Many homes have front porches with a cement slab and an iron railing. These porches are usually very tiny and there is no room to sit and enjoy the scenery.
By adding a deck onto the existing porch, you can expand the front porch and in some cases, you can make it wrap around to another side of the home. Wrap around porches are a great way to accent the home. The size of the deck will determine how much you need in materials. This is just one of the many front porch addition ideas.
• Lag screws
• Expansion bolts (used for bolting to cement porch)
• Carriage bolt
• Zinc coated nails
• Pea gravel
Mark off the deck area with the string. This will go from the cement front porch out 14 feet and then from the house out 8 feet. Remove all sod down about two inches and add black sheeting to prevent weeds. Sometimes you can add rocks to keep the area under the decking dark after putting down the black sheeting.
Use a header board to attach the deck to the house and the cement porch. Where you place the header board will determine the height of your deck. Use lag screws or wall screw when attaching to the wood on the house and use the expansion bolts for attaching to the cement or bricks.
Use aluminum flashing on the header board to prevent water from getting behind the header board. The header board should be placed 1 1/2 inches below the height of the deck.
Dig the holes for the footings. The holes need to be deep enough to go below the frost line. Dig the holes three feet deep. If you plan to put a railing on the addition, use posts that are long enough to accommodate the railing after the deck is done. Dig the holes for the posts every 4 or 5 feet depending on the length and height of the deck and your community guidelines.
Pour six inches of pea gravel into the hole. Then place a 2 inch x 6 inch footer plate on top of the pea gravel. Next, place the post in the base and fill the hole alternating between gravel and soil. Start with about four inches of soil stomped down, followed by four inches of gravel and continue until the hole is filled.
Attach the beams to the posts that you have just planted. The height will be determined by the height of your deck. Fasten the beams to the posts.
Next, attach the joists to the header board. Place the joists on 16-inch centers. You can use joist hangers or rest them on the header board. These joists are attached to the beams with hangers or they can rest on top of the beams.
Then add the decking boards with zinc coated nails. This will prevent rusting of the nails over the years. Be sure to do this part of the deck with care, since this will be the side that everyone will see.
If you left the posts high enough for a railing, you can then install the railing. Some people use lattice for this or wood posts. You can create the top rail by using treated wood and attaching it from post top to post top.
Photo by Zach Flanders, Creative Commons Attribution License