Covering My Back Porch

Answered by Brett ~ September 1, 2010 ~ Comments

I'm sure this is easier than i am making it but I need some help. I am wanting to extend the roof to cover my back porch. The porch itself is roughly 30' x 12'. The part I am having trouble with is the L shape of the existing roof over the house. Need some help with deciding what would be the most structurally sound way to go about it. What are some of the things commonly overlooked by DIY-ers?

Mike ~ Fort Worth, Texas

Brett Kulina

Mike, if you are wanting to cover your back porch with a new roof, then there are a few things that you need to be aware of. First, it is often easier, and usually looks better, if you build a new roof which sits below the eve of your home's existing roof, as opposed to trying to extend the current roof line. This way you do not have to mess with your home's existing roof, nor do you have to remodel the existing fascia and soffit.

If you have the available head room to attach a simple shed roof to the side of your house which can cover the back porch and still have a decent pitch to it, then your construction project will be much simpler. A project like this does require some carpentry skills and tools, but often it can be accomplished by a skilled DIY'er and a helper.

The main components of your project are going to be:

    -Installing cement footings along the outside edge of the porch which will support several upright wood posts.
    -Connecting a horizontal beam to the top of the wood posts, which will support the roof rafters.-Cutting and installing the rafters which will be connected to the side of your house at one end, and sit on top of the horizontal beam at the other.

    -Installing wood decking on top of the rafters, which will support the roofing felt and the roofing shingles.

    -Cover the decking with the roofing materials.

Each of these steps does require proper sizing and selection of building materials, as well as the correct and safe installation of them, so if you are new to a project like this I would suggest that you get help from someone that has experience with building roofs. There are also contractors and building supply companies in the Fort Worth area who can probably lend a hand.

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