How to Build a Porch
From Foundations to Roofs and MoreKnowing how to build a porch can save money whether you are hiring a contractor or doing it yourself. 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.
How to Build a Porch - Do You Need a Professional?If you would like to consult with or hire a professional, please use our handy form to get free estimates from local contractors.
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Video: A Porch Built in a MinuteOur 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!
Watch our popular video
Browse Our Directory of Build a Porch TopicsOur "How to Build a Porch" guides below will show you the basic steps and give you important factors to consider when building along with tips and ideas to make it easier.
We've grouped them in the order of a typical porch construction project. Of course, these may vary based on your specific building requirements.
Very Important Safety Notes for How to Build a PorchBecause 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 and it seems silly that we even mention it. But please 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 look at our Safety Section for more information.
Porch Building Guides from Foundations to Porch Roofing
Construct Solid Porch Foundations
Porches and decks need solid foundations upon which to build. See construction processes, diagrams, photos, repair methods, and 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 a written and audio tutorial for installing your porch flooring: 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. It can be easy!
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.
How to Build a Porch / Deck
See how a porch or deck foundation and flooring is constructed: from installing the foundation to laying out and cutting stringers for your porch steps.
How to Build a Porch Roof
Narrative of shed-style and truss-style roof construction, from installing the rafter plate to setting your beam and rafters. Calculate rise and run. Explore porch construction books.
Porch Roof Construction Ideas
Aspects of roof construction and material selection along with metal roof ideas (popular!). Excellent information for anyone contemplating building a porch roof.
Know Your Porch Electrical Options
Wire your porch to make it not only inviting, but also functional for electrical needs you will have: holiday lights, lamps, vacuum, music ...
Porch Column Construction Options
Learn porch column placement, design and style options, material selection, trim options, curb appeal ideas, load bearing issues, ventilation, structural and non-structural columns, wraps
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 design.
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 number of...
Install Your Front Porch Ceiling
How one couple installed bead board paneling on their front porch - good ideas for finishing off your porch.
Selecting the Right Porch Paint
Using the right porch paint helps protect your investment and adds lovely color ...
Porch or Deck Skirting Options
Learn more about your porch skirting options, how to install it properly ...
Custom Vinyl Lattice Panels
Use these no-maintenance vinyl lattice panels for porch skirting. They won't rot or decay like...
Add Exterior House Trim
Select and install exterior trim to your porch for added curb appeal and...
Build a Wheelchair Ramp
Find information for building wheel chair ramps for your porch or deck...
Exterior Front Doors
Find styles and options for your porch's front door....
Don't Forget Your Building Permits
Building permits protect both your property and your friends and family. Don't neglect this important step.
Choose the Right Contractor
We ask a professional contractor what you need to know when hiring someone else to do the work. Protect yourself...
Porch Construction Safety
Learn what you need to do to make your porch safe for family and friends....
How to Build a Porch - Project Directory
Add Porch Windows
Check out how easy it is to build a screen porch enclosure.
Solve a Lawn Drainage Problem
Here's a possible solution to a lawn drainage problem...
Install Landscape Lighting
Create curb appeal with landscape lighting around your porch and steps.
Renovate a Porch on an Older Home
We walk your through an old home renovation project - see how it is done.
DIY Porch Projects
From pillows to furniture to painting rugs, stepping stones and landscaping tips
Tricia's New Front Porch
See Tricia's new front porch addition and the curb appeal it produced!
Why Not Order a Helpful Book Right Now...If you purchase an item through affiliate links within our content, we will earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure policy.
We've chosen the following books to help you in building your own porch (or deck too).
Ultimate Guide: Porches by Steve Cory - (Amazon affiliate link for which we may receive a commission)
The JLC Guide to Decks and Porches: Best Practices for Outdoor Spaces - (Amazon affiliate link for which we may receive a commission)
Porches and Sunrooms: Planning and Remodeling Ideas - (Amazon affiliate link for which we may receive a commission)
Please Take Some Time to Listen to This Porch PodcastIf 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.
Take a look at our entire podcast directory where you'll find lots of ideas for designing, decorating, building, landscaping, and accessing your porch.
How About This Front Porch Transformation?Here you can see some more before and after pictures of our son's porch.
Their "before" porch formerly was 4 feet by 42 feet and is now 9 feet by 42 feet.
That extra 5 feet of depth makes all the difference. It's a fantastic investment in their home and their family. The kids love playing on the porch.
Look at the Before
Before: This porch was extremely narrowHardly room for chairs, a narrow porch like this has little useable space. This porch will greatly benefit from more depth.
Look at the After
Now look: A much wider and more pleasant front porchDo you see how much more functional and enjoyable it is to have more depth to your porch?
The Stairs Were Previously Centered
Before: The stairs were centered on their front porchAnd by nature of the stairs being centered, the porch was also divided into halves. There's plenty of room for a table and chairs or anything else the homeowners would enjoy.
Now the Stairs Are More Convenient to the Driveway
Now Look: The stairs were moved to the driveway side for much easier accessHomeowners 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).
By moving the porch stairs from the center to the driveway side, they make access easier as well as free up valuable porch space in the center for tables and chairs.
So What Skills Do You Need for Building a Porch?
Do You Have the Needed Skills?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 your 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.
If You Have Basic Carpentry SkillsIf 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 screened porch.
If You Have Intermediate Carpentry SkillsIf 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.
If You Have Professional Level SkillsConverting 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!
Get Our Front Porch Ideas Generator eBook
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. 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 how to build your porch - before you break ground.
We hope you got plenty of essential tips for how to build a porch. Please stop by the following sections below, too.
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Porch Ideas for Mobile Homes
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Build a Porch | Small Porches
Porch Columns | Porch Railings
Porch Curtains | Porch Enclosures
Porch Landscaping | Vinyl Lattice
Porch Decorating | Porch Ideas
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