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screened in porch

How to Screen in a Porch

Jun 21, 2020 by Liz Brumer

Screening in an existing porch can turn outside space into a comfortable extension of your home. As long as the porch is in good shape, screening it in is a relatively straightforward DIY project that many homeowners can do themselves. Learn how to screen in a porch so you can create an inviting area to relax in and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

Why install a screen on your porch?

The main benefit of a screened-in porch is being able to enjoy the outdoors without having to deal with bugs. No one likes the thought of having to shoo a fly off their dinner plate or getting eaten alive by mosquitos while trying to enjoy the beautiful weather. Screening a porch will keep most, if not all, of those pesky insects off your porch as long as you're diligent with the screen door.

Not only does a screened porch keep the bugs out, but it will also keep the leaves out, too. No more sweeping off the porch every time you’re ready to use it. A screen can also add shade to the space, depending on the screening selected, and help keep you cooler in warm climates while protecting your upholstered furniture from fading in the sun.

When you're able to comfortably enjoy your porch, you're more likely to use it. It can easily become an extension of your living space, essentially adding another living room or dining room to your home. The best part is that it is a much more affordable option than building a true addition and typically doesn't even require permits.

Considerations when screening your porch

You will first need to decide between hiring a contractor or taking on a DIY project. Deciding how much you want to spend on the project and how much time you have to dedicate to it will help you pick the best option for your household. According to HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI), an average 200 square feet will cost $2,400 to screen in, but plan to add another $400 or more to that price if you're hiring a contractor. Remember that this is for the square footage of the screening, not the porch itself.

If you opt for DIY, your next step will be deciding between a screen porch kit or building it yourself. Clearly you will need more carpentry skills and time if you want to build the plates, frames, studs, rails, and doors by hand, but it will save you money.

If that doesn't appeal to you, there are screen porch kits you can buy that are designed to attach to your existing porch structure. The kits are highly adaptable and will fit almost any existing openings. They still require some level of assembly but typically require little or no skill aside from following the directions.

Make sure to check your local municipality codes to make sure you are not required to pull a permit to install the screen. In most instances, it won't be necessary because you aren't changing the physical structure of the building, but it is always a good idea to double check prior to starting the project. You'll also need to get approval from any deed-restricted or homeowner associations to ensure compliance with the community's standards.

Screening your porch is a wonderful way to enjoy your backyard without having to compromise on some of the less desirable aspects of being outdoors. It's the perfect way to sip your coffee in the morning while listening to the birds or entertain friends for a dinner party by the light of the moon. The options for how to screen in your porch are rather affordable compared to what most home improvement projects can cost, and doing so will help you gain extra living space, too.

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Liz Brumer-Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.