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How To Build a Screened-In Back Porch

Learn how to assemble custom wood frames, screen them and individually install them to enclose a porch.

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Step 1: Align the Screen Over the Bottom Railing

This can be accomplished from inside the deck by just positioning the screen material over the exterior of the railing. Roll the screen out over the areas of the railing you want to cover. Screen on a roll can be purchased at any hardware store. This project uses 4-foot height roll.

Step 2: Attach the Screen

As you roll the screen out to cover the posts, pull the screen taut and staple or tack the screen onto both the lowest exterior part of the porch floor, and onto the exterior upper horizontal rails as you go across until you get to the corners. At the corners, top and bottom of the post and rails, trim the excess screen with utility knife. Continue across each of the two remaining lower sides of the porch.

Step 3: Trim and Finish the Bottom Screen

After the rough screen is affixed to the railing and the excess has been trimmed off, cover the rough edges of the screen with wood trim strips. Note: On this project, we measured and cut 3/4" strips to cover up the cut edges of the screen. Our 3/4" strips come from "ripping" down 2x4s on the table saw. You can get about 5 strips per each 2x4 and this is much cheaper than purchasing the strips individually.

Step 4: Add Support to the Porch Railings

In this project we affixed two 2x4s together as one large post. After measuring for placement (Image 1) and checking for level (Image 2) screwed them into the ceiling of the porch, and to the lower railing for extra reinforcement (Image 3).

Step 5: Build the Individual Frames

In order to avoid having to build scaffolding or having to deal with climbing all around dangerous heights, consider another method for screening the top part of the porch: Build individually screened frames and install them above the railings. Measure the areas to frame in and cut out eight pieces for each frame. Assemble four of the pieces to make the front of the frame; the back will be the other four pieces. Both front and back are identical. Attach the pieces using construction adhesive and screws (Images 1 and 2).

Step 6: Attach the Screen to the Frames

Pull the screen tautly across one side of the front of the frame, staple it onto each surface of the wood, and cut any excess screen. Put the back frame piece onto the other side, and nail the back of the frame to the front of the frame. The screen should be between the two. Continue the process for however many frames you need to screen in the remaining space on your porch.

Step 7: Attach the Frames to the Porch

Dry fit your framed screens into the spaces to ensure they fit. Using 3-inch screws, screw the frames into existing railings, posts and supports.

Learn how adding outdoor living space with a porch can increase your home's value at HGTV's FrontDoor.com.

dry fit your framed screen to insure proper fit

Courtesy of Lucie Rowe

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