Building the Front Porch and Entryway Addition

We have an addition! And it's going to be gorgeous. But before it can be gorgeous, it's got to be built. Normally, building an entire (abet small) addition would be cost-prohibited on our teeny tiny budget but, thanks to some amazing deals and even more amazing friends and family, we were able to make it happen. Here's more about how we're building the front porch and entryway addition:

Building the Front Porch and Entryway Addition #DIY #homeimprovement #remodeling

Here's a rundown of everything we needed to do to build the front porch/entryway addition on to our house:

  • Create footers and frame out deck, walls, and roof.
  • Add metal roof.
  • Add front door and windows.
  • Add insulation and cement board siding.
  • Add trim and caulk exterior.
  • Paint trim and siding.
  • Add lighting.
  • Add exterior outlets.
  • Finish underside of roof.
  • Build railings and stairs.
  • Add decorative trim and paint.

Phew! It looks overwhelming but it's actually coming together pretty well. The most overwhelming part really was figuring what the plan was and then getting the supplies. First off though, we had to determine a budget… or in this case, the budget determined the project! See, The Boy and I paid for our own wedding and so my mom told me that she and my dad had decided to give us the money that they normally would have contributed to the wedding as a wedding gift. And that's how we got $1,500 to do something on our house. It didn't take long for us to determine that, if we didn't pay for labor and scored some great deals, we could construct the front porch addition for that amount of money. We knew that we couldn't really do any of the finish work or decorating for that much but we could try and get all the foundation and framing done.

So, The Boy called his friends and family and made arrangements for everyone to come for a long four day weekend and hammer this thing out. In the days leading up to the work weekend, our friends Billy and Willard, would text or email me supply list estimates and I would scour the Materials section of Craigslist looking to score… wood and siding. And score I did! I learned that lots of contractors overbuy materials for their projects and then post all the leftovers for sale on Craiglist a couple of times a year. A little driving later and we had all the lumber we needed to frame the entire addition, the footers (pre-made which saved us having to pour them ourselves), and all the siding (which was an odd size and not in stock at our local big box hardware stores). That meant that the night before the work weekend, all we had to get from Home Depot was plywood, insulation, windows, a roof vent thing for the half bath, and the metal for the roof. At this time, we didn't need to buy any of the electrical or plumbing since the inside of the structure would be unfinished and we could add them later.

The first work day started early. I had to work but by the time I left, the crew was here and measuring out the addition. When I left, the house looked like this:

Building the Front Porch and Entryway Addition #DIY #homeimprovement #remodeling

And when I got home, it looked like this:

Building the Front Porch and Entryway Addition #DIY #homeimprovement #remodeling

A deck! And sides! OMG!!! The excitement was real. Seriously, I was giddy. By the next afternoon, it looked like this:

Building the Front Porch and Entryway Addition #DIY #homeimprovement #remodeling

All the sides were up and the framing for the roof was in plus one of the windows! You'll notice that the old front door is still in place. Eventually, that will be removed and framed out to make a window but for now, it stays. And was kinda necessary for the first couple of days since the addition was completely framed, sided, and roofed before the wall between the old exterior and the kitchen was removed and framed out (that black area you can see).

Building the Front Porch and Entryway Addition #DIY #homeimprovement #remodelingBuilding the Front Porch and Entryway Addition #DIY #homeimprovement #remodelingBuilding the Front Porch and Entryway Addition #DIY #homeimprovement #remodeling

By the next day, the plywood for the roof was being laid and both windows were in. They also started laying the composite decking on the porch (this was given to us for free by one of The Boy's friends who had some leftover from a project). All of this got done a little sooner than expected so The Boy used his downtime to run some electrical wire inside the framing (when you're married to an electrician, you tend to have random electrical supplies laying around).

The next day, the insulation and siding went in and the metal on the roof was started. Then the wall between the addition and the old house came down and got framed out! Here's a view from the inside looking out:

Building the Front Porch and Entryway Addition #DIY #homeimprovement #remodeling

See how much light it let's in? Whee! Now, when you walk into the house, you look right into the kitchen and it's so open and inviting. And those windows? When I drive up to the house at night, light pouring out from them and it feels so welcoming. I just really, really makes me happy.

By the end of the weekend, we had:

  • a covered porch (no railing and some temporary wooden stairs).
  • no exterior lights (though The Boy rigged up some temporary lighting in the entryway).
  • the siding was up (but not trimmed out, caulked, or painted).
  • the roof was up and vented properly.
  • the windows were in.
  • my front door was in (but was not meant to be – another post on this later).
  • some drywall was in the entryway (though some was upside down – people were pretty tired by the end)

All and all, it was a GREAT weekend. I am so completely and utterly grateful to every single person who helped make this happen. I know I have said it a million times but truly, this addition MAKES this house a home. It so much more functional and inviting and I adore driving up to my house and looking through those front windows. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

Have any of you hosted a work weekend during your remodel?