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Two Story Porch

My house used to have a two story porch on the front. The second story did not have a roof over it. It was more like a deck from the second level. There was a door directly above the main entrance to access the second story of the porch.

We are getting ready to put the porch back on the front of the house. I am trying to think of the best way to rebuild the porch. I would like the first story of the porch to have an enclosed ceiling with lighting. The second story will consist of a deck and railing. I know my biggest concern with the second story is getting rid of the water. I heard about using a rubber membrane to allow the water to run off. This seems like a good solution, but I am concerned about the aesthetics of the rubber from the second floor. I don't anticipate a tremendous amount of foot traffic on the second floor deck, however it will probably walked on three or four times a year. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to finish the second story flooring?

Re: Two Story Porch

The rubber membrane roofing will accept careful walking a few times a year but it's not meant to be used as a flooring surface. What I'd do is go with the rubber membrane laid on a good pitch(say 1/4" per foot), well flashed, then angle-cut sleepers to lay over that, then install flooring over that. Be sure the botton of the sleepers are smooth with rounded corners(power sanding will do), and be sure that nothing penetrates the membrane. For added protection I would wire into a waterproof box for the light. I would also spring for ground contact grade treated sleepers; after all they are going to get pretty wet and stay that way where they contact the membrane. If you use the roof corner posts for handrail corner posts above you can attach your floating floor system there to prevent abrading through movement.

By doing it this way you can also break the project into two phases if you wish, and still be able to walk on the roof occasionally without worry till you're done. And I would definately add that second story floor system because if it's there it will get used more than you might think; If it's not you then the next homeowner. I can think of no better DIY project than this; it showcases your handywork, is easy to do, gives you more 'free' floorspace outside, and if it's integrated into the style of the rest of the house well it will pay for itself in lasting added home value.

As always, get the required permits and code inspections to avoid problems later on.


Re: Two Story Porch

Thanks for the information. What do you think about using Trex boards for the angled sleepers? I know they are not to be used for structural purposes, but would they work here? What kind of flooring would you suggest for the second floor of the porch?

Re: Two Story Porch

I agree with MC .... if you were to use the approach of building a "flat" roof and putting a deck on top. You might even consider building the finish decking in sections ..... allowing you to raise these for maintenance or repairs in the future.
The sleepers will need to rest on some type of cushion preventing damage to the roofing material below.

There are other alternatives to consider.

This product http://www.timbertech.com/Products/DrySpace.aspx will allow the conventional type deck construction but having drainage available. The drain system is attached to the space between the framing joists.
This idea may be worth considering as well since it would reduce the cost of building a "flat" roof and covering it.

Another product http://www.dec-k-ing.com/vinyl.asp
would include a "flat roof" design with the roofing material actually being the finished surface.

Just some thoughts.:)

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