How To Build A Portico Over A Front Door: Curb Appeal

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Today I am sharing how to build a portico roof over a front door entry which is an easy way to increase your home’s curb appeal. If you are not familiar with what a portico is, it’s a covered porch over a front door.  It’s amazing how building a portico (a little roof) and two new columns can transform the front of a home! 

Our front entry at our previous home lacked curb appeal so we decided it was time to fix that!

Let’s take a look at how building a portico over our front entry made a huge difference in our home’s exterior.

our new portico over the front door made a huge difference in our home’s exterior

Portico Roof – Over Front Door

What is a portico?

A portico is a covered entrance or porch attached to the entrance of a building, supported by wood columns or pillars.

It’s beneficial for a home because it makes the house look more attractive, provides easy access, protects from bad weather when going in or out, and can even add value to the property.

building a wood roof over a front door entrance

Portico’s usually feature vertical columns supporting a structure of horizontal lines and a roof.

The roof style can vary – gable porch roof, flat porch roof, or even a hip roof.

The first thing that catches the eye about a portico is the roof structure, covered in roofing material such as asphalt shingles or metal shingles.

Below is a picture of our front door before with no roof over the front door entrance:

colonial home with no roof over the front door

Even if you have an existing porch, adding a portico can boost your home’s architectural detail.

The first thing you need to do before building a portico is to check the following:

  1. Check local building codes and regulations to obtain necessary permits
  2. Create a floor plan to mark out the size of your portico roof and develop a plan to tie in the existing roof
  3. Hire a licensed general contractor if you are not doing it yourself

How To Build A Portico With Columns

Step 1: Frame Stairs

The first step to installing a portico is to frame your stairs.

We framed around the existing cement step with 2×4’s and 2×10’s.

wood frame over cement step

Initially, we were going to remove the cement step but decided that it was in decent shape and would provide a solid base for the new wider step, so we left the existing stairs.

2x10 wood frame over an old cement step
how to frame over a cement step with 2x4 and 2x10 wood

Step 2: Install Vinyl Decking On Top of Step Frame

The vinyl decking was installed on top of the 2×4 frame.

how to add red cedar vinyl decking over a front door cement step

Step 3: Install Support Columns

Ultimately, we decided on the round Italian style column portico from Home Depot. 

The round columns added softness to the square portico roof line and provided visual appeal from the curb. 

round column for front door portico and roof

Whether you are installing solid wood columns or faux wood (we installed faux), this is not a 1 person job!

We did enlist a little help with the installation of the columns and roof over the door.

We DIY most everything around our home but occasionally, you need muscle for projects, more muscle than I have! ha.

building a roof over a front door with round column pillars

I found it fascinating how they made a simple rectangular box as the supports for the columns.

I have never seen a portico built before so this was a first for me.

It’s always nice to see how things are actually made and what is underneath the “pretty” end product.

wood roof frame for a front door portico

Step 4: Install Roof

We used special brackets for fastening the wooden box to the house and new columns.

roof bracket frames

They used wooden shims on top of the columns to brace the support beams (rectangular box) until they got it level, then they removed them.

white round column attached to a front door roof frame

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Portico?

The cost of building a portico depends on the size and building materials you use along with any manual labor you need to hire.

Our front door portico roughly cost $2000 but we did a lot of the work ourselves. 

We chose a maintenance free vinyl decking to create our new step which does add a bit more money to the overall cost but if you weigh the pros and cons of painting wood each year and potential rot from the weather, you will find that composite decking is worth the extra cost.

Portico Roof Benefits

Last week I shared front door portico designs that showed varying roof sizes and styles depending on the type of front door.

Does a portico add value to a house?

Yes, statistics confirm that a home with a appealing exterior can significantly boost its value.

A portico not only provides curb appeal but a roof over a front door provides protection from the weather. 

It’s always nice if it’s raining or snowing, to have a covered door while you are trying to get inside your home. This is a huge benefit!

The front door portico looks kind of cool right?

building a front door portico with white round column pillars

Front Door Portico

As you can see the roof over the front door entrance is taking shape and the added curb appeal from the new portico roof is amazing and creates a cohesive look on our home’s exterior.

wooden front door portico with white column pillars on a colonial house
front door portico makeover with wood roof over front door and white column pillars, vinyl decking step

We decided to add a decorative inset on the front facing part of the new roof which I will share next week.

It was a last minute decision but it took the roof line from nice to wow!

front door portico makeover with wood roof over front door and white column pillars, vinyl decking step

As you can see, it’s coming along nicely and the two toned shingles add so much color and texture to an otherwise, boring roof.

I love the side view of the portico over the front door and it’s amazing how the roof over the door entrance adds so much curb appeal to the home.

You can see the final portico before and after by clicking through, our new portico reveal post.

front door portico makeover with wood roof over front door and white column pillars, vinyl decking step

More Portico Posts You Will Love

Adding a portico to your front door is a great way to increase curb appeal and make a statement. Getting rid of an aging roof and replacing it with a new, stylish portico can instantly boost the look of your home!

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. Wow! What a difference Jess! It is just beautiful! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

    Denise and Lesley

  2. That looks fantastic. would love one on my house.

  3. I can’t wait to see it all done! It looks fantastic so far!

  4. Wow! Thanks for sharing! The new portico is going to be a beauty. The size is a great improvement over the prior one! And I, too, love seeing what’s under the pretty and the steps involved in making it all so pretty. Can’t wait for the final product!

  5. I absolutely love your portico! It looks like you guys are really doing it the right way with quality materials. There are so many benefits to adding this to your home, not only great curb appeal but shades your front door from damage and gives your guest a place to stand under shelter with bad weather, just to name a couple. You are going to love it!

  6. My husband and I are in the middle of a similar project and I am curious as to what diameter your columns are and how tall they are. Ours will be 9 1/2′ tall but I’m not sure whether to go with a 10″ diameter or a 12″. I would appreciate any help you could offer.

  7. Mind sharing what it cost?

    1. Karen Trakas says:

      Could you share the cost? I’m having this done by a contractor. I want an idea of what I should pay. Thank you!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow ! look so beautiful this is just what I’m intersting in doing to the front of my house. Thanks so much Gen

  9. Hi! I realize this is an older Post but was wondering if you could tell me the size of your step?

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