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All You Need to Know About Building a Front Porch to Cut a Long Story Short

All You Need to Know About Building a Front Porch to Cut a Long Story Short

A front porch is simply an outdoor patio with a roof, right? Not really. While some porches are as simple as that, most are more comparable to an interior room that is lacking walls and windows.

Porches, as a rule, have more durable floors than decks. At the same time, porch ceilings, while frequently made of timber, also offer a more finished look. In reality, just about all aspects of a porch are better than its relative, the deck.

For example, a porch’s supportive posts are structural and ornamental at the same time. They can be boxed-in or columns 4x4s with molding fashioned foundations and capitals. Knee walls and balustrades are design backbones as well, typically finished with shingles, paint, or stucco.

Another diversion between decks and porches: You can add furnishings that wouldn’t fully stand up to the direct attack of the elements. Wooden furniture and chairs, upholstered furnishings and wicker, will all work better on a porch than they would on decks.

Picking the Location

A porch can be a great addition, so long as it does not result in issues with other areas of the home. The major issue homeowners are facing when they think about a porch addition is linked with daylight. A porch may considerably reduce kitchen daylight, or cut-off daylight in the living room. Make sure that building a front porch will not shade other parts of the house.

Building the Porch

A Porch can be built in different ways. Let your home’s architecture guide you. If a home pertains to a certain historical period, research the porch designs that were built throughout that period.  You can do it by taking a look at actual houses or studying old publications and history books on architecture.


Many porches are built on slabs over compressed gravel. The floor can be rock, tile, or brick. Other porches are wooden-framed and backed by beams and piers. With these, floorboards are usually narrow tongue-and -groove cedar planks looking more like interior floors than decking. Regardless of the flooring type you decide to install, the slope or the pitch of the floor has to run away from the home so that the wind blows, rainfall, and snow melt would drain before leading to any damage.


Porch stairways can be constructed with ready made concrete supplied by concrete delivery companies and veneered with brick or stone, or be crafted with timber. In contrast to the stairs of a deck, they frequently have bull nose risers and treads.


The area around the porch must be secured with strong lattice skirting, if not critters will be competing to drill down their burrows in that decent, dry place you’ve built. Add an entrance door so that you can enter when needed.


Railings or balustrades must be built to match up the design of the home. Solid knee walls might be used as well, which also should be made to match the design of the home. For instance, in case a house is clapboard- sided, the knee wall structure should be the same.


For a front porch, columns should look very elegant and stylish. Be cautious with their size, though. If they are too narrow, your porch will look flimsy. If they are too wide, it will look snobbish. Columns made of wood must be lifted considerably off the floor to avoid rot. Pressure-treated materials clothed with moldings and PVC boards are an alternative solution.


The roofs of the porch, whether gable-style or shed, generally have a shallow slope. This is mainly because they attach to your house at the first floor top (or possibly a little bit higher for two – story homes), and also because the eve of the porch should let enough headroom. The exclusion, of course, takes place if a front porch is integrated within the design of the house from the start, if there is a living area above the front porch.

The porch is an ideal place to spend some time. Just make sure to spend the time developing and planning it, before you get started with its construction.

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