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How To Build A Raised Concrete Porch

As a homeowner, you may want to build a raised concrete porch but wondering how to go about it. Fortunately, we have done some research for you, and here is what we found.

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The following is a step-by-step guide for building a raised concrete porch:

  • Prepare your working area 
  • Mark the area 
  • Create layers of gravel within a concrete mold
  • Mix concrete and pour it into the mold
  • Add finishing touches

Building a raised concrete porch is a simple, easy task that can be performed without the help of a professional. When building, it is essential to support the flooring properly so it will not fracture, sag, or even collapse.

Keep reading to get detailed information on how to build a raised concrete porch.

How To Build A Raised Concrete Porch

Elevated front porch with concrete doorsteps, mint green door and white railings

To build a raised concrete porch, carefully follow the steps below: 

Step 1: Prepare Your Working Area

To get the area ready, remove materials such as tree stumps, branches, plants, and huge boulders that might be in the area.

You should ensure there are no rodent nests or other dirt in the area. Using a shovel and a flat dirt rake, bring the ground up to the desired level by adding or removing material as necessary. You can also add a layer of gravel to make the ground more level and improve drainage.

Click here to see this shovel on Amazon.

Step 2: Mark The Area

Use spray paint to mark the area of the new porch construction. Drive wooden pegs into the ground at each of the four corners of the porch area.

Construct a concrete mold for the entire porch using wooden boards measuring 2 inches by 6 inches. This will serve as the framework.

Make the necessary cuts on the wood with a saw to achieve the needed length, and then use a hammer and nails to fasten the individual pieces together.

As you create the structure, use a level to ensure it is vertically straight and check that the boards have been firmly fastened together.

By driving additional stakes along the perimeter of the concrete form, you can provide additional support for the outer edge of the form. 

Step 3: Create Layers of Gravel Within A Concrete Mold

Within the mold for the concrete, create a layer of gravel approximately seven centimeters in height. Make sure the stone is spread out in a level and smooth layer by using a rake to spread it out evenly.

Use a hand tamper or the flat edge of a shovel to press the gravel into the desired shape. On top of the gravel layer, a wire-reinforcing mesh should be laid down.

Click here to view this rake on Amazon.

Step 4: Mix Concrete And Pour it Into the Mold

Concrete can be mixed by hand or in a truck-mounted mixer for larger porches and patios. After mixing the concrete, pour it into the mold while ensuring that you move swiftly to keep it moving and prevent it from setting up too soon. 

To ensure that the concrete is distributed evenly throughout the mold, spread it out while pouring.

Step 5: Add Finishing Touches

Using a flat trowel, make the surface of the concrete as even as possible by smoothing it out. When the concrete is set and more stable, you can brush it according to personal preference.

After the concrete has had sufficient time to dry, the mold for the concrete should be properly dismantled. Make a cut through the wood with the hand saw, or separate the boards with either a crowbar or the hammer's claw end. 

It could take the concrete as long as a week to cure completely. After that amount of time has passed, it can be painted or polished. 

How Thick Should A Concrete Porch Be?

Square home with stairs leading to porch and door flanked with sidelights and windows

Most concrete porches have a thickness of four inches. The vast majority of state and local building codes in the United States mandate a minimum thickness of 3.5 inches and a compressive strength of 3,000 PSI.

Since all porches are not constructed under the same conditions, it is recommended that you do not simply pour a four-inch slab and move on, even though the typical thickness of a porch is four inches. 

If you already know the best size of the porch perfect for your work, you can easily calculate the slab thickness that you need. However, the amount of weight your concrete porch can support is an important consideration.

Does Concrete Porch Need Rebar?

Labor builders at construction site filling formwork with wet cement and gravel

Using rebar or a "reinforcing bar" grid is recommended in the construction concrete porch. This prevents the formation of large cracks and areas of crumbling concrete over time.

Even if you use rebar, the concrete may still have some fractures, but these gaps will not get larger since the rebar effectively "knits" the concrete together.

While some concrete projects do not require the use of rebar, if, on the other hand, you are pouring concrete at a depth of more than five inches, you may want to incorporate some rebar into the mix so that it can help to reinforce the entire structure.

Three different kinds of tension can be exerted on any concrete porch that is built: compression, tensile, and shear.

Concrete is strong enough to withstand the stresses caused by compression and shear but not strong enough to withstand tensile stress. When bringing the three tensions up to standard, rebar comes in very handy.

Is It Cheaper To Build A Porch Using Concrete Or Wood?

A comparison of the cost of a concrete porch and a wooden porch, How To Build A Raised Concrete Porch

Compared to a wooden porch, the cost of building a porch with concrete may be higher or lower, depending on the layout of your home and yard.

The combined cost of materials and labor for constructing a concrete porch comes to an average of between $3 and $5 per square foot. In contrast, the cost of constructing a wood deck is significantly higher, coming in at an average of between $3.75 and $5 per square foot for the materials alone.

How Long Does A Concrete Porch Last?

Front porch exterior of a house with white fence black door and wreath

Whether your concrete porch has a stamped pattern or not, if it is installed and maintained correctly, it should last for decades.

Over time, cracks may appear due to certain environmental factors, such as the rapid expansion of tree roots or shifts in the earth's surface, but other than that, it will continue to be in good condition for many years.

In addition, the durability of a concrete porch is largely determined by the kind of material that was used to construct it, as well as the climatic conditions that prevail in the region.

Despite this, a properly maintained concrete porch should last between 20 and 30 years under normal circumstances. Since it is inexpensive, long-lasting, and simple to clean, decorative concrete is a material that is frequently used for porches.

With good maintenance, a concrete porch can last many years but isn't indestructible. If not properly maintained, colored concrete can lose its vibrant appearance like any other outdoor surface. It can also develop cracks over time if exposed to the sun.

How Much Slope Does A Concrete Porch Need?

The slope in a concrete porch should be enough to direct water in the appropriate direction but not so much that the slope is obvious or can be felt. In most cases, this amounts to a drop of 2%, which is equivalent to a quarter of an inch for every foot.

At times, you may need to angle the grade close to the edge. This is based on the relationship the structure has with the walls.

Generally, local ordinances and codes are responsible for matters concerning slopes, setbacks, and materials. So, this usually varies from place to place. However, it is recommended to research the requirements or restrictions for your area.

To Wrap Up

Building a raised concrete porch is not as difficult as it seems.

To carry out the task, all you have to do is prepare your working area, mark the area, create layers of gravel within a concrete mold, mix concrete and pour it into the mold, then add the finishing touches.

Don't hesitate to call a professional if you can't do all the work alone.

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