The weather over the last couple of days has been gorgeous, so I’ve taken advantage of it and made some pretty good headway on my front porch makeover. If you’ve missed the first couple of posts on this project (which you can see here and here), the nutshell version is that I’m building a wood porch over my existing concrete front porch.
So to do that, I had to install wood risers using pressure treated 2 x 4’s rated for ground contact (ripped to the correct height to level the final porch floor), attached to the concrete with exterior construction adhesive and concrete screws. These risers are spaced 16 inches apart to act as joists and give me something to which I can screw the porch boards. Those looked like this…
Before adding the skirting board (fascia board?), I still needed to add spacers around the edges of the concrete porch. The purpose for these is to give water a place to drain. If I just attached the skirting board directly to the edge of the concrete porch and high enough to meet the porch boards, I’d basically be creating a dam that would hold in the water every time it rains. So to provide a space behind the skirting boards for water to drain, I cut some pieces of 2 x 4 to five inches long and attached them to the ends of the risers.
Most of the risers were tall enough so that I could just screw the edge spacers into the ends of the risers. I attached them using exterior construction adhesive and these 6-inch HeadLOK screws that take the place of lag bolts.
But as I worked towards this end of the porch, where the risers are much shorter and there wasn’t really enough room to screw the spacers into the ends of the risers, I had to use construction adhesive and concrete screws.
So with that step finished, it looked like this…
And then I nailed my skirting boards directly to the edge spacers. I placed a porch board on top just to be sure I was lining up the skirting board correctly before nailing it into place.
Here’s the view from the back side…
You can see that now there’s a space between the skirting board and the concrete porch where water can drain when it rains. And this also provides plenty of air circulation so that there won’t be a built up of moisture under the porch.
With the skirting boards in place, there was one more big project before adding the porch floor boards. I wanted to paint the concrete porch and the risers black. I used Behr porch paint in Tar Black for this…
And of course, the whole point of that was to minimize the appearance of the risers and the concrete porch since they’ll be visible in the cracks between the porch floor boards. Hopefully painting them black will make them disappear.
Here’s how that looked with the skirting boards on and the concrete and risers painted black…
I’m still undecided about what I’ll do with the concrete around the sides below the skirting boards. I’ll leave that decision for another day.
The last bit of prep work that I did last night before calling it quits was filling in the crack between the house and the porch (where the porch has pulled away from the house as it’s settled over the last 70 years) with spray foam insulation. As you can see, I’m not the best at using spray foam insulation. I always overfill the cracks. 😀
But I wanted to get that done last night so that it would have overnight to dry and harden. I can cut away the excess with a serrated knife, and then paint it black as well before installing the floor boards. The whole point of this spray foam is to keep bugs and water out of that gap between the porch and the house. In the four years that we’ve been here, we’ve had some really heavy rain storms, and the water has never gotten that close to the house. (The concrete porch slants down slightly towards the yard.) But since I’ll be covering this up with porch boards and won’t be able to keep an eye on it anymore during heavy rainstorms, I wanted to fill those gaps just as a precaution.
So the progress is slow but steady. I have just a little bit of prep work left to do — cutting away the excess spray foam, painting the spray foam black, adding brackets/braces to the columns, and then doing a bit of caulking — and then I’ll finally be ready to install the floor boards! I’m really hoping I can get all of that done today. I think this porch will totally transform the look of this portion of the house, and I can’t wait to get it done. I’m hoping to have an actual porch to show y’all tomorrow.
Oh, and by the way, I will be building new steps. The current steps will no longer work since the concrete steps are 5.5 inches high, and the last step onto the porch is now over 9 inches high. So the concrete steps will be torn out, and I’ll be replacing them with wood steps to match the porch. So those of you who were concerned about the uneven steps can breathe a sigh of relief. 🙂