Screen Porches – A Little Slice of Heaven at Home

Who does not love a screen porch? We actually bought a house once because of the screened porch – and never regretted that decision! Screen porches are considered outdoor living spaces and therefore have less building code restrictions than a three season or four season porch. However, if your screen porch plans include adding heating or cooling, you would need to comply with all of the codes for indoor living space like insulation, heating, lighting, and electrical.

DIY project

Building a screen porch can be a great DIY project if you have some prior building experience. You can either build it from scratch or purchase a screen porch kit. If you decide to hire a contractor, your costs should be minimized as it usually only requires basic carpentry skills without additional structural components are required. You can add skylights for more light and fans to keep you cool! Use a space heater in the cooler months to extend your enjoyment.

Combination screen porch / open porch

Screened porches can be very sophisticated and visually appealing if designed properly and can be used year round in some locations. You'll be considering happier if you consider the architecture of your home when designing or purchasing your porch. Ours actually became an extension of our home and we used it almost year round. Many people choose to enclose part of their porch or deck leaving a territory totally open to the outside. This option allows you to be more creative with both spaces. You can use the enclosed portion for insect-free dining or entertaining while also having space to decorate a little differently.

Choosing materials for your screened porch

Care should be taken when choosing materials. Choose materials based on durability. Cedar and redwood are excellent choices if you want natural resistance to insects and rot. Pressure-treated lumber and simulated wood products (poly-woods) made from a blend of recycled materials and wood fibers are insect and rot resistant and weather to a nice color of gray. Most people do not realize they have several options of screening material to fit any budget. From nylon to copper and from aluminum to brass opt for porch screening that is both attractive and functional.

How will you use your screen porch?

Before building consider how much room do you need, will your porch be used by many or just a few? Will it be used primarily as a quiet reply for you and your sweetie or are you going to entertain lots of friend and family? This will help you determine what type and how much furniture will be needed on the porch. That will, in turn, help you determine the size of porch you need. And remember, your porch need not be square or rectangular. Octagonal, oval, or hexagonal are options and will make your porch even more interesting.

If you enjoy your screen porch even half as much as my wife and I do, then the time and money invested will be so worth it.