Porch Posts and Beams
Design/Build: Getting porch details right.
Getting porch details right can be tricky, but by anticipating where common mistakes typically occur, you can achieve a design that seamlessly expands the living area of a home. A key porch detail, and one that is commonly botched, is the alignment of the top of the post and the beam it supports. Misalignments occur when the rough and finish dimensions are not coordinated.
On a typical project, the framer will align the rough beam with the foundation. But if a finish material will be added to the beam or to the post, this can result in a beam that is proud of the post, or vice versa. This issue may be further exacerbated when using a tapered column. For this reason, I almost exclusively use square posts to ease installation and to minimize the chance of misalignments.
To get this detail right, first determine the size of the finished…