- 1 Step By Step Instructions for Building a Raised Concrete Porch
- 1.1 Focus on the Floor
- 1.1.1 How thick should a concrete slab be for a porch?
- 1.1.2 Can you build a raised deck on a concrete slab?
- 1.1.3 How to build a raised deck on a concrete slab
- 1.1.4 How to build a concrete porch with steps
- 1.1.5 Steps
- 1.2 Create a Solid Subfloor
- 1.3 Install Steel Channels
- 1.4 Pour your Concrete
- 1.5 Wait for the concrete to dry
- 1.1 Focus on the Floor
While building a raised porch is an easy task, the process faces some challenges. That’s mainly because of the considerable weight of concrete. Without perfectly supporting the flooring, it may inevitably crack, fall, or even collapse. That’s not what you want, right?
Bearing that in mind, it’s, therefore, best to call the experts for the job. It doesn’t mean that you can’t commit yourself and try it, no. However, you might want to follow the correct step-by-step instructions for building a raised concrete porch.
In a nutshell, here’s how to build a raised concrete porch:
- Focus on the floor
- Create a subfloor
- Install the steel channels
- Pour your concrete
- Allow the concrete to dry
Step By Step Instructions for Building a Raised Concrete Porch
Building a raised concrete requires a lot of considerations as well as keenness. This is because the concrete may crack, collapse or even sag if not well built, leading to loss and wastage of resources. Below are the steps to attain safe and durable raised concrete.
Here’s how to build a raised concrete porch like a pro:
Focus on the Floor
The process begins with the flooring. After all, the aim is to create a raised concrete flooring part of your porch. In short, the flooring must be in excellent condition to offer reliable support to your porch.
Start by clearing the floor where you want to set the porch’s foundation. Here, remove large debris like tree branches, stamps, clear away bushes, and larger rocks from the area.
Besides, ensure there are no habitats for rodents or any other animal life in the area. Level the area using the required tools like a shovel and a rake. Using these tools, you can either remove excess soil or add soil for leveling as needed.
After that, create and mark the design of your new porch. You can use spray paint or driving wooden sticks on the floor at every corner of your porch’s area.
Then frame out the porch’s whole area by making a concrete slab of 2 by 6-inch wooden boards.
Using a saw, cut the wood to your desired length. Use a hammer and nails to secure the pieces of wood together for stability. Make sure the boards are tightly nailed to avoid any inconvenience.
With a level, determine the levelness of the concrete construction. It should be plumb just the way you build it. Give the concrete slab’s outer edge extra support by installing extra stakes alongside the perimeter. Again, check to confirm that the concrete slab is level.
How thick should a concrete slab be for a porch?
The general thickness of a concrete slab is four inches. However, the porch concrete slab needs some features to be added for safety and durability measures.
In short, the thickness of a slab for the porch depends on such factors. Some people prefer using the thickness of 6 to 8 inches if their porch supports structures like a hot tub or gazebo. The stable base should be made of gravel to avoid cracking. And the presence of gravel enables water to drain for it to cure fast.
Slabs are known to be permanent structures. Therefore their existence may require choosing specific designs hence dictating the type and thickness of the slab.
Can you build a raised deck on a concrete slab?
Yes. Even if your concrete slab is in the worst condition, building a raised deck over it is possible. However, you must be aware of certain situations and follow the right steps. Here’s how to build a raised deck on a concrete slab:
Cleaning and Preparing the slab
The process is super easy. For better results, you must clean your slab’s surface. Then repair the slab if it has any cracks. This will be pretty useful for your new deck installation.
Tools you will need:
- Building a raised deck over a concrete slab requires some simple tools. They include:
- 2 drills (a regular drill and a hammer drill)
- 3 Saws ( regular, miter, and reciprocating saw)
- Flashing tape
- Levels etc.
Materials you will need:
Wood is the obvious material you need. So, it must be in plenty. Choose the wood type depending on your place of residence. But cedar or yellow pine wood is most preferred.
How to build a raised deck on a concrete slab
1. Create a layout plan
On the concrete slab, mark the sleeper’s location. That’s because the layout of the sleeper depends on the decking layout. You can opt for parallel sleepers if you’re building a standard deck. For a complex design, you may need several sleepers to offer excellent support for the boards. However, this may be time-consuming.
2. Fix any water problems
Has your patio lasted for many years? If yes, then the rainwater may have accumulated in the basement. Use an exterior self-leveling substance to fill the reservoir.
You may also create a thin coating that slightly slopes to enable water to flow away. Make sure the existing concrete slab doesn’t have water problems.
3. Work with the sleepers
Here, you’ll need to mark the sections on the concrete slab to install the sleepers. To do it perfectly, draw some straight lines on the slab. Then user a hammer drill to make holes into the sleepers and concrete.
Use concrete screws to align the sleepers on one border of the slab. Layout the sleepers to create a flat base. Again, use the concrete screws to make holes to a size of 3-1/4 inches on all the sleepers.
4. Install the deck
Now, install your new deck on the concrete slab. Here, place all your sleepers over the patio and mark the excess portions. Then use flashing tape to cover them. This prevents water entry into the sleepers, thus allowing the wood to dry and give you excellent results.
Installing the border on top of the sleepers is similar to setting it over a frame. Cover the end of sleepers using a fascia board. You can also chop PVC into strips and stick them to the sleepers on the deck. That’s it!
How to build a concrete porch with steps
Do you want to transform the appearance of your backyard? If so, consider building a concrete porch. They are elegant, durable, and easy to clean and maintain. It is therefore critical to create a concrete porch best without sacrificing the quality.
