time to construct the roof. We recommend you contact a licensed contractor if you are not sufficiently experienced and knowledgeable about roof construction - this is not a job for the everyday DIYer.

Our guides will show you what is involved and help you choose the right roofing materials.

metal roof over front porch
Choose Your Porch Roof Design

When building a porch roof, the design should fit the architecture of ...
read more
installing ledger flashing under siding
Build a Porch Roof

Step by step narrative of shed-style and truss-style roof construction ...
read more

installing ledger flashing under siding
Calculate Rise and Run

See how to accurately calculate your porch roof's rise and run; a must know if building a front porch roof.
read more
metal roof over front porch
Install a Metal Roof

Getting more popular every day, a metal roof may be just to your liking. We show you how...
read more

construction worker laying out roofing materials
Compare Roofing Materials

Use our comparison chart to help select the right roofing materials for your project.
read more
grey metal roof over front porch
Discover the World of Metal Roof Materials

Not only do you get to choose from a wide variety of color options, but also...
read more

cover of simpson strong tie ebook on deck building Mary and I found this illustrative deck or porch foundation building guide and we are offering it just for you!

Download this free ebook from Simpson Strong Tie.

Chock full of information that you need to know - whether this is your first project or your hundredth. Use it to help build a deck or your porch foundation and floor.

Wire It Up

Every How To Build A Porch guide should include information about electrical requirements. If you haven't considered your electrical requirements at this point - you should. In fact, you will really want to include them in your initial planning.

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.

hanging light over bistro table on front porch
Know Your Porch Electrical Options

Wire your porch to make it not only inviting, but also...
read more
cover of the NEC 2014 Electrical code book
Know Your Electrical Codes

Before you attempt any electrical work make sure you know the codes ...
read more

outdoor sconce porch lights and fans
Light Up Your Porch

Find just the right lighting combinations for strategic areas of your porch.
read more
removing old porch light fixture
Hang Porch Lights

See how we replaced a traditional porch can light with a hanging light...
read more

front porch receptacle
How to Wire Your Porch Receptacles

See how to wire your porch receptacles safely and maximize your electrical capabilities...
read more

Install Porch Columns

Once the foundation, flooring, and roof have been constructed it is time to install the porch columns to support the roof. In most cases, temporary supports were installed during roof construction. Now is the time to replace them with actual porch columns.

round tuscan front porch columns on small porch
Choose Your Porch Column Design

Before you install porch columns, choose the right design to fit your home's architectural style...
read more
romanesque brick colunns on front porch
Select Your Column Material

Porch columns come in many materials: traditional wood to aluminum, stone, and more. Choose the right one for...
read more

wrapping turned columns with rectangular columns
Renovating Front Porch Posts

See how a couple changed their turned porch columns into rectangular ones - and the difference it made...
read more

Install Porch Railings

We are making great progress. Now it is time to install your porch railings - if you need them. Mary and I opted not to have porch railings as our porch floor is less than 36 inches from the ground. However, porch railings have two primary purposes. One, they provide an element of safety and two, they can add lots of appeal to almost any porch.

Like columns, they need to be aesthetically pleasing and complement the style of your porch and home. We can help - use our railing guides to discover all of your options along with our installation tips.
colorful victorian style porch railings
Find the Right Porch Railing Design

You don't have to settle for ordinary railings (or balustrades). Explore the ideas we have here...
read more
individual constructing a porch balustrade or railing
Helpful Railing Calculations

How many balusters (railings) do you need? And how far apart will you space them? Learn how to calculate...
read more

individual constructing a porch balustrade or railing
Know Your Railing Building Codes

Don't construct porch railings without knowing the building codes for your area. We show you...
read more
front porch railings with curved design
Railings Material Guide

Railing materials range from wood to aluminum, no-maintenance vinyl, steel cable, and more. Before you build...
read more

Build Your Porch Steps

If you've gotten this far you should be fairly proud of your porch building progress. Now's the time to add steps for easy access.

framer building deck steps
Building Front Porch Steps

See how porch steps are constructed, how to lay out the stringers, and calculate the number of...
read more
mosaic tile front porch steps
Porch Steps for Curb Appeal

Use your front porch steps to make a statement. We show you examples along with plenty of ideas...
read more

wooden stair hand rails on front porch
Important Porch Hand Rail Information

We deliver the goods on porch hand rails, from codes to helpful video...
read more
designer front porch hand rails
Porch Hand Rail Design Guide

Porch hand rails can add not only safety but also curb appeal as well. Before you begin cutting...
read more

Finish Your Porch Ceiling

Before you finish your porch ceiling, make sure you have installed your electrical wiring for lights, fans, etc. Like many other components on your porch, you have many options.

front porch ceiling with bead board panels
Install Your Front Porch Ceiling

How one couple installed bead board paneling on their front porch - good ideas for finishing off your porch.
read more
beautiful tongue and groove porch ceiling
Porch Ceiling Options

Finish off your porch ceiling in style. Choose from tongue and groove, panels, or other materials...
read more

beautiful haint blue front porch ceiling
Traditional Haint Blue Porch Ceilings

Why are some porch ceilings painted blue? Find out the reasons why and just what color it is.
read more

Install Porch Skirting

Porch skirting can not only add curb appeal but also serve as a barrier to animals wanting to create a home under your porch or deck.
custom designed front porch skirting with maple leaf design
Porch or Deck Skirting Options

