When Should You Replace Your Porch Roof?

new home with an old country feel. large front porch and the white picket fence for the old time retro look. just one of many new house photos in my gallery.

Do you have a porch roof? A lot of older homes have a porch. Although there are some newer homes built nowadays, especially the custom-builds that at times also have a porch. A porch usually has its own roof section that is detached from the house but it appears to be flowing seamlessly with the rest of the roof on your house.

When should you replace the roof on your porch? Well, that depends on several different factors but before we dive into that a little deeper let’s break down the full history of a porch to fully understand what we’re dealing with here.

A porch is not a balcony, veranda, patio, or deck. Who knew, right? Many people will misconstrue a porch with all of those mentioned but they’re not one and the same. A balcony, veranda, patio, and a deck have similar features as a porch but they’re not actually classified as such.

There are nine different kinds of porches out there with most older and newer homes. Let’s find out which of those match your home.

Find out if your porch needs replacement

The Open Porch

This type of porch is perhaps one of the most basic of porches out there. Fairly common as well. It has no side walls or enclosures of any kind. Hence the name Open Porch. All it really is an elevated roof that sticks out from the exterior front wall of your house by several feet. It’s similar to an awning that might serve as shade and sticks out like a sore thumb from the exterior of your home. The Open Porch provides access from all directions.

The Front Entry Porch

This is also a very common type of porch. Especially newer homes that are currently being built in St. Louis area and also dating back to the last 10 and mayb even 20 years. It’s a very small structure. Usually a half triangle or an upside down letter V. It is attached directly to the front door/front entrance of the house. It’s just enough to keep the pizza guy dry during the rain or snow on their next delivery to your home. Leading up to the house and directly underneath the Front Entry porch usually there will be a few steps.

The Farmer’s Porch

If you live out in the country or on a farm and have a farmstyle-structure chances are you also have a Farmer’s Porch. It’s attached to the structure itself spanning many feet in length and also quite narrow. It’s a fairly large structure with a large overhead roof and bulky support beams. If you’ve ever been to a Cracker Barrel in the St. Louis Area or anywhere around the U.S., you’ve probably sat underneath a Farmer’s Porch. Cracker Barrel tends to have those big custom-made rockers you can sit in directly underneath the Farmer’s Porch structure. This type of porch is also very commonly leverage for large groups of people. Hence why we mentioned Cracker Barrel and even though it’s not a farmhouse it tends to assimilate one. It can also be furnished in a variety of different ways. Idea for weddings and receptions when intermittent weather might strike unexpectedly. 

The Back Porch

This is the complete opposite of a Front Entry porch that is located on the back of your house. The Back porch can actually vary in size. A lot of the homes that were built in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s have a backdoor with a few steps to walk down on and no deck. So, the back porch is extremely small. A lot of people who tend to build custom homes these days incline towards a custom-made Back Porch. It is one that is directly on top of a large deck or enclosed patio. Sometimes it’s even ventilated on the inside with ceiling fans to stay cool during those hot Midwest summers.

The Detached Porch

Not quite as popular. Some people might mistake a Detached Porch with a gazebo. They are similar in a way that both are detached structures. However, a gazebo tends to have a trapezoid type of roof with various angles and architectural features. A regular detached porch is simply flat and elevated structure. This type of porch is very uncommon although do exist.

The Screened Porch

These are extremely popular in the South and Florida. Screened porches have a flat overhead structure that covers the top portion and are usually wrapped around with heavy duty mesh. You may have vacationed at home in the Florida area previously where you’ve seen one of these large screened porches that usually have a pool area enclosed within. Some screened porches also have thermal windows to keep cool during hot summers and warm during cold winters. Generally speaking though, screened porches are intended for year-round use regardless of the area that they’re located in.

The Rain Porch

One of these is extremely common in ranch-style or farmhouse-type structures as well. This type of porch does not have any walls or enclosures either. An overhead roof, slanted at an angle covers the porch area. Hence the name Rain Porch. The slanted roof is intended to help the water from rain slope down and wash away so that it doesn’t build up and create moisture problems.

The Portico Porch

Similar to a Front Entry porch. In fact many people tend to confuse a Portico Porch with a Front Entry porch because of the similarities in structure. However, they are not one in the same. This particular structure covers only the front entry of the house but is taller. Some Portico porches can be up to 50’ in height support by two columns. A Portico porch is really intended to simply enhance the aesthetic of a house. It’s more along the lines of design than functionality really.

The Lanai Porch

The name Lanai originated from Hawaii simply because that is where you will find the majority of these types of porches. A Lanai porch is also somewhat popular in warmer climate areas like Southern portions of the U.S. This is a semi-closed type of structure that has a roof and walls on all sides with the exception of at least one. It is mainly closed off but one side of the structure is wide open. A Lanai porch can also be furnished with outdoor furniture and enjoyed all year around. 

Does your porch roof need replacement?

So, back to the original question, we were trying to answer. When should you replace your porch roof? Well, that really depends on the type of porch that you have on your home. There are also a few contingencies that you should probably take into consideration.

  • Does the porch roof have visible damage?
  • Are the shingles visibly damaged?
  • Can you tell if there is plywood moisture or damage in need of replacing?
  • Is there any loose shingles or some that have fallen off?

It is not uncommon for the average porch roof to have shingles replaced when the actual roof of your house is being replaced. The reason for this is that new shingles are intended to match throughout the entire roof structure of your home.


It may be Winter time here in the Midwest and temperatures are plummeting in the St. Charles County area. However, it’s also a great time to find out if your porch requires some extra love. Potential repairs will depend largely on the type of porch that you have and the state that it is in.

Give us a call today at (636) 699-0449 or request your free inspection today. If you’re in the St. Charles County area and looking for an experienced roofing and siding contractor, we are bringing forth over 20 years of experience in the roofing industry. That’s something you can trust and especially if we’re in your neck of the woods.