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How do I build a wooden porch?

Updated April 17, 2017

Wooden porches provide homes with a place to relax in the evening with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and contemplate the events of the day. Wooden porches at the rear of a house are frequently the place for a grill and a dining table, where people can enjoy cooking outdoors in warmer weather. Building a wooden porch onto your existing home does not have to be a long and difficult endeavour. The process can be as simple or as complex as the home-owner wishes to make it.

Design your wooden porch. Use a pen and paper to sketch out ideas. Decide on the size and if you want steps leading down to your garden, or if the porch will only be accessible from the house. Check with your local authority to see if you need a permit. Take your sketch with you.

Measure the distance from the bottom of the main access door to the top of the porch you will build, and estimate the porch height.

Dig holes for your footings. Such holes are usually 1 to 1.2 metres (3 to 4 feet) deep. Place the first of your anchor posts into the hole. Mix your cement, and pour it into each hole. The footings will anchor your wooden porch.

Let the cement cure, usually 24 hours. Using wood screws, attach 10 by 10 cm (4-by-4 inch) joists to the anchor posts. The joists provide the support of the patio, and will be what you attach your wooden porch's floor to.

Install the porch floor to the joists. Use 2.5 by 5 cm (1-by-2 inch) weather-treated timber or deck flooring. Attach flooring with wood screws, leaving a little space between the boards for drainage. Add a railing if you desire, or if your permit requires one. To do this, simply drill holes and insert wood screws into deck support posts. Use vertical pieces of lumber, typically 60 cm (24 inches) in length, at approximately 45 cm (18 inches) from each other. Then screw railing pieces to the tops of the railing support posts.

Tip

When measuring the distance below the main access door, remember to include the wooden porch's flooring in your measurement.

Warning

Study your building permit for any required distances between porch flooring, and railing heights. Having to rebuild your porch to meet codes is costly and time-intensive.

Things You'll Need

  • Weather-treated timber
  • Saw
  • Wood screws
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Power screwdriver
  • Cement
  • Pencil and paper
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About the Author

Dan Ames has been a professional writer for nearly 20 years and has won national and international awards for creativity. He received a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin and has been published in a variety of magazines, journals and websites, including eHow and Pluck on Demand.