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Old 08-31-2010, 08:45 AM   #1
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Front Porch

I am constructing a covered front porch on a colonial home using 1x6 tongue and groove mahagony for the floor. Unfortunately I have had no luck finding resources either in bookstores or online as to the proper construction. I have managed to figure out the answers to most of my questions, except one. Most of the pictures I have seen of porches like to one I am building have the floor planks going perpendicular to front door rather than parallel. Is there a reason? I know that the floor has to go perpendicular to the joist but is there any reason to have the joist run parallel to the door and the floor perpendicular?
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:44 AM   #2
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The main reason porch boards run perpendicular to the house is to eliminate butt joints.

There is no reason you can't run the boards parallel to the structure, and some people prefer the way that looks.

One possible benefit to running the boards perpendicular is to aid water run-off...but I don't think it matters very much with today's wood preservation products. My own 30' wide by 10' deep porch, which was built in 1908 using 3" tongue & groove pine, was installed perpendicular to the home had only a few areas that needed replacing after 100 years. It has about 1/8" to the foot of slope away from the structure.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:58 PM   #3
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Early porches were built for water run-off. My Craftsman porch, 1910, has the boards perpendicular to house, otherwise the edge would slow or stop water to rot. I replaced a 6' section and used some butt joints (every third one) to match the original planking layout. The joists are always pitched.

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