Porch Roof Design and Construction Overview

Construction has resumed after our mid-summer break. I finished up the porch deck a few weeks ago and have started on the roof. The roof design has been a point of consternation for me for a while now and has evolved fairly significantly from the original concept design. Here are some of the changes:

Chain Mortiser

  • Timber frame construction rather than conventional construction – I think there’s an old adage that goes something like, “When you have a chain mortiser every building project looks like a timber frame project.” I’m using smaller timbers for the porch (e.g. 6×6 posts rather than 8×8 posts) but the design and style elements closely match that of the cabin. I think this will create a really good flow and tie the porch the cabin together.
  • Angled roof line on northeast and northwest corners – The primary approach to the cabin is from to the northeast where the land slopes down. The angled roof line roughly parallels the contour of the slope so as you walk up to the the house you see a flat face of the building rather than a corner. I don’t know something about having a corner jutting out at you as you approach bothered me. Also, the design make the roof more interesting and I think better serves to tie it into the cabin.
  • Transparent roofing panels on north side – I was concerned with getting natural light into the lower windows on the north side. We’ll see how the transparent panels go. If they rapidly go cloudy I can swap them out for metal panels and install skylights.
  • Porch size – The deck extends the whole way across the front (north) side of the house and 12 feet on the east and west sides of the cabin (the cabin is 16′ x 24′). The deck is 8′ wide on all sides and is a total of 448 square feet which is slightly bigger than the footprint of the cabin.
  • Screening in the porch – At some point we want to screen in the porch. I don’t know if we’ll do it in the initial build but I’ll try to make sure to plan accordingly.

Here’s an animation showing a construction overview: