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How to Build a Concrete Porch

March 8th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Sarah Etler

In need of a new concrete porch? Learn the steps to take if you'd like to build one yourself.


Whether you have an existing concrete porch that’s seen better days, or you want to add a bit of functionality and visual interest to your home’s facade, building a new front porch may be the right move for you.

Here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we know that while our services can help bring settled or sunken porches back up to their original position, leveling may not be the best fit for every home. For that reason, we’ve created this guide to explain an alternative – building a new porch from scratch.

While front porch construction is certainly doable, it does require some prior skill and experience with concrete tools and materials to get the job done right. If you’re a total beginner, it’s probably best to leave the process up to a professional.

However, if you’d like to give building a concrete porch a go, this guide will give you a general overview of the steps involved in the process. The type of porch we will be focusing on here has walls, backfill in the center, and a concrete slab poured on top.

Start With a Clean Slate

If you’re replacing an existing porch and constructing a new one, you’ll have to demolish what’s already there and remove everything from the area. This will leave you with a clean slate to work from when building the new porch walls.

You will also need to make sure the area is relatively level and flat so that you can create strong, stable porch walls in the following step. If the roofline is supported by posts, you will need to make sure those posts are supported.

Create the Porch Walls

After you’re left with a clean slate where you can get to work, you’ll need to create the walls of the porch. You can create these porch walls with either concrete or brick.


To create concrete porch walls, you first must use wood or steel forms where you will set the concrete walls. It’s crucial that these forms are straight and do not bow, so they will have to be reinforced and very strong. You may also need to add rebar to reinforce the walls.

Once the concrete is poured in you will then need to vibrate the walls to reduce air bubbles and wait for the concrete to set before removing the forms. The finishing process will depend on the type of concrete you’re using. Let the concrete set and harden completely before moving on to the next step.



Properly install the bricks you’d like to serve as the exterior walls of your porch with mortar and a trowel. Let the brick walls properly cure and harden based on the instructions provided with the mortar you used before moving on to the next step.

Remember to arrange the bricks on the top edge of the walls with your desired finished pattern, as these will act as the border of your porch’s finished surface.

Backfill the Porch Interior

When you have straight and sturdy porch walls, you’re ready to fill the interior void. It’s best to use proper backfill for filling the porch, like gravel. Using other materials, like wood or extra bricks, can cause settling in the future as they cannot be properly compacted and the wood can decompose over time.

Once the area is backfilled within 4 inches of the top of your porch wall, you’ll need to compact it as much as possible. Ensuring that the backfill is compacted as much as possible now will help reduce future settling.

Pour and Trowel the Concrete

Now that you have the porch walls created and the center of the porch filled with the correct backfill material, you can set the forms for the porch top and pour the concrete slab on top of the backfill and within the forms.

Using steel rebar is a good construction practice to reinforce the concrete surface’s strength.

Make sure that you pour the concrete with the proper slope so that water runs away from your home.

Finish the Concrete

The final step in the process is to finish the concrete with the method that makes the most sense for the type of concrete you’re using and your desired aesthetic. 

It’s also crucial to trowel in properly-spaced control joints to minimize the appearance of cracking in the future. You can do this by pushing a special trowel through the concrete as it begins to set up, or you can wait for the concrete to cure and cut these in with a concrete saw after the fact. 

Once you’ve finished the concrete surface, you just have to wait for the concrete to harden and undergo the proper curing process before you can begin using your new concrete porch.   

Should You Build a New Concrete Porch?

If you already have a concrete porch, chances are you can save it instead of replacing it with professional concrete leveling.

Building a new concrete porch from scratch requires a lot of time, money, and work, whereas lifting the settling surface or sinking steps with concrete leveling is a quick, convenient, and cost-effective process that can get your subpar porch back to where it belongs.

To do this, concrete leveling experts drill strategic holes in the porch surface, then pump a dense compound below the surface that fills any voids and lifts the slab back up into an even, level position.



Can Your Concrete Porch Be Saved? 

If you find that the walls of your porch aren’t cracking, but that you can see the original pour line or the porch’s surface settling, your porch is likely a good candidate for concrete leveling services.

If your porch walls have staircase-style or normal cracks, usually wider at the top, it usually means that the porch walls have moved. If this is the case, your porch is likely still salvageable, but in addition to leveling, you may also need to add foundation piers to support it.



Your Next Steps

Now that you know all the work that goes into creating a concrete porch from the ground up, you’re ready to get started on your new project.

It’s important to note that the steps listed in this guide are simplified and should be taken as a starting point. Always do your own research about each part of the process and consult with an expert if you have any doubts along the way.

However, if you’re not 100% convinced that building a concrete porch is a project you’d like to undertake, you have other options.

Concrete leveling is an alternative to replacement that can move settled or sinking concrete porches back into their original position, and here at A-1 Concrete Leveling, we’ve been perfecting this art for over 30 years.

If you’d like to learn more about what concrete leveling can do for your concrete porch, click the link below to schedule a free onsite evaluation and cost estimate with a member of the A-1 team!

Check out these additional topics from A-1's online resource library, Concrete Academy:

Sarah Etler

Sarah Etler joined A-1 Concrete Leveling after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Kentucky University. As A-1's Content Marketing Manager, she works closely with industry experts to produce content that will best answer questions related to concrete repair and maintenance practices. Sarah loves living a life full of discovery and is excited every day to see what new things she can learn and share with those around her.