Building a porch roof

If you have a beautiful porch and you want to cover it with a roof so that you can enjoy the lovely rain or shine under cover, then this post is for you. You can have a perfect place to relax where you can spend your idle time.


porch roof

to a house "}” data-sheets-userformat=”{"2":513,"3":{"1":0},"12":0}”>Related post: How to connect a porch roof to a house.

Enjoying a good book in a cool and rainy season with a hot cup of coffee or toasting a fine glass of wine in the cold weather are some of the enticing things which you can do under the roof of your porch.

Building a porch roof can be a complicated process, but with a few little tips and guidance you can do it very well.

It is always wise to do your homework! Therefore, prior to building a porch roof here are some of the factors that need to be taken due care of.

  1. The unit rise of your roof will give you an idea as to which type of material should be used to build the porch roof so that it can strongly handle the fluctuating weather.
  2. Fans and lights are generally installed in the porch roof so it is wise to determine the electrical requirement in your porch roof so that you don’t have to run extension cords afterwards.
  3. Make sure that you know well and have complied with all the norms and rules of your area for building a roof and have received due permission from the authorities if required. This is to save you from unwanted hassles later on.

It may seem to  require full-fledged technical work to build a porch roof and therefore in this post we are presenting in very simple steps how to build a porch roof.

People generally ask that how to build a front porch roof. The process of making the roof is just the same, but there are some additional factors to be taken good care of. Front porches should be wider than they are deep.

A shallower porch doesn’t allow enough room to walk around furniture. Front porches should be raised slightly to keep out water. Also, make sure that the front porches is screened and has railings so as to prevent falls.

The color, height and texture of roof add to the beauty of the roof. Open porches are also in trend, but are not as safe. The roof adds drama to the space, keeps it cooler and makes it look larger. Here is how to build a roof over a porch.

Step 1:  Determine the rise and run of your porch roof. The rise and run of the roof is generally the replica of the main roof. But if it is not feasible due to presence of windows, then just try to mark the place which is closest to it.

Also, determine the location of the wall where the rafters  will be attached.

Step2: The windows that are situated immediately above the place where there will be porch should be taken as the upper most point while taking measurements.

From this point to the point where the rafters will be placed, a distance of at least 3 inches should be kept.

This is to allow for the roofing material, which generally expands due to multiple layering. Mark the upper line and lower line having a width equivalent to the width of a rafter (generally around 6 inches).

Step 3: After the measurements are done and lines are marked it’s time to install the rafter plate. Just affix it to the wall studs with the help of some screws. If they are not being fixed easily with the screws, then you can use some other fastening system.

Step 4: As the top portion is half done, let’s move on to the floor side. Take the measurements of the length and width of the porch.

Estimate the columns that would be formed on the floor by keeping in mind the placement of stairs. The columns are generally 6 to 10 feet apart. Chalk out all the measurements as then it will be easier to carry out the digging process.

Step 5: The floor process begins with digging the holes deep into the ground and placing the wooden posts into these holes.

The height of these posts should be equivalent to the height of the roof you require. Fill up the holes with concrete so as to keep the posts erected.

To carry out the column and the roof you may need to reinforce the beams so that the columns get attached to the beams under the deck.

Step6: On one end of the decking, place a column in the anchor and screw it in properly so that it stays stiff. At the top of the column placed at end, a beam is to be placed against the ledger board.

All columns are to be plumbed and squared up well. The wooden pieces are to be kept a little more than the length so as to provide for overhang. Good care should be given to ensure that the surface is leveled.

Howsoever it is done, it is to be ensured that the columns are square to the house as well as to the floor.

Step 7: After the anchor is placed, headers should be placed. A header is normally built out of planks which have a standard size of 2×6 or 2×8. In between the boards attach a piece of plywood which is around a half inch so that the rafters get fit into it.

The header has to keep the roof protected so it is important that it is secured properly with the help of toe nailing and is strong enough to manage the weight of the roof.

Step 8: At this stage the measurements taken at Step 2 will finally be used. Make special cuts into the rafters, which are generally called as ‘talls’ and ‘bird mouths’ in technical language.

Calculate and make these cuts efficiently and then fit the rafters over the header. This step requires practice and skill, as it will give a final shape to the roof.

Step 9: To enclose the ends and provide support to the rafters you can install jack studs or plywood at the corner of the roofs. After the support work is done, you can install  roofing paper or use asphalt shingles.

Step 10: As you should have planned about the needed electricity points you require in your porch, install the wiring arrangements now. You can wrap up the exposed wood using aluminum finishing or any other kind which goes well with your home.


Mobile homes are becoming so popular these days and therefore the concept of a porch roof has been introduced in these homes as well.

It will not only add a unique appeal to your home, but will also protect it from the harsh weather. Just like any other stick built home the mobile home also has a lot of porch roof ideas. Adding screen walls to make it a screened porch can also be one of the options.

The whole screen porch kit is available which efficiently covers the porch partly or completely depending upon the requirement.

The porch piers can also be hidden using the porch skirting to have additional space into the mobile home. Also, the rafters can be covered using bead board or tongue and groove panels to give a perfect and finished look to the mobile home.

Metal roofing also works well for mobile homes. This is because they are easy to install and carry without creating further burden on the carrier.


If you construct an open porch, then you can have sufficient space to spend your time in the lap of nature, but if you  build a covered porch then it will create an additional space which can prove to be highly useful.

Once you have decided on the design of the roof, it becomes quite easy to build the roof.

Weak areas of your home make it difficult for the roof to stand properly. As you are about to build the covered roof, it is recommended to rectify the rotting areas of the home so as to give a healthy base to the structure of a porch roof.

You can make use of concrete to increase the levels of the porch. Connect all of the erected posts so that the structure looks like a box.

Fit the rafters only after this box type structure is ready. The top most layers are to make it covered. Use plywood to cover the top of the roof and use shingles to frame it properly.


Installing a roof over the existing deck which is not made with the intention to support a porch can be dangerous. This is because decks require additional footings and load to support the roof.

Therefore, a roof should not be built onto an existing deck. While building a new deck it is to be ensured that there is room for additional footings which are required to build a strong roof.

The posts should be stacked directly above the support and should not be placed within the span of the beam so that the deck can manage the weight of the roof.

The roof should be designed and installed independent of the deck so that if at any time the modifications are to be carried out in a deck then it becomes easy to do it without modifying the roof.


The lean to roof is slightly angled. It is basically to protect it from rain and snow. While making this kind of roof porch you just have to cut the end of the rafters at the angle in which it is required and they are to be nailed to the horizontal board to affix it properly.

There is no readymade angled metal hanger and therefore you have to design the shape of the leaning roof. There are a number of hangers which can help in the installation of this kind of roof.

A pitched roof is suitable for monsoon and snow blessed areas. With a roof, small porches also look huge.

A gable roof or stone like porch skirting can be combined with porch columns, railings, steps and ceilings etc. to give a presentable front look. A hip roof is a little complicated, but gives an aesthetic advantage to the structure.

Founder & Editor

Hi, I’m Jim. I was a roofing constructor for 20 years, before deciding to start and gather the best content about roofing. I love woodworking and construction and it was only natural for me to start this passion project of mine. Thank you for visitng.

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