Do you feel like you’d get more use out of your porch if it were screened in? Screened in porches combine the best of indoor and outdoor rooms, and they can be affordable if you already have a porch. Here’s what to expect if you decide to take on the project this summer.
First, let’s look at the costs associated with enclosing your existing porch. The cost will be dependent on the size of your porch, the type of materials you choose, and whether or not you hire a contractor to complete the project. According to ImproveNet, the cost of materials to screen in a 200 square foot porch range from $470 to $680. Associated labor costs, should you choose to hire a pro, will run you about $350. To compare, if you were to build a new screened-in porch from scratch, the cost would average about $70 per square foot.
The next order of business when deciding to screen in your porch is to check local building codes. You need to make sure you secure any permits that may be required. Although it may seem like screening in an existing porch isn’t a major job, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Once your permits have been secured, it’s time to build the frames. Install posts to each corner that are the height you want the porch to be, which is usually eight feet. If you have an existing roof, check for damages and make any needed repairs. If you don’t have a roof, construct a triangular frame and cover with roofing materials.
Rectangular frames are constructed with pressure-treated 2x4s. The width of the frame is the same as the width of your screens. Use an extra 2×4 to install horizontally for added stability. Screw each frame into the porch floor, making sure they are level. Continue until all frames have been attached. Leave an opening for a screen door that is either 32 or 36 inches wide. Then screw the insides of the frames to each other and the corner posts for added strength. Paint or stain the frames before installing the screens.
If you are installing frames onto a concrete porch, then attach a foundation board to the cement. The frames can then be attached to the foundation board.
Once your paint is dry, screens can be installed. Cut sheets of porch screening to the appropriate height and staple to the frame. To make the screens look more finished, add trim to cover up the staples. For the door, install a standard screen door that can be purchased at any home improvement store.
Finally, don’t forget the floor! If you really want to make your screened-in porch feel like an outdoor room, then add an outdoor carpet. They can add a pop of color and really tie the room together. You can also upgrade the floor by installing deck tiles. These tiles snap together and come in a variety of styles to match your taste. Decorate with patio furniture and potted plants and get ready to enjoy your screened-in porch all summer long!