How to Install a Front Porch

The front porch is not only a useful area, but it is an expected part of the architecture of any home. You may have an old front porch that is falling apart and dangerous or you may not have a front porch, but would like one. If you have a few extra dollars, finding a professional to help you install a front porch would be ideal. A front porch is very similar to a deck in many ways. However, it is also a bit easier to build a front porch yourself than it is to build your own deck.

The first thing to do is to plan the style and size of your deck. You will need to measure your designated area in order to know how much material you need. Make sure you have the proper permits for your porch project. Then you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Build a foundation for your porch. Depending on where you live, you will need to consider bearing weight, hills and unlevel ground and geography. When you place the boards that define the outer edges of your porch foundation, bolt the foundation to the wall of the house. This will ensure that your porch will not separate from your home.
  2. Make sure where you build your port is protected from water. Water will be the worst enemy of your porch.
  3. Once your foundation is built, you will be able to build the porch floor. You will first need to build the frame and the joists which will support the flooring. Be sure to attach the porch floor to the wall of the house. Once the floor frame is installed, you can place the decking. The decking will vary based on the materials you choose.
  4. Some porches are built at the top of stairs while other porches are stand-alone options. If your porch has stairs, you will want to either fit the porch flooring to the already existing stairs or build stairs to complement the porch.
  5. After your flooring is placed you can place posts and railings. If your porch is attached to a stairway, your railings will have a safety function. If your porch is ground level, your railings will be a feature placed for beauty and to help define the edges of your porch.
  6. Paint, seal, and/or stain your porch depending on the porch material used.

Your porch can be beautiful even if you are an amateur DIYer. Remember to always measure twice before cutting once and plan your project carefully. If you follow instructions, your porch will be a wonderful addition to your home.


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