How to Build a Mud Room Porch

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An enclosed front porch makes an ideal entryway and mudroom.
An enclosed front porch makes an ideal entryway and mudroom. (Image: front porch image by Steve Lovegrove from Fotolia.com)

A mud room is such a great place to organize and leave a mess. It's much better than tracking school bags, hats, coats and, of course, mud all through the house. Having the mud room at the front door or at least near a highly used entrance to the house is the best possible solution. Enclosing part of your porch is just the right place for storage and can be designed as a welcoming entryway as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete blocks
  • 2 by 4 boards
  • Wiring
  • Outlets
  • Lights and switches
  • Insulation
  • Drywall and mud
  • Siding

Check with your local planning authority for permits and building codes before you begin any construction project.

Check under your porch for a firm foundation. If the porch is up off the ground you will need to add blocks for support under the area where the new walls will be built or have new concrete footers and a foundation dug. A building inspector will tell you what you need.

Choose a section of the porch that includes the front door. Otherwise you will need to design an additional entrance into your home.

Build your mudroom using the house for one wall. The other three walls will need to be built as exterior walls using 2 inch by 4 inch boards for enough insulation.

Remove the exterior siding from the area of the house that will be used as a wall.

Measure the needed length for the three remaining walls. Buy 2 inch by 4 inch boards this length, to be used as a top and bottom plate for each wall.

Lay the plates on a flat surface with the 2 inch part of the board on the floor. When lifted into place, the 4 inch width of the plate will rest on the floor. Frame in any new door or windows to the correct space according to your plans. Nail an upright or king stud on either side of the doors position. Measure your door's height minus 1 1/2 inches. The bottom plate will be cut away from the wall frame leaving the door to reach the floor. Nail a header board horizonally between the king studs at the door's correct height. Any space between the header and the top wall plate will need to be filled with 2 by 4s, spaced 16 inches apart.

Measure the height of your wall. Cut 2 inch by 4 inch boards this height, minus 3 inches. The 2 by 4 is really 1 1/2 by 5 1/2. When measuring for the wall frame upright studs to fit between the top and bottom plates, the plate's thickness needs to be subtracted from the total height. For example, for an 8 foot wall the upright studs need to be 96 inches minus 3 inches for the plates or 93 inches total.

Place upright wall studs perpendicularly, 16 inches apart “on center” starting at the outside edge of the top and bottom plate. This means that the first stud will be measured from the outside of the 2 by 4 to the center of the next 2 by 4. Then measure from the center of the 2 by 4 to the center of the next 2 by 4.

Nail the uprights through the top and bottom plates and into the studs with two 3 inch nails in each end.

Lift each wall frame under the porch roof and nail it to the side, roof and floor of the house through existing studs. Continue to use the existing roof and floor of the porch if they are in good shape.

Cover the exterior of the wall with plywood, house wrap and matching or coordinating siding.

Wire any new outlets and lights. Always hire a professional electrician if you are inexperienced in this area.

Exterior walls will need insulation cut to fit between the studs. Colder climates may require the use of 2 by 6 inch studs to hold enough insulation to reach the required R factor or heat Resistance. The higher the R factor number that better the insulation you are buying.

Cover the interior frame of the house, with drywall or paneling that has been cut to the correct height for your walls. Nail the covering from the outer edge of the first stud to the center of the second stud. This should leave half of the second stud "on center", so the next sheet of covering will be nailed to the other half of the second stud and onto half of the third stud. Continue "on center" around the room.

Tape and mud all your drywall seams.

Call for a final inspection before you occupy the room.

Add benches, hooks, and places to store hats, coats and other mudroom storage equipment.

References

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