How To Screen A Porch

How To Screen A Porch

While the task of screening a porch is one that does take some time and attention to detail, the process can usually be managed over the course of a weekend without much trouble. Requiring the use of a few basic hand tools and supplies, a porch screen installation involves preparing the porch itself followed by creating a framework that will support the screen. It is possible to screen a porch all by yourself, or manage the project with the help of a couple friends.
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How To Screen A Porch

Product Overview This Screen Tight 1-1/2 in. Porch Screening System Base Strip features durable, window-grade vinyl that offers a low-maintenance solution for screening your porch. The vinyl is resistant to UV rays and doesn’t need painting. The strip is easy to install and replace. Used in this screen tight screening system Low-maintenance window-grade vinyl construction 1-1/2 in. width x 96 in. length UV-resistant Black color Never needs painting No rusty nails and staples or sagging screens Easy to install, repair and replace Perfect for 2 in. x 4 in. or 4 in. x 4 in. porch frame construction Pre-punched slots on 8 in. centers Recommended round screen spline is 11/64 (.175 in.) for fiberglass screening and 5/32 in. (.160 in.) for aluminum screening. Flat, or square spline will not work with this system 5-Year limited warranty
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How To Screen A Porch

This Screen Tight 1-1/2 in. Porch Screening System Base Strip features durable, window-grade vinyl that offers a low-maintenance solution for screening your porch. The vinyl is resistant to UV rays and doesn’t need painting. The strip is easy to install and replace. Used in this screen tight screening system Low-maintenance window-grade vinyl construction 1-1/2 in. width x 96 in. length UV-resistant Black color Never needs painting No rusty nails and staples or sagging screens Easy to install, repair and replace Perfect for 2 in. x 4 in. or 4 in. x 4 in. porch frame construction Pre-punched slots on 8 in. centers Recommended round screen spline is 11/64 (.175 in.) for fiberglass screening and 5/32 in. (.160 in.) for aluminum screening. Flat, or square spline will not work with this system 5-Year limited warranty
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How To Screen A Porch

The traditional method of screening a porch has pretty much remained the same for a hundred years. That’s unfortunate, because it’s a flawed system. Small tacks or staples are used to attach the screening to the porch posts and railings. Then, narrow wood battens are nailed up to conceal all of the seams and fasteners. It’s a labor-intensive method, and screens installed this way typically develop noticeable sags after just a few months. Plus, when it’s necessary to replace a damaged screen or fix a sagging one, you must remove several battens and yank out about a million fasteners. But there is a much better and easier way to install screens, and it doesn’t require a lot of experience. This project will show you how to rescreen an existing porch using the Screen Tight installation system. You can use the same techniques detailed here for new and remodeled porches, deck enclosures, breezeways and gazebos.  
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How To Screen A Porch

Tips Always use treated wood for the porch screen frame. This will minimize deterioration from exposure to changing weather conditions and keep repairs to a minimum. Vinyl and metal screening are both options to screen a porch. Vinyl screening is usually less expensive but will tear relatively easily. If using metal screening, make sure it is treated to resist rusting due to the constant exposure to the elements. Painting the sole plates, balusters, rails, and wood strips before the installation is a good idea. Even if they are scratched during the installation process, touching up the damaged areas with paint takes very little time and prevents the possibility of dripping paint on the screen mesh later on.
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How To Screen A Porch

Always use treated wood for the porch screen frame. This will minimize deterioration from exposure to changing weather conditions and keep repairs to a minimum. Vinyl and metal screening are both options to screen a porch. Vinyl screening is usually less expensive but will tear relatively easily. If using metal screening, make sure it is treated to resist rusting due to the constant exposure to the elements. Painting the sole plates, balusters, rails, and wood strips before the installation is a good idea. Even if they are scratched during the installation process, touching up the damaged areas with paint takes very little time and prevents the possibility of dripping paint on the screen mesh later on.
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How To Screen A Porch

The old-fashioned way to hang a screen is simply stapling up the screen to the porch’s wooden framework. For this, you only need a staple gun and a screen; however, with this method it is difficult to get the screen tight, which leads to sagging, ripped screens that need replaced every few years. Luckily, there is a more efficient method that lasts longer, looks better, and is appropriate for the amateur homeowner.
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How To Screen A Porch

Attach the screens. Begin at the top middle of the opening, and secure the screen using the staple gun. Working toward the outer area of the space, smooth the screen and staple at regular intervals. Make sure that the screening lays flat and is stretched taut as you go. Once the top is secured, staple the sides and bottom, always stretching the screen to make sure it remains taut. Continue until the screen is firmly in place across the expanse of the framework.
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Cut a section of screen larger than your opening, and use the roller knife and screen spline to roll the top horizontal side into the base first. Keeping the screen centered and as tight as possible, roll each vertical side into place, and finish by pulling the screen tight and rolling the bottom horizontal side into the base.
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You can add this porch to almost any house, but attachment details may vary from what we show here. On most two-story houses, you won’t have to worry about tying in to the roof, but you may have to situate the porch carefully to avoid covering a window. The house roof sloped 5 in. per foot (this is called a 5/12 slope) and extended 18 in. at the overhang. Your roof may vary from this, and the details of how the porch ties in will vary as well.
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If you’re not sure how to neatly join the porch and house roofs, we recommend hiring an architect to help work out the details. Another option is to build a full-size mockup of a roof truss out of inexpensive and lightweight 1x4s. Figure out where the top of the wall plate would be if you built the porch according to our plans (Figures A – H). Then support the mocked-up truss at this height to see how the porch overhang meets the roof. If you don’t like the way the overhangs intersect, adjust the level of the deck slightly, alter the wall height or change the width of the overhang.
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Create the sill plate perimeter. Install the wood around the perimeter of the porch, making sure the corners are square (you can use a framing square for this purpose). On a wooden porch, the plates can be nailed into position. With a concrete porch, using a drill and masonry screws or a masonry nail gun will be required.
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A screen porch is a big improvement, but it’s also a big project, one that might consume most of your spare time this summer. So, we’re keeping this porch design simple. You can build it with standard dimensional lumber, and it doesn’t require heavy beams or complex joints. The simple 2×4 walls are light and airy looking. Two horizontal bands of 2x4s, set 10 in. from the top and bottom of the wall, add a design element and stiffen the 2×4 framing enough to support the hand-built trusses. With this design, there’s no need to precisely align the overhangs. And the exposed rafters and open soffit look great on many house styles.
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Install ceiling fixtures. Before beginning on the full porch screen, make sure to install any ceiling panels or ceiling fans you may want on your porch. Obviously, ceiling fans must be installed before ceiling panels to allow the wiring to be installed properly.
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Know the basics. Sill plates (also sometimes referred to as “sole plates”) are usually just pieces of pressure-treated wood, often 2×4 lengths cut to measure, that are attached horizontally along the floor and ceiling of the porch area. Sill plates function as the base for the screen frame as they effectively create a network between the existing supports of the porch roof.
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Warm, breezy evenings are some of the best things about living in Georgia, but I prefer to enjoy them without the company of mosquitoes. So I decided my first major project as a first-time home owner would be to screen in the lower level of a two-story deck.I tackled this project first for two reasons:1. My parents graciously agreed to partially fund the project and throw in some labor as a housewarming present. (My dad is a structural engineer who knows his way around a remodel.) My boyfriend volunteered to swing a hammer as well.2. We weren’t starting from scratch — the framework for the 8-foot-by-10-foot porch was already there — so this seemed like an easy first-time project. We only had to add some screens and a ceiling fan and voila! Instant screened-in porch.

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