How to Remove an Old Rotting Porch From My House

Things You\’ll Need

  • Extension ladder

  • Spade shovel

  • Pry bar

  • Hammer

  • 8-foot stepladder

  • Sledgehammer

  • Circular saw

  • Eye protection

  • Work gloves

A home with a porch can look inviting and warm, conjuring images of summer evenings sipping lemonade with family and friends. However, when a porch becomes rotted and old, it can become an eyesore — not only for the individual homeowner, but for the entire neighborhood as well. If you have an old rotting porch that you wish to remove from your house, you can accomplish the task by following a logical sequence of steps. This can be a big project, and, depending on the porch size, it may take several days.

Step 1

Place an extension ladder next to the porch and make sure it is stable, if the porch has a roof. Use the ladder to access the roof. Use a spade shovel to begin tearing off the shingles. Begin at the top of the porch roof, and jab the spade under the shingles to remove them.

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Step 2

Locate the rafters to which the roof decking is nailed by looking for the rows of nails. Use a hammer to drive the pry bar under the edge of the decking, starting at the top. Pry along the edges of the decking where the nails are located until you can remove sheets of the decking.

Step 3

Set up a stepladder inside the porch and begin to remove the rafters, using the hammer and pry bar. Use the hammer to pound the rafters off the house. Use the pry bar in conjunction with the hammer for stubborn nails that you have trouble removing. Remove all the porch rafters.

Step 4

Pry off the siding from around the outside of a porch that has walls. Drive a pry bar under the siding and pry it loose. Begin at the top at one end and work your way across and down the siding. Remove the decking if it's installed under the siding, using the same method described to remove roof decking in Step 2.

Step 5

Pound the wall studs with a sledgehammer to remove them from the top and bottom plates of the wall. You may need to hit the studs several times to knock them loose. Work your way around the walls until all the studs and the top and bottom plates have been removed.

Step 6

Remove the porch floor by using a hammer and pry bar to pry loose each board. Start at one end and work your way across the floor. Drive the pry bar under the floorboards with the hammer in the locations where you see nails. Lift the pry bar to loosen the nails and remove the boards.

Step 7

Loosen the front 2-foot by 10-foot board that is parallel to the house and to which the floor joists attach. Pound the 2-foot by 10-foot board with the sledgehammer until it is loosened from the floor joists. Pull off the floor joists from the house, using the pry bar and hammer. Remove the 2-foot by 10-foot board nailed to the house, using the hammer to drive the pry bar between the board and the house along its entire edge until it can be removed.


Wear eye protection and work gloves when demolishing a porch.