Adding a porch can increase your living space, add value to your home and create an ideal merging of indoor and outdoor living. However, because porches can be so complex—with many different materials, structures and styles—this is typically a job best left to a professional contractor. A porch is more than just a deck with a roof, and it will require a thorough assessment of your existing home to make sure it can support the new addition, as well as local climate conditions that might call for reinforcements or special insulation, Micetich says. It’s also important to check with your local building department and neighborhood association before beginning work, as they may have specific requirements such as the location of a porch, roof materials, foundation method or safety features like banisters and guardrails.
Dig footings for your porch according to specifications outlined in your design plans, then install and pour them. If your Porch Installation will be a pier-and-beam structure, anchor the posts to the footers. Otherwise, skip this step if your porch will be a slab foundation.
Install porch joists, fastening each board to the adjacent joists with a minimum of two nails or screws positioned within 1/2″ of each board end and joint. Check each finished joist for splices and miters, then shim or plane them as necessary to ensure proper structural integrity and minimize changes due to expansion and contraction.
Build screens if you want to enjoy your porch during the warmer months, but be aware that it’s time-consuming and labor-intensive. You can choose to build the screens yourself, or have a window supplier build custom wood or metal screen molds and then use a manufactured screening system such as Screen Tight, One Better Way or ScreenScape to attach the fiberglass mesh to the porch framing with vinyl splines.