Friday, October 18, 2019

Porch Cover Project

Since my husband and I moved into our wonderful 1980s home 6 years ago this month, I'd always wanted a cover over the porch, but we never had the budget to hire out the job. For 6 years I dealt with wet packages delivered in the rain, visitors standing in the elements at the door, and shoveling snow or throwing ice melt on the stairs so that my family and others didn't break their necks using them. A neighbor girl and a nephew both slipped on my icy stairs a few years ago. They were a little bruised and all right, but it could have been worse.


So, since building my own kitchen countertop island earlier this year, I had the confidence to suggest to my husband that we try building a porch cover ourselves. It took a lot of planning, designing, materials, and Youtube watching, but we were able to build us a long porch cover with 4x4 posts and 2x6 rafters that covered the entire stairway. We also removed the old rusted metal railing and built a new and improved wooden railing from some old 2x4s we had. And the router my parents gave me years ago again came into play at the very end when I rounded the top corner edges of the railing caps. It turned out quite nice and made our entry feel more welcoming and cozy. And the best part more "package drop box" sitting at the bottom of our stairs! The container is now being used to house toys in a basement room *smile*
Our package drop box guarded by two of our chickens, Buttercup (tan) and Eclipse (black and white)

Here are 14 photos showing our project progression from beginning to end:

My plans and sketches for the project. Measurements, materials, cost estimates.
We went over our estimate by about $100, but all in all, not a bad DIY.

Starting the build by putting up the posts. We drilled down into the concrete landing with a masonry drill bit and placed the 4x4 posts into post bases. The entryway was inaccessible while we had the posts braced up by 2x4s  

We attached a 2x6 to the bricks above our front door with large expansion bolts. It was a more viable option for us than building the new cover into our existing roof system that would have included ripping up shingles among other things. 

2x6 rafters (side view)

The end board really helped to square everything up. 

Blocking in between the rafters kept everything square and the 2x6s straight. 

Tar paper installed and starting on the shingles. 

Finished roof with shingles and drip egde. Picture taken from up on a ladder. The rectangular black weights at the back were to keep weight on the top shingles where we applied roofing cement. The weights were taken off the next day

Beginning the new railing with 2x4s, mitred edges, and a level. Gotta keep everything level.

The railing slats attached

The smoothed and routered railing caps in place

Railing cap (slanted part).
It isn't actually attached in this picture, so the top end isn't flush with the banister yet. 

Railing Cap (straight part up by the door)


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