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Building a porch can be a difficult task, so if a homeowner does not have any carpentry experience, this project may be best left up to the pros. It is a good idea to get quotes from several contractors before choosing one to ensure the porch can be built properly and at a competitive price. If the homeowner decides to undertake the porch construction himself, it is vital that the structure be planned properly before the first materials are even purchased. The tools necessary for porch construction should also be purchased or rented ahead of time to prevent delays in the process.
Before beginning porch construction, it is a good idea to decide what type of porch will be built. This means determining what materials will be used, how large the space will be, and what additional features will be built. A porch roof, for example, is a great addition, but it will need to be supported by the porch structure properly. The steps in the building process for a wood porch will be different than the steps in concrete porch construction. If concrete footings need to be poured, it will be necessary to determine where the footings need to be placed for the best structural support.
Consider the budget for porch construction as well, as this may have an effect on the size, shape, and function of the space. It may be possible to build the porch in stages as well; this is especially useful if the homeowner has a specific type of porch in mind but only has the budget for a simple structure at first. The budget will also have an impact on what materials are most appropriate. Concrete is an inexpensive material for porch construction, while certain types of wood can be fairly expensive. Vinyl is also an option; this material is adequately durable and low maintenance, but it can be difficult to install properly.
The hardware used to secure boards together is also an important and often overlooked consideration during porch construction. It is important to choose hardware that is resistant to weather damage; galvanized or stainless steel nuts, bolts, screws, and plates should be used, since these are resistant to rust and corrosion. If the porch is built out of wood, it may be necessary to paint, stain, or otherwise weatherproof the boards as well to prevent premature rot and other damage. This can add to the initial cost of the porch, but it will end up saving the homeowner money in the long run.
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