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Porch Roof Construction:

Enhance the Functionality of Your Back or Front Porch

© 2009 by all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission

A Wraparound Front Porch

Porch roof construction is a fun project. It also boosts curb appeal and home equity. All you need are basic tools and carpentry skills. Be sure to check local building codes.

Lots of modern and older homes have a fine porch. Unfortunately, many have no roof to protect them from rain, snow, and the sun. This is regrettable because your porch should be taken advantage of whatever the weather conditions.

Wood framing skills as they are applied to roofing projects might not the simplest project skills to come up to speed on, but if you have a fundamental grasp of carpentry along with the proper tools, building a porch roof is an excellent project.

Don't forget to adjust your homeowners insurance policy after completing this project, whether you do it yourself or hire a building contractor to do it.

The Basic Construction Tools Needed

Porch Roof Design

This kind of home add-on needs to look like it belongs; the really choice ones duplicate the style and feel of the home itself. What’s involved here? Primarily, it should follow the identical pitch as the existing roof, although there are exceptions.

Next, the new shingles or metal roof panels need to match the house’s roof as closely as possible. The purpose of these guidelines is both your satisfaction as well as protecting your property’s equity and resale value.

The Typical Anatomy of a Porch Roof

Consider the characteristics of your home’s roof. Does it have a hip roof? Hip roofs are known for their strength. They help to lock the walls together. Very important in a hurricane or tornado.

What is the extent of your roofs overhang on your house? 14”? 16”? Go ahead and measure it. Plan to build your porch roof overhang to match it. Again, there are exceptions.

Planning Your Porch Roof Layout

The support for the porch roof is is on columns and one or more joists, and secured to the home. Depending on your home’s design, the ridge board will likely be attached to either the roof or the siding.

The trusses span the distance from the ridge board and over and past your joists. Where the ridge board is located depends on the pitch.

Set a valley rafter on opposite sides. Begin at the ridge board at the home's roof’s point, down to the porch joist. Attach your jack rafters. Secure them perpendicular to your ridge board down to your valley rafter.

Your local structural building code will inform you on the lumber spacing. Usually, they’ll be on 16” centers.

Roof designs specify an overhang on the gable end in many cases. Why? It protects your end wall from the rain and snow. As stated above, use your home’s overhang as a guide. You’ll find that 14” to 16” inches is common.

Now for the Sheathing, Felt, and Shingles

Finally, finish your roof with common roofing techniques. First, install your sheathing. Next, roll out roofing felt starting from the left and going to the right.

Make your first run at the bottom, then work your way up, overlapping each run by 6” inches.

Install the galvanized metal flashing in your roof’s valleys and along your roof’s lower edges. This is to take care of rainwater runoff. Next, nail on your shingles. As with the roofing felt, begin at the bottom then work your way up.

To finish the job off, prime and paint all exposed wood surfaces to match your house. Wait, you’re almost done! Set out a chair under the porch roof, have a cold one, and relax!

Don’t want to tackle the job yourself? Find local ratings on who to hire for all your home projects. Angie’s List makes it easy to find the best. Join today.

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© 2009 all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.