The Sweet Cabin Project

Adding a large porch to our new cabin

Last Update: 2 November 2006

Char has been wanting a big porch around the cabin ever since it was built in 1999-2000. We installed a small porch and steps on the southwest end in 2002 and discussions continued on the larger project but it just never rose to the top of the heap until 2005. We started by drawing a contour map of the area with a contour interval of 0.2 foot so we could see how close to the ground it would be. Finally we had a plan.

The project would proceed in four stages. Stage one is a small L-shaped porch in front of the main door and around the corner to the water hydrant. Stage two is a small section that rests on the ground and will be removable to allow access to the septic tank and sewer line, should that be necessary. Stage three is the main porch, 16' x 21' at the east corner and extending down the southeast side for 30 feet, ten feet in width. Stage four is to roof over the 10' x 30' section, add a small storage shed under the roof, and steps down to ground level. The first two small stages were completed quickly. Stage three is slated for completion in 2005, weather permitting, and stage four is planned for 2006 . . . . Success! We actually finished on schedule. The entire story in pictures is below.

SW end

29 December 2003 – Here is the small porch on the SW end, with Char and friends enjoying the sunset.


24 September 2005 – Framing is complete for stage one.

Stage one

25 September – Stage one is complete. The left edge rests on the ground rather than on posts to reduce root damage to a large sycamore tree.

Stage two

29 September – Stage two is complete, being just a simple extension from stage one to access the main porch.


14 October – Pouring concrete to anchor the posts along the cabin wall to begin stage three. The porch is not attached to the cabin but rests on posts set in the ground. The posts next to the cabin rest on the main footers of the building.

Band joist

15 October – The band joist along the building is now in place and framing is under way.


28 October – The framing for stage three is now complete, including the tall posts which will support the roof in stage four.

Begin floor

4 November – The flooring is now underway.

Continue floor

6 November – The flooring is about two-thirds finished. The weather had been most cooperative up to this point but I was sick for a couple of weeks and by the time I was well winter had set in.


13 January 2006 – A decent day in mid-winter let me lay a few more boards.

Saw flooring

28 January – This is January?!   Sawing flooring, above, and driving screws, below.

Driving screws

Floor finished

28 January – The floor is finished and the tools all loaded to put away.
It rained the next day and winter returned in February. We missed our 2005 completion goal for stage 3 by less than a month.


13 May – John Hull came over from Harrisonburg to help for a day. We put the beam and ledger for the roof in place and cut all of the rafters.


14 May – Several of the rafters were set before a thundershower stopped work.

Metal roofing

20 May – Putting the metal roofing in place   Photo by Self Timer.


20 May – The porch and roof are complete.

Steps and railing

12 September – We have added steps at the near end and one long step along the open part at the far end, as well as a railing the length of the roofed section. The railing is made from a 2 x 12 so that it can be used as a bench for sitting and also as a table for eating or other activities. It is slightly lower than a normal railing to allow it to work as a table.


19 September 2006 – Done at last! The final stage was this storage shed designed to hold the barbeque grill, chairs, and other things we will use on the porch. Initiated with a couple of events this year, we hope to enjoy our porch more frequently with friends and neighbors in the future.

J R S Valid HTML Valid CSS