Whether you are building your first home or remodeling your current one, deciding on the length of your porch overhang is very important. We’ve researched this topic in-depth and have compiled some important considerations for you in this post.
Typically, a porch overhang should be at least 12-inches long. However, they can range from two feet to very minimal in length depending on the area’s climate, so be sure to account for the amount of rainfall you might expect. Drier climates require minimal overhang length and wetter climates require longer overhangs.
So you now know the average length of a porch roof overhang, but what is the purpose of an overhang, and how do you know the correct length for you? Keep reading as we delve into the what’s, why’s, and how’s of overhangs.
The Purpose Of A Porch Overhang
Let’s begin with what is a porch overhang, and why is it needed? An overhang, which might also be referred to as an awning, is the part of the roof that extends over the edge of the house. Porch overhangs help shield your house from the weather.
Wind, water, and snow can damage your house if left to defend itself against the elements. Overhangs can also help shade windows from the hot sun in the summer. This is why it is essential to consider the climate your house is in before deciding on your overhang's length.
Overhangs for Porches in Wetter Climates
Does it seem to rain a lot where you live? If so, this paragraph is for you. If you live in a wet climate, porch roofs require at least 12-inches of overhang to shed water properly. However, try to remember that porch overhangs can be built too long. It is not recommended to extend an overhang by more than two feet, or external supports will be required.
Overhangs For Porches In Drier Climates
Since overhangs are primarily to prevent water from running down the walls of your house, if you live in a drier climate, overhangs may not be as common or may even be non-existent. In this case, you may choose to have a minimal overhang, if any at all. So if this sounds like the climate you live in, it is completely up to you what length your overhang should be or whether you have one at all.
What Could Happen If The Overhang Is Not Sufficient?
Without a sufficiently sized overhang, water will run down the side of the house and could cause the siding, door, or sill plates to rot. Sill plates are a key part of a home’s foundation, so it is essential to prevent this from happening. Rotten sill plates can cause floors to sag, and no one wants a saggy porch floor! Overhangs can also help prevent water damage to basements and crawl spaces as it helps redirect water away from the base of your home.
Overhang Beneifts to the Entire Home
Aside from overhangs being functional and essential in maintaining your property and preventing water damage, they can also be an added aesthetic to a home! Overhangs can be designed to fit any home style, whether it is a contemporary, modern, or an aging house. Talk to local contractors for the best advice on which design will best suit your home!
Things To Consider Before Building A Porch Overhang:
One of the most critical things you need to do before building a porch is to check for any building codes. It would not be fun to build a porch just to find out that it did not meet your area's codes for building. In some areas, typically hurricane-prone areas, there are even codes just for the overhangs.
Should The Porch Roof Match The House Roof?
Of course, it is your home, and you can do whatever you like to it, but it is recommended to match your porch roof to your house roof for a more cohesive design. Consider matching the color scheme and shingle type to the main roof, or your home might look a little out of place with two different colored shingles. The pitch, which is the slope of the roof, should also match your porch roof.
Read more at What Does Roof Pitch Mean? for in-depth information on what a roof pitch is and how to measure it.
How Do You Attach A Porch Roof To An Existing Roof?
Now we’ve talked about the what’s and the why’s of overhangs, let’s discuss the how’s. Attaching a porch roof to an existing roof will definitely require some carpentry skills and tools. There are multiple options for attaching a porch roof to an existing roof, and the method you choose will also depend on the design you have chosen for your porch.
Does A Covered Porch Add Value To My Home?
Finally, you may be wondering, since you’ve gone through all the trouble of adding a covered porch to your home, whether it adds any value. Put simply; you bet it does! More and more people are looking to take advantage of being outside at home. A covered porch creates extended living space for entertaining, relaxing, dining, and just to enjoy being outdoors.
A covered porch can increase the curb appeal of your home. If you live in a warmer climate, the porch will probably be used more frequently, and the more likely it will be used, the more likely it will also increase the value of your home. The average rate of return on a porch investment is 84%. In 2020, porches cost an average of $21,440 to build.
Key Points To Remember
We have given you a lot of information today, but remember there is some flexibility in your choices when it comes to an overhang. If an overhang is necessary, make sure it is between 12 -inches and 24-inches long. Decide on the design and research what is ideal for your area by talking to local contractors. Finally, remember to check for building codes for a problem free build!
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