Porches have been a popular addition to homes of all shapes and sizes for about as long as homes have existed. And these picturesque seating spaces have been growing increasingly popular in the last few years. According to a study by Houzz & Home, 12% of homeowners opted to upgrade their existing porch or build a new one in 2020.
From narrow wraparounds to massive enclosed spaces that are essentially sunrooms, porches vary in shape, size, and cost. But according to data from HomeAdvisor the national average ranges from $4,600 to $22,000, with the fancier porches costing $50,000 and more.
There are several things to consider when you want to roof a porch. From the type of roof and how much natural light you need to how to install the rafters and band joists – there is a lot you’ll need to find out. So, if you’re interested in finding out how to roof a porch attached to a house, then here are some tips to guide you.
Most communities require a permit for any accessory structures that attach to a residence or existing structure. And unfortunately, there are even some places where building a porch roof is not allowed. So, check all local building codes (country, state, city, county, and neighborhood) before you’ve even begun the planning phase.
Generally, a local building office will require that you submit a building plan for approval, with some adding the need for those plans to be developed by an architect or engineer. That’s partly why reviewing building codes before you begin is useful, as certain restrictions or requirements may change your final plan.
Remember that attaching a patio roof to the house without approval from the local authorities would not be covered under your insurance – and may even result in a claim for damage to any part of your home being rejected.
With so many different types of porch roofs to choose from and a huge variety of roofing materials you can use to bring your roof design to life, it can be hard to settle on a final plan for yours. But if you keep the following in mind during the planning phase, it will make everything a lot easier for you.
There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the best roof slope for a home, from regional weather patterns to venting, to aesthetics and more. When it comes to roofs for a deck or porch, it’s much simpler – simply match your home roof’s slope.
It isn’t always feasible to attach a sloped roof to your porch, such as when it obstructs the view from upper-floor windows or when there isn’t enough clearance between the edges of the roof and the eaves of your home. So, your other option is to build a flat porch roof or one with a very low slope.
There are essentially just two choices when it comes to the roofing material you use for your porch. The first is to match the color and type of material your existing roof uses, or use a material that is more lightweight or affordable but appears to be the same. The second option is to use a material and color that makes a nice contrast to your current roofing (and home).
Attaching the roof of a patio to your house is an important decision that requires careful consideration, and each of the many ways and positions you can use has its own pros and cons. These are three of the most common ways to attach a porch roof to an existing home:
Your support columns are essential to your porch roof being able to support what is known as dead load (the weight of your roof itself) and live load (the occasional additional weight of snow, etc.). The size, design, and number of support columns you need are determined by the size and shape of your porch.
Generally, you will have a poured concrete footing to brace the column, which may stop right at ground level or extend all the way to the rafters of your porch. When choosing the material for your rafters, keep the load-bearing strength of the type of material in mind. Certain types of lumber are stronger than others, while cement columns would be best for roofs that need to carry heavy loads for extended periods.
The ledger board is arguably the most important feature of your porch. Attached directly to your existing house using what is known as lag screws, this board provides the main structural support for your entire porch roof. It is basically what the rafters of your porch roof will rest on.
For single-story homes, the ledger board will be attached to the header beam just under the eaves of your roof. In the case of a two-story house, it is attached to the rim joist between the first and second floors.
The main reason for adding vents to any roof is to reduce the amount of heat and humidity that builds up under the roof. This means that they’re generally not required for open-air porches, unless they have an enclosed “attic” space. If you opt for an enclosed space – conditioned or not – then roof vents are essential, as they allow hot air to escape and maked it easier to keep the area below cool.
Hopefully, this article has given you a great starting point for connecting a porch roof to your existing home. A DIYer with the right tools and handyman experience can complete the installation of a porch roof on their own – but it is a project where a simple mistake can cost you heavily.
That’s why it’s best to get assistance from experienced roofers like the professionals at JET Contracting. Based in Athens, Georgia, we’re fully licensed and have a reputation as the best roofing contractor in town. From residential to commercial roof repairs to gutters and siding – our team has the experience needed to get the job done right. JET Contracting is the way to go, so get your free estimate today!