One of the joys of fair weather seasons is relaxing on a porch and talking with friends, swinging, reading, or listening to music. But insects never seem interested in your privacy. It takes only a few mosquitos or flies to drive everyone indoors. Instead of being an exile from your porch, lay claim to it again by screening it in. A DIY screened-in porch keeps the bugs out and removes annoying hassles while letting you enjoy your porch again. And, fortunately, screening in a porch isn’t as difficult as you may think.
Basics of Screening in a Porch
Porches have flooring, a roof, posts, and often a hand railing and balusters. With so many structural elements, it may seem like a simple matter to staple down screen material across the front of your porch.
While this is possible, you will obtain cleaner, more professional results by using individual wood-framed screen panels as the building blocks, and attaching those panels to the porch.
Build as few or as many screen panels as you need. You can construct the panels off-site and then move them to your porch for installation or use the porch floor as your workshop.
Another advantage of building screen panels is that you can remove the screens when fall and winter set in. This helps to protect the screens, increasing their lifespan.
Costs of Screening in a Porch
If you have a sturdy porch already, adding the screens and supports to enclose it is relatively simple: Depending on the cost of materials in your area, it should cost between $100 and $150 if you plan to do the work yourself. Enclosing or screening in an existing porch is much more affordable than building a brand new porch. If you do not have a porch or patio that can be screened in, you will have to build a brand new screened-in porch, which could cost as much as thousands of dollars, depending on what kind of porch you want.
Codes and Regulations
Many municipalities require homeowners to obtain a permit before screening in a porch. This is especially the case in historically designated zones. Alterations to the facade (or even the back) of a house in a community controlled by a housing association will nearly always require board approval.
When to Screen in a Porch
Because the screen panels do not have to be constructed on-site, much of the work can be done in a garage or workroom, making this an ideal way to get a head-start during winter months. Otherwise, spring tends to be the best time to build a screened-in porch.
Source: The Spruce