As you can see our portico build project is coming along nicely.
In our last post, we shared some of the differences between a porch and a portico, and why we decided to add a portico to our home. Following is an update on where we are with the portico project.
The frame and gables.
TJ used 2 x 8s for the frame and gables of the portico roof. Since I didn’t want a wooden beam running horizontally above our front door, TJ attached the 2 x 8 rear gable directly to the stone of our home.
The portico roof was a pretty normal build using 2 x 4’s for the joists.
OSB was covered with roofing tar paper. We fortunately had a partial package of shingles left from the prior owners, so we were able to locate and order more of the same shingles which will go on next.
Those amazing columns!
The main columns of the portico began as 4 x 4 posts. The posts were wrapped using cabinet grade plywood. The trim to build out the detail on the columns was also cabinet grade plywood.
When we began the portico project we considered using cedar columns. We’d used cedar columns in multiple areas of our Atlanta ranch renovation. We love cedar columns – they’re beautiful and it would eliminate the trim work . . .
But, two things stopped us.
We both felt painted columns would look better on our older home. And, we wanted large, beefy columns.
Cedar columns the size we wanted would be super heavy and difficult for TJ and I to carry and install. Since we both thought painted columns would look better for this house anyway, we went with wrapping them.
If not taken care of, the plywood could be a maintenance issue. But since I’m doing the painting, I know they’ll be sealed properly before I paint. And because our home is old, we have to keep a watch on exterior painted areas anyway, so the columns won’t add much additional concern. And we’ve already decided they’re worth it – they look amazing even without paint!
One thing TJ noted. If you do a similar build and plan to wrap columns, remember to allow for that extra space when you set your inside posts. You don’t want the extra build to take you over the edge of your porch.
Decorative arch times two!
TJ cut the first arched decorative trim for the front of the portico directly from plywood. But once installed, it had to be removed because it wasn’t even. You couldn’t tell when it was laying on the ground, but installed on the portico it was obvious.
On the second attempt we used a piece of trim that was thin enough to bend to make an arch. Once we had the trim “arched” like we wanted, we used it as a guide to draw onto a large piece of cardboard. After TJ hung the cardboard template and we confirmed it looked good, he cut the permanent design out of plywood using a jigsaw. He used a piece of a leftover 4 x 4 to attach the arch detail.