How to Build a Screen Porch in a Deck

A deck can provide an ideal place for a screen porch, since framework is already in place to add stability to the new structure.
Part of an existing deck can be easily enclosed for a screen porch.
Moving from the screened area to the open deck will work well for cooking outdoors. Grilling can be done in the open area, and eating can be done inside the screen room. Construction of the screen porch can be completed in stages over time, if desired. It's important to utilize cedar or pressure-treated lumber for framing the screen room, so the new addition can withstand the elements. .

Step 1

Design the screen porch. Use measuring tools to define the exact space to enclose on the deck. Review home remodeling books and outdoor living magazines to gain ideas. Make a list of materials to be purchased, which will include 2-by-6-inch cedar boards or boards made of pressure treated lumber. Create the porch to withstand rain, snow and high winds, so invest ample planning time and sufficient money to create a durable structure.

Step 2

Saw the sections of boards needed to frame the porch. Use a circular saw to cut the lumber for the foundational perimeter, side walls and ceiling beams. Use a professional plan, if desired. Drill holes for assembling the structure with an electric drill and secure all parts of the porch framing with nuts and bolts, if the porch may need to be moved at some future point in time. Otherwise, assemble the structure with 4-inch stainless steel screws installed with a electric screwdriver.

Step 3

Strengthen the stability of the structure. Use stainless steel screws to secure the screen porch framework to the decking with L-shaped angle iron brackets. Install the brackets inside the structure on the bottom perimeter every 2 to 3 feet. Place the brackets inside versus outside, so they will not show. Install 1/2-inch exterior-grade plywood sheathing on the roof area, which will add weight to the screen room to hold it in place.

Step 4

Install tar paper with a staple gun or hammer-tacker over the plywood roof before nailing on asphalt shingles. Construct a door framing and install heavy-duty hinges to support the door, which will get a lot of wear and tear. Stain the exposed areas of the wooden structure with at least two coats of high-quality outdoor decking stain to match the deck.

Step 5

Add the screening material. Use a staple gun to install sections of screening fabric. Ask for help to stretch the material tight during installation, so no wrinkles will form. Use nylon fabric screening or metal screening. Discuