Mild weather means more time spent outdoors and on the porch. Porches are nature’s free air conditioning, plus they let you chat with passersby. Unfortunately, mosquitos, flies, and other insects love pleasant weather and porches, too. Building a screened-in porch will help you regain that space—completely free of insects and other annoyances.
Before You Begin
Building a screened-in porch is a two-stage process. First, build the porch. Second, screen in the porch with detachable, modular screens. Viewing this project as two separate processes helps you to better budget your money, time, and energy.
You may even want to hire a contractor to build the porch, then complete the project yourself by constructing and installing the screens.
Building a screened-in porch from scratch is an advanced project. Even if you consider yourself an advanced DIYer, read through the steps here and make sure you’re comfortable and capable of completing each before beginning this project.
When to Build a Screened-in Porch
Pouring concrete footers for an elevated porch entails digging holes that extend below your area’s frost line. During winter months when the ground is frozen, it can be difficult or even impossible to break through the frozen soil. If this is not a factor in your area, you can build a screened-in porch at any time of year.
Codes and Permits
Most communities will require you to obtain a building permit before building the porch. You’ll also need to be aware of zoning restrictions. It’s best to speak to your local permitting department before starting the build. It is not likely that a building permit will be required for adding screens. However, if your home is historically accurate and falls within a local preservation zone, in all likelihood you will need to obtain clearance before adding screens.
Call your local utility location service (811) ahead of digging footers for the porch. A technician will visit your property and mark the ground for critical electrical, gas, and water lines.
Source: The Spruce