How to Build a Porch

It’s nice to have a porch in your back yard. Spending a relaxing day reading a book outside is one thing I personally love to do. The project is relatively simple and can be done in a weekend. Be sure to gather all the materials ahead of time.

Required Materials/Tools

  • Pressure-treated lumber 4×4′ post stock (talk to your lumber company and find the best for this project)
  • Decking boards
  • Footing clamps
  • Foundation tubes
  • Cement
  • Hammer and nails
  • Screws
  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Drill and bits
  • Stakes
  • Gloves
  • Wheelbarrow (to mix the cement)
  • Chalk
  • Measuring tape

Instructions

  1. First, if you are making any additions to the home, you need to check what permits you will need.
  2. We need to decide where the porch will be. Place steaks at the corner locations of the stairs and the corners of the porch.
  3. When designing the porch, look for the entry point. You will need to locate the ledger board. This will be the main reference point for the deck. Take a 2×10″ piece of board and nail it to the structure about 3-5″ below the porch.
  4. Now we need to place the footings of the porch. Where you placed the steaks, did footing holes about 12″ wide and 4′ deep. We want to go below the frost line of the dirt.
  5. Mix the cement, 3 parts cement – 1 part sand. Add water till firm. We don’t want slushy cement; it will take a lot longer to dry.
  6. Place the foundation tube into the holes we just dug, and fill them with cement. The tubes must be about 3″ below the surface.
  7. Before the cement dries, place the post anchors into the cement.
  8. Now it’s time to work on the porch layout. When the foundations are in place and aligned with the ledger board, we need to start lying out the joists and decking. You can work in sections if you are doing a large porch.
  9. Lay out the porch boards and attach the joist hangers at 16″ from the middle.
  10. Lay out the decking onto the frame. Use a nail’s breadth for spacing of the boards. Hammer the decking into the joists to secure it. Consult the designs to how to lay out the boards.
  11. After the deck is installed, you need to add the railings. You can purchase pre-made railings from home stores. Nail it to the deck and install the support posts.
  12. We need to protect our porch against the elements. You need to get some water proof paint or wood sealant and paint a few coats onto the porch.

Tips/Warnings

  • Be sure you check what the building codes and required permits are for your location.
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