Investigate Your Options for a Porch

Consider all the variables that go into a porch project before you start the process.

Cottage Wraparound Porch

By: Jeannie Matteucci

While a porch can be a straightforward structure, it can also involve a lot of variables that make proper planning and code compliance very important. The health and safety of your family and friends as well as preserving your property are two great reasons to make sure your porch meets code.

One of the advantages of working with design professionals is that they can provide you with the rules and regulations in your area. For example, in some colder regions, foundations and footings must extend below the frost line to help avoid the porch heaving upward as soil freezes and expands. And if you're building a porch over an existing deck, you want to make sure the foundation of the deck can handle the extra load and is code compliant.

Hire a licensed contractor with references and experience with porches, and ask what kind of warranty they offer (for example, a warranty covering leaks in the porch roof). A design-builder may be a good fit for some porch projects, while others may require an architect and/or structural engineer.

Whatever team you choose, good communication and speedy decisions will help the design and build process go smoother.

Next Up

Budgeting for a Porch Project

Knowing what you can spend and how much things cost will help you during your porch planning.

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