Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Building a porch.

At long last I have started the actual building of the porch.
So far I have milled most of the wood to be used for it, though I still need a few more boards and joists.

Today the plan is to remove the old tiles and mark out where the holes for the concrete pillars are going to be.

I have contacted an equipment rental shop and tomorrow I will pick up an earth auger. That should hopefully save my back from a lot of work and also be a lot faster.

So far my plan is as follows:

Clear the area
Drill holes for the pillars.
Cast concrete for the pillars.
Mill the remaining wood needed (while the concrete sets and hardens).

The porch will be the same level as the floor inside the house, so it will be approximately 40" above the ground farthest away from the house.

The principal dimensions are:
Main porch: 5.5 x 5 meter (approx. 19' x 17')
Connecting porch: 1.2 x 2.5 meter (approx. 4' x 8')
South porch: 2.0 x 5.2 meter (approx. 6.5' x 17')

The main porch will be on the east side (garden side) of the house. Form that porch a small porch will form a connection to a porch on the south end of the house.

The South end of the house.

The sticks symbolises the porch.


  1. Are the rectangular holes in the foundation where the original porch joists were? Seems that is a water/rot trap.

  2. Hi Ralph.

    Those holes are for ventilation of the space under the floor.
    They are evenly distributed on all sides of the house.

    The two smaller holes that can be seen on each side of the door were for the original porch.

    I won't attach the porch directly to the house, but just let it rest on concrete pillars.
    I don't know when the original porch was taken down, but I guess it was in the 60'ies based on the design of the hand rail on the old concrete stairs that were installed instead.


  3. My wife would love for me to add a side porch to our house. Unfortunately it is too big a job for me to handle by myself, as it would be off the ground approximately 8 feet. What type of wood are you planning on using? In my part of the country, the pillars/frame would be pressure treated Southern Pine or Douglass Fir, and the decking material itself could be just about anything from Ipe, Cedar, to Fir to Pine. Fir and Pine obviously being less expensive (though in my opinion they are also better for the application even if they are less expensive)

    1. Hi Bill.

      I would say that 8' of the ground seems like a fair reason why not to install a porch yourself :-)
      The normal approach would probably be pressure treated lumber for the frame and perhaps also the decking, but sometimes people use some sort of exotic wood for that.
      I use larch (as usual), since it is pretty rot resistant if you use the heart wood. I have taken great care while milling the lumber to make sure that there is as much heart wood as possible. I also plan on treating the wood with some outdoor protection oil.
      I am casting concrete pillars in the ground, so all my wood will be off the soil. That should help on the longevity of the structure as well.
      Our maximum height above ground is the farthest away from the house and that is only around 3 feet. So it is not so bad.
      I plan on putting a weed stopping barrier on the ground to prevent weeds from growing under the porch and making the place look messy.