How to Build a Wraparound Porch

Jackie Michael

A porch can be a tremendously attractive addition to the exterior of a home. There are many options available for porches and many styles to choose from. Wraparound porches, otherwise known as veranda- or Colonial-style porches, are a common sight in older homes, but there is no reason why they cannot be added to a newer home if the conditions are right and there is enough land to work with. If you have little or no construction experience, you should employ the services of a building company that can complete the work for you.

A wraparound porch is an attractive addition to your home.
  1. Plan your budget before you begin. Get prices for all the materials you will require. If possible, purchase reclaimed materials where you can. This will save you money.

  2. Survey the land around the perimeter of your house and measure how wide your porch should be. You must allow for any slopes or drops in the land around your house, and your porch height should allow for the slope of your roof.

  3. Dig the ground around the foundations to create a crawlspace under the porch. Level the ground off and begin marking where the decking frame will fit. This should be around the level mark of the top of the foundations. Secure the decking frame with carriage bolts. Attach the joists to the frame with hurricane clips.

  4. Check the level of the frame and joists before you lay the decking. Any discrepancies can be fixed before the decking goes down. When you lay the decking, you have a few options with designs. Create a diagonal join at the corners or use straight decking from the house wall outward to the edge of the house, and then change direction as the corner turns. Check some design patterns before you lay the decking to find out which best suits your project.

  5. Mark where the roof of the porch will be attached to the house. Use carriage bolts to secure the roof struts and use hurricane clips to attach the outer struts and joists. Place decking posts at regular intervals, starting in each corner and leaving gaps of approximately 10 feet. These measurements will vary according to the width and length of your porch.

  6. Secure the roofing materials with roofing nails. Use the roofing tar to seal the joins between the roof and the house before laying the roofing felt or shingles. If you are following the same style of roof currently on your home, purchase the same materials and fit them in the same direction as your current house roof.

  7. Attach the balusters and posts around the porch perimeter. Attach the fascia boards to the front face of the porch and attach your guttering to the front fascias. Many people choose drain chains as an alternative to gutter piping, and this makes a far more attractive choice to drain water from your roof, down from the porch.

  8. Build the steps to your porch using the treads and risers. Remember that steps have a regulation size, and talk to your local planning office to find out any relevant information pertaining to your state's laws.

  9. Add the banister rails and posts to complete the steps. Finish the porch roof by adding lining and tongue-and-groove paneling. This is an optional addition, and if you're happy with the look of your porch as it is, then skip this step.