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The Two Phase Build Process of Adding a Screened Porch or Deck to your Home

Posted July 9, 2019 to Before You Buy: Tips, Advice, Checklists.

Tags: Decks, Screened Porches

Adding a screen porch or a deck to a home can make the summer more enjoyable. It can move cramped  indoor parties to spacious outdoor events. In our previous blog post, we discussed the paperwork process that must be completed before a deck or screen porch can be added. In this blog post, we want to share what goes into the build process. 

Two phases of steps for installing your deck and screened porch are:

Phase 1: 

  • Demo – If there is any demolition of the existing deck or structure(s), this will be done prior to digging the holes for the footers. We will arrange to have the material picked up and disposed of properly in the construction landfill or we will arrange to have materials recycled.
  • Footers – Holes are dug for placing posts that will support the deck structure; the footings inspection is required by Local Residential Building Code. These footers, once dug, must pass an inspection before construction can continue. Typically, the inspection is scheduled for the next day, pending on the jurisdiction. Once the footing inspection has passed, the holes will be filled with cement and the construction will continue. If we cannot reach solid ground, we may be required to dig deeper and have additional inspections. I some cases we may require an engineer to inspect the hole and write a letter to be able to proceed. 
  • Electrical – If your project calls for electrical work, we will contract with a licensed electrician. When electrical work is needed, the electrician will pull the permit for the work and call for the corresponding electrical inspections (electrical rough-in and electrical final). Once the electrical rough-in inspection passes, our work can continue. 
  • Roofing – For screened porches, the roof structure will be built prior to the electrical work being done. This is so that the framing inspection can be scheduled around the same time as the electrical rough-in inspection. 
  • Deck Framing – Some decks require a framing inspection, depending on the height of the deck. Those built low to the ground are required by LOCAL to have a framing inspection. (Rule of thumb, if you deck is under 4’, a deck framing inspection will be required) Framing inspections are required for screened porches prior to the installation of the screen. 

Phase 2: 

Phase 2 is primarily for screened porches. For decks, Phase 2 only includes the final inspections and
punch list items. 

  • Painting – If you are painting or are hiring an outside painter, the screen and trim will not be installed until painting is complete. Please inform the Project Manager of your desire to have the structure stained or painted so that the Master Scheduler can schedule the crew’s return to install screen and trim. 
  • Screens, ceilings, lattice – For porches, Phase 2 encompasses the installation of screens, ceiling enclosure and lattice installations. If your project calls for a finished ceiling or lattice, this will be done at the same time as the screen installation. 
  • Gutters – If we need to install gutters or modify the gutters, we will hire a specialist to install of modify the gutters. For screened porches, gutters are required to be installed prior to the final inspection. 
  • Final Inspection – Once the deck or screened porch has been completed, we will call for the final inspections. Final building and electrical inspections are required by Local Building Code. 
  • Zoning Inspection – Some jurisdictions require a zoning inspection after the completion of the final building inspection. We will schedule this with jurisdiction your project is in. In the Zoning inspection they will inspect the structure to make sure it is built in accordance with the plan and there are no easements impacted.
  • Punch List Items – Once the inspections have passed, look over your project and let us know if there are any items we need to correct or address prior to paying your final invoice. 

Our team at Sierra Structures would love to help transform your outdoor space. Take a moment to contact us now to learn more now.