One way to literally live big is to increase your outdoor space so you can enjoy it more—and a screened-in porch can be just the ticket. Unlike a patio or patio open to the elements, or a sunroom, which typically has solid glass exterior walls, a screened-in porch has a ceiling and, as the name suggests, encloses much of the area with mesh. Such a structure protects you from pesky insects and sudden showers while welcoming light and breezes. If you’re ready to bring this best-of-both-worlds addition into your home, or give an existing porch a new look in style, you’ve come to the right place for ideas and helpful guides to creating the perfect screened-in porch.
Screening in an open porch involves installing a frame around it and then attaching netting to the frame. Measure the height of the porch plus 10 percent to determine material needs, then build the enclosure using basic tools. Although it’s a fairly easy DIY project, kits and framing systems available at home centers make it even easier.
If you are looking to redesign a screened porch from scratch, purchase sturdy redwood, cedar, or ACQ (alkaline copper quaternary) lumber to resist insect and weather damage. Also, be sure to use the appropriate screws: zinc plated for redwood or cedar and ACQ compatible for treated wood.