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Front Porch Project Guide: How to Build Your Perfect Porch

January 27, 2021
Front Porch Project Guide featuring TimberTech Porch Boards

Thinking about starting a front porch project? A porch is a signature part of any home and one of the first architectural elements people notice. A porch is also a high-traffic area where you, your family, and any guests will spend time making memories.

With so many important functions, a front porch project may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Find out what it takes to build your perfect porch.

Get the front porch inspiration you need with our Front Porch Ideas Series. READ THE SERIES

What Goes Into a Front Porch Project?

Your front porch project can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. Regardless of whether you plan to DIY most of the work or partner with a contractor, follow these steps to design your porch.

Step 1: Consider Your Porch’s Size & Shape

Your porch’s size and shape depend on the following factors:

  • Space available.
  • Function(s) of your porch.
  • Your home’s architectural style.

It’s also important to check local residential building codes before you begin your front porch project.

Front porch project by TimberTech featuring Porch boards in Oyster

Space Concerns

The larger your front yard, the more space you have to build or extend your porch. Or keep your porch smaller accentuate your front lawn landscaping.

Front porch project featuring TimberTech AZEK Slate Gray boards

Porch Functions

Do you plan to use your porch for family gatherings or outdoor dinners? Your porch’s size and shape should accommodate all your intended functions.

Front porch project featuring TimberTech AZEK Harvest Collection in Slate Gray with rocking chairs

Architectural Style

Keep your home’s architectural style in mind. A sprawling wraparound porch may work for a southern-style home but look too extravagant for a traditional home.

Step 2: Choose Your Porch Boards

The porch boards you choose should be durable enough to withstand the heavy foot traffic your porch is likely to receive from family, friends, and guests.

While traditional wood is a common porch material, it is also highly vulnerable to fading and moisture damage. Conversely, Timbertech® Porch boards are designed to resist moisture and retain their beauty for decades.

Front porch project ideas with TimberTech Slate Gray Porch boards

Why Choose TimberTech Porch Boards

TimberTech Porch boards offer several benefits over traditional wood, including:

  • Fully synthetic material from core to cap for ultimate protection against moisture and weathering.
  • Advanced color blending and wood-grain textures for a nature-inspired look.
  • No need for sanding, sealing, or staining.
  • 50-Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty

For screened-in porches, always abut the porch boards to the walls of a free-standing structure; never build the walls directly on top of the porch boards.

Step 3: Choose Your Railing

Typically, if your porch is higher than 30 inches off the ground, a railing is required, but if it is lower, a railing is optional, but be sure to check your local residential building codes.

But a railing is more than just a safety feature that keeps you and your family from missteps off the edge – it can also be a design statement.

TimberTech® Railing is made primarily of aluminum or composite – with opportunities to mix and match materials for a dynamic look. All options are designed to withstand the elements and do not require staining or painting like traditional wood.

Step 4: Choose Ornamentation (Optional)

Ornamentation can take your porch design up a notch but are not necessary to complete your project. If you’re looking for a bit more character for your porch, consider the porch materials below.

Column wraps and TimberTech

Column Wraps

Ideal for neoclassical and colonial homes, column wraps give your porch a sense of stateliness. Embellishments like accent wraps and crowns add a more elaborate look.

Beadboard made from AZEK Exteriors


AZEK® Beadboard is made from durable synthetic material designed to look like new year after year. Perfect for porch ceilings, beadboard in matte white give you a pristine look.


Lighting gives your porch an inviting glow. Illuminate key points in your porch design by placing lights in the railing, stair risers, and porch boards. Mix and match for different effects.

Find Inspiration for Your Front Porch Project

Now that you have an outline of the steps needed to complete your front porch project, it’s time to get inspired.

Second-story porch with TimberTech AZEK Porch Boards in Slate Gray

Porch Ideas by Function

How you use your porch is a big influence on your porch’s design and decoration. Find porch design ideas based on function. Whether you plan to use your porch as a simple entry way, as a large gathering place, or quiet retreat, we have ideas for you.

Porch Ideas by Architectural Style

Your home’s architectural style is a design element that will influence your porch project. For a unified look, match your porch’s style to your home’s architecture. Discover ideas for eye-catching porch designs that suit any style of home such as craftsman, colonial, or farmhouse.  

TimberTech AZEK Trim and Slate Gray Porch on farmhouse-style home

Ready to dive into your front porch project? If you plan to DIY your project, be sure to follow our porch board installation guide and find more installation guidance in our Deck Building Resource Center. If you run into any questions or would prefer to offload the construction, partner with a TimberTech-registered contractor. With their product-specific knowledge, they’ll ensure your porch gets built right.

Bring the Beauty of TimberTech to Your Backyard

Work with a TimberTech pro for a build that transforms your outdoor living space.

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