How to Build a Portico

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A portico is perfect for giving you porch that much needed appeal. This article gives you a step-by-step plan on how to make one of your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Custom-fabricated canopy/awning
  • 1 x 6, 1 x 8, 1 x 4 and 1 x 2 lumber
  • A variety of molding
  • 1" trim
  • Silicon caulk
  • 1/4" birch plywood
  • Cotton gloves
  • Paint
  • Wood putty
  • Anchors
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Hammer drill
  • Hammer
  • Trim nailer
  • Brad nailer
  • Circular saw
  • Hand sander
  • Cordless drill
  • Router
  • Carpenter's square
  • Framing square
  • Painting supplies
  • Chop saw
  • Clamps
  • Table saw
  • Utility knife
  • Screwdrivers
  • Shims
  • Stainless steel screws

Find and mark the center of the porch by measuring the width of it. Then mark the center of the wall by measuring the height. Using two levels, transfer the marking on the porch to the soldier's course over the doorway.

Find and mark the center of the frame of the canopy. The anchor locations on the mortar joints of the bricks needs to be marked. Now align all of the marks.

Taking the metal drill bit, drill holes on the marks for the anchors.

Have someone hold the canopy in position while you mark holes in the mortar joints with a masonry bit. Install the wall anchors after you have drilled all the mounting holes.

Use the stainless steel screws to secure the canopy. Start at the top first then along the sides. In the brace along the bottom of the canopy, drill in-line with the mortar joints. Insert the masonry screws through the brace and tighten.

Take the silicone caulk and apply a heavy coating to the edge of the canopy where it lays against the home's exterior.

Now it is time to install the beams. Measure and cut a piece of 1/4 inch plywood to fit the bottom of the canopy. Attach it with a brad nailer. Make a chalk line 3/4 inches from each side of the canopy. Use these lines to install the 2x6 boards. Attach the blocking for each end of the beams against the house. Drill holes in the masonry then install the treated lumber for the beams. Remember to use corrosion-resistant screws for installing the beams.

Take the 1x8 boards and wrap them around the brace with a trim nailer for the inside of the canopy. On the outside, use wood glue instead. Close the beam by nailing 45-degree corners to the ends.

For the columns, measure the height from the porch to the canopy. Use the milter saw to cut the 1x8 pieces of wood to the correct height. Add flutes to all four sides by using a router.

Take the board and make 45-degree rips in the back so that they can fit into corners perfectly. Clamp one board face down and add wood glue to the on the edge in the mitered corners. Now, do the same to another board. Turn them both over and nail them together.

Repeat step 10 until there are four pieces.

Mark where the columns will go. Measure 1 inch from the front and side of the porch and mark them with chalk. Right next to the lines, fit in a block of treated lumber onto each side of the porch. This is the base of the columns. Measure out four slightly smaller blocks of wood. Two of them is to be nailed on top of the ones that you just added. The other two is to be installed under the canopy.

Add the columns. Two of the four pieces is to be fitted around the larger blocks of wood on the base. Center the two halves and nail them in place. Add wood glue down the edges where the two halves meet. Then secure the corners with a brad nailer. Now do the other side.

For finishing touches, create a designed base around the bottom of each corner with the base trim molding. Cut three pieces of the molding to the correct measurements with the 45-degree angle for the corners. Use wood glue to the attach the molding pieces together. With the trim nailer, attach the moldings to the columns. Add trim moldings to the outside of the canopy to continue with the design. Now sand all speckled areas and paint all the columns, bases and capitals.

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