04:35AM | 12/02/04
Member Since: 12/01/04
3 lifetime posts
Hi all,

I want to build a front porch with a flat roof and railings. I believe the correct term is "widow's walk" although this will not be on top of our roof or used to walk on. Purely a cosmetic porch but will also keep rain off of us while keying at the front door.

I hope someone can give good advice or point me in the right direction. I've never seen plans for this and have scoured the internet. So I figure it would be the same theory as building a deck, with two columns and a small framed deck. Does anyone know where/how/if these things are sloped for water run-off? Also, what type of roofing material is used on the flat section?

I would like to have NO exposed wood also. I would prefer to have everything wrapped in vinyl, aluminum, or equivalent. My house is south facing and all the wood surfaces peel every year.

Thanks in advance


01:02PM | 12/05/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
When properly painted, it will go 8 - 10 years before needing repaint. Something is wrong with the house or the way painting is being done.

Will there be foot raffic on the upper balcony roof? This has a bearing on materials selections

Excellence is its own reward!


07:09AM | 12/06/04
Member Since: 12/01/04
3 lifetime posts
Thx for the response. There will not be any foot traffic on the porch roof.

When my house was originally built, the painters used latex on all exposed wood. I think oil based paints would have lasted longer. In any event, I prefer to go with lower maintenance materials for the widow's walk.


08:21AM | 12/06/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
550 lifetime posts
I'm pretty sure what you are describing is more accurately called a portico. These can be roofed with a gable, hip or flat roof. Lots of examples of porticos on this web page:

Probably the closest example to what you are describing is house 27 near the bottom of the page.


03:28PM | 12/06/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
If not overly large, copper is a traditional choice for the rooftop on these.

Lately, many low pitch or flat ones get an EPDM covering. There are some liquid rubber toppings available too.

Excellence is its own reward!

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