All that matters is the preparations you make and what steps you follow. Here are the steps you can follow to build a concrete porch with impressive success.
What to consider:
Before you even begin the process, you might want to consider some factors like:
- Size of the area
- Time it’ll take
- Existing condition
- Your budget
- Is the place level? If not, consider filling and leveling it.
What equipment to use for excavation. Will you dig the ground by hand using a shovel, hire a small excavator, or leave the job to the pros?
Thickness of the patio. Four inches is often the minimum thickness a concrete patio should have. But it can be 6 to 8 inches thick, depending on your needs.
Tools you need:
- Hand saw
- Drill driver
- Laser level or 48-inch level
Materials you need:
- 2 by 6 or 2 by 8 lumber for forms
- 1.5×1.5×18-inch wooden stakes
- 10 by 3.5-inch deck screws for assembling form
- Portland cement mixed with sand or bagged concrete mix
- Spray paint
- Crushed stone
- Concrete reinforcing fibers
- Strings and stakes
When it comes to building a concrete porch, several steps apply. These include; marking and excavating, assembling and leveling forms, mixing and pouring concrete, finalizing the concrete, and many more. Let’s discuss the steps in detail:
1. Mark the area
Here, you’ll need to use stakes, strings, or spray paint to mark out your porch’s design. Mark the area at least 18 inches wider and longer than the final size of the porch. You’ll use this room for the space and forms needed while working around them.
2. Dig out the area
With a shovel, you can excavate the area by hand. Alternatively, you may rent a mini-excavator. As you dig, aim to reach about 6 to 8-inches deep.
3. Assemble the forms
Then join a 2 by 8 or 2 by 6 lumber to give your porch the outer shape. Use also the#10 by 3.5-inch deck screws to put the corners together. That’s at least three screws in every corner.
4. Square the form
Make sure the area you want to work on has equal opposite sides. This will make it easier for the diagonal measurements to be equal. Then pound a stake into the floor at every corner to retain the form’s square shape after making adjustments.
5. Strengthen the Form
You can never be sure the lumbar to straight out. So, you’ll need to put strings along the form’s sides as a line of reference. Place the stakes at 36-inches apart on the outer side to make the form’s edges straight.
6. Level the Form
Now, find out the highest corner you desire your porch to have. You may raise its top to that level. Lock the stake into the form into position with a deck screw. Let that be your starting referencing point.
Use a laser level or a 48-inch level to raise the form’s whole perimeter to a level height. Also, drive a deck screw through the stake to enter the wood form. Check to confirm the whole upper part of all the form boards’ levels with one another.
7. Saw the stakes
The next thing is to saw the wood pieces to level your concrete slab. Saw the stakes into straight pieces of wood so that you can lay them out on the form’s top edges while finishing your concrete porch. You can use a handsaw in this step.
8. Add crushed stones
Using a shovel, scoop crushed stones and pour them onto level the bottom of the excavation. This will also create some space for water to drain. Rake the stones to form a consistent depth from the surface. The depth will determine how thick your completed concrete porch will be.
9. Add a reinforcement substance
Reinforcing the concrete porch will help prevent it from cracking. You can use steel mesh for this purpose. Though the 0.5-inch rebar fitted on a 12 by 16-inch grid can work best. Place the rebar or mesh at the base of the form, lift it a bit when pouring to keep the reinforcement 2-inches off the base.
10. Pour and finalize the concrete
The last step involves mixing the sand, cement, and water to form a concrete mix. You may use a concrete mixer to create a consistent, uniform mixture. After mixing all the components, pour the mixed concrete and use reinforcing fibers to strengthen your concrete. Remember to smoothen and level the concrete surface using a trowel.
Create a Solid Subfloor
The porch’s elevated height will require you to construct a metal sheathing subfloor to support the concrete floor. Since you’re dealing with a raised porch, you’ll need quite a significant amount of material to fill the porch to a suitable level.
That’s why creating a subfloor can be the best option. Since the concrete is bulkier, the subfloor will provide a solid support system to prevent the porch from sagging or cracking. Here, you’ll need to:
Make holes on the outer sides above the foundation. This enables you to insert the supportive steel channels.
If the sides have wood materials, make the holes above the joists. As for brick siding, chip out the brick on top of foundation blocks. If you find it time-consuming, consider hiring a contractor to help you with the work.
Install Steel Channels
Steel channels are great for offering support to the layer of corrugated metal sheathing subfloor over which you’ll pour the concrete. Place the steel channels into the holes and uniformly secure them to frame on the outer porch. The steel channels should be about 12-16 inches apart. Install the steel sheathing over them after the steel channels are in position on top of the concrete block base.
Pour your Concrete
Once you have a stable, strong subfloor, it’s now time to pour your concrete. Do so to about 4 to 6-inches of wet concrete onto the sheathing. Then spray it using a surface retarder and cover the final surface in plastic to facilitate the curing process.
Wait for the concrete to dry
Finally, let the concrete settle and dry out. The best way to get perfect results with your concrete porch is to remove the plastic covering after the concrete dries out. You may want to clean the surface with a pressure washer. After the concrete cures fully, the results will be an elegant, durable raised concrete porch.
Building a raised concrete porch on new construction can be easy. But for better results, hiring a qualified contractor can be the best option. If you’re dealing with an existing concrete surface, make sure it doesn’t have any cracks or sagging. You can follow the above steps to build a raised concrete porch.