Decks are great–except when they get too hot to use comfortably in mid-summer. Turning a deck into a porch by building a roof adds many practical advantages, shade and protection from the weather not least among them.

Although these structures are more complex than a simple deck, adding this option to a builder's repertoire opens new opportunities for profitable add-on sales. Here Georgia deck builder Bobby Parks gives a rundown of how to turn a deck into a porch.

Unlike decks, porches provide shelter from rain and relief from sun. Screened, they keep out insects. The roof that makes it all possible raises the level of difficulty of the build, whether you’re talking about engineering footings to handle extra loads, trimming out the walls and ceiling, or framing and shingling the roof itself. Even so, most of the skills required to build a porch you already use when you build a deck.

The covered space also provides opportunities for you to make profitable add-on sales, such as fireplaces, lighting, ceiling fans, and custom trim-out. Porches account for at least half my annual sales dollars.

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