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What are the Best Tips for Remodeling a Porch?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2018
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Remodeling a porch can enhance the beauty, durability, and functionality of a home. When considering remodeling a porch, one should first think about the intended function of the porch, the current aesthetic of the home, and the budget of the project. Remodeling a porch can be limited by the current structure's foundation, so if a homeowner is considering expanding the size of the porch, he or she will have to consider pouring new concrete footings. The first step in remodeling a porch is examining the current structure and determining what can stay and what needs to go.

Sometimes remodeling a porch involves nothing more than replacing old boards with new ones. Replacing warped or dry-rotted pine boards with cedar or a composite material that looks like cedar, for example, can enhance both the beauty and durability of the porch. Composite materials are made to be weather resistant and low maintenance, which means no staining or sanding. The choice of materials will have the biggest impact on both the durability and beauty of the porch, so one should choose carefully.

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For some homes, expanding the existing porch into a wraparound porch may be a consideration. A wraparound porch runs the entire span of the front of the house, then turns a corner to run the length or part of the length of one or more sides of the house. This type of remodeling is much more in depth and expensive, but it can add a beautiful look to the front of a home as well as more functional space for family members and guests. One should consider size constraints before installing such a porch, as the distance between the porch and a neighbor's house, garage, or driveway may prohibit the expansion of that porch.

Another consideration when remodeling a porch is the pathway or steps leading up to the porch itself. If the porch is adjacent to a front yard, one might consider making a stone pathway leading up to the porch. Pavers are ideal for building such a pathway, though other materials such as stone slabs and bricks can be used as well. The stairs leading up to a porch can also be made from such stone, or they can be made from wood. Consider a railing both for safety and aesthetics.

While the outside of the porch often gets all the attention, what's underneath is much more important. Inspect support beams and posts for rot and damage before rebuilding a porch on top of them. Also carefully inspect any foundation that currently exists. If the posts are fixed into concrete footings, inspect those footings to make sure they are not cracked or damaged beyond repair. Replace them if necessary to have the safest porch possible.

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