With a few tools, a few 2 X 8s, and some ready-to-mix concrete you can construct a fine front porch. Of course, you will need a good set of porch plans. You could build a wood porch, but wood porch building requires more elaborate design. If you want your porch construction to be less challenging, you can't go wrong with concrete. Be sure the ground your porch will be resting on is solid. If it isn't, your heavy porch could eventually sink and develop cracks.
Step 1 - Prepare the Ground
You'll need footers laid on solid ground, so begin by digging a trench around the perimeter of the space where you'll be building your porch. Then, level the ground you'll be laying your concrete on as much as possible. Since your concrete will only be eight inches, make sure there are no protrusions such as rocks or sticks that will stick out above your concrete surface. You can use the bottom of your dug-out space as a starting point to level your concrete form.
Since the porch will be butted up against the house, you'll need to remove enough siding from the house to allow the porch to be made tight against the house when the concrete sets. Attach flashing on the wall where you removed the siding.
Step 2 - Create the Concrete Form
Place the 2 X 8 planks along the edges to form a U, with the open side against the house, then use the double-headed nails to attach the planks to each other. Next, drive the wood stakes into the ground, against the outside surface of the planks.
Step 3 - Level The Form
Now it's time to level the planks, so your porch will be level. Place a level along the top of each 2 X 8 and adjust the planks higher or lower until they are all nearly level.
Step 4 - Add Rebar (Reinforcement Bar) To The Concrete Form
Pound four rebar rods into the ground and in the center of the form. Then, using wire or plastic ties, attach two rods to the vertical pieces, parallel with the ground.
Step 5 - Pour Concrete Into The Concrete Form
In a large wheelbarrow, mix the appropriate quantity of ready-to-use concrete bags with water, making the first batch thick enough to prevent the concrete from oozing beneath the form of 2 X 8 planks.
To finish, use a screed (a board used to level wet concrete) to level surface, then use an edger to round off the edges.