Learn more about your porch skirting options, how to install it properly, along with many other...
read more
black vinyl front porch skirting
Custom Vinyl Lattice Panels

Use these no-maintenance vinyl lattice panels for porch skirting. They won't rot or decay like...
read more

Paint Your Porch

colorful Victorian front porch
Selecting The Right Porch Paint

Using the right porch paint helps protect your investment...
read more
beautifully painted porch floor
Use The Right Floor Paint

Long lasting painting ideas for different porch flooring materials...
read more

Other Important Porch Building Considerations

Building Essentials

framers building a front porch
Don't Forget Your Building Permits

Building permits protect both your property and your friends and family. Don't neglect this important step.
read more
building contractors constructing porch
Choose the Right Contractor

We ask a professional contractor what you need to know when hiring someone else to do the work. Protect yourself...
read more

Porch Building Projects You Will Enjoy

front porch with colorful exterior house trim
Add Exterior House Trim

Select and install exterior trim to your porch for added curb appeal and...
read more
screen porch windows on new back porch
Add Porch Windows For A Porch Enclosure

Check out how easy it is to build a screen porch enclosure....
read more

lawn drainage problem near porch with downspout
Solve a Lawn Drainage Problem

Here's a possible solution to a lawn drainage problem...
read more
landscape lights along walkway to porch
Install Landscape Lighting

Create curb appeal with landscape lighting around your porch and steps.
read more

farmhouse with wheelchair ramp
Build a Wheelchair Ramp

Find information for building wheel chair ramps for your porch or deck...
read more
rotting porch column
Renovating an Older Home and Front Porch

We walk your through an old home renovation project - see how it is done.
read more

newly rebuilt front porch
Rebuild Porch Project

Flory shares how they rebuilt their front porch...
read more
country style open front porch
Tricia's New Front Porch

See Tricia's new front porch and discover your building options from plans to design options.
read more

Why Not Order a Helpful Book Right Now...


Affiliate link

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.

Vintage Woodworks logo 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 and daughter-in-love'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.

Transform This

Narrow porch before new porch remodeling project
Typical Narrow Porch On Two-Story Home

Into This

Newly remodeled front porch
A Nice Wide More Usable Outdoor Space

front view of narrow front porch
Entrance to porch and home centered on front porch

front view of remodeled 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).

It doesn't have to be just the front porch; a back or side porch works well also. Any type of porch is a wonderful investment in your home.

A porch increases the joy of being home plus gives your home a very welcoming feeling. Since you have many options when building a porch it may be beneficial for you to review our Front Porch Ideas Guide.

Skills You Need for Building a Porch

Assess Your Skills Here

collapsed deck from poor construction 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.

front porch as screened enclosure 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 screened porch.

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!

Share Your Porch Building Tips and Ideas with Us

Share your porch or deck building experiences, tips, and tricks-of-the trade with our readers. Write to us and send your pictures to

info [at] front-porch-ideas-and-more dot com

We will be happy to share with our readers!

Our Front Porch Ideas Generator - eBook

Ebook on Front Porch Ideas Are you planning to build or remodel your front porch this year?

Before you get too far, please check out our 140-page eBook of before and after porch design ideas.

Dave and I don't want you to say "Oh, I wish I would have known that" --- after your porch is built. That's no fun.

Our eBook is instantly downloadable and features 10 homes that undergo amazing face lifts with a new porch.

Before you spend a lot, invest just $9.97 risk free in our picture-rich eBook and get some wonderful ideas for your porch - before you break ground.

Resource list of photos and information

How to Build a Porch

The Amazon ads are our affiliate links. Thank you.


Our site is a labor of love. We appreciate your comments very much.

~~~ Signup for free porch tips in your in box. ~~~

Helpful Links

Shop Amazon for Porch /Garden
Aff link

Popular Pages

Please Join Us Here Also

Join us on Facebook for porch talk Join us on Pinterest Subscribe to get our updates. Thank you!

Our Sponsors

The Porch Store
Porch Store
Custom Porch Products

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks
For Your Porch Parts

Screened porch windows at
DIY Eze Breeze
Screen Porch Windows

Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products
Complement Any Home!

End sponsor section

Copyright© 2009-2017
All rights reserved.

Content and photos may not be reproduced
in any way without our written permission.

small rocking chair

Our Sponsors

The Porch Store
Porch Store
Custom Porch Products

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks
For Your Porch Parts

Screened porch windows at
DIY Eze Breeze
Screen Porch Windows

Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products
Complement Any Home!

End sponsor section

Want to receive our periodic online newsletter,
Front Porch Appeal?
Learn more.

1. Your Name

2. Your Email

We respect your privacy.

3. Click the button below

Get our online newsletter Front Porch Appeal and our awesome curb appeal eBook as a free bonus
You'll also receive
our free eBook
Enjoy our back issues.

The Front Porch Ideas Generator
Front Porch Ideas Generator

Before you spend a penny
on your porch design

small rocking chair

We may earn a commission by referring you to some products on merchant sites. See our disclosure policy. Thank you.

Front Porch Designs Home | Return to Top
Contact Us | Advertise with Us | Search | Site Map | What's New
Media | Privacy Policy | Disclosure | Legal Notice | Resources

XML RSS   Add to My Yahoo!   Add to My MSN   Subscribe with Bloglines
By Mary and Dave Morris, Copyright © 2009-2017 All rights reserved.
Content and photos may not be reproduced or copied in any way without our express written permission.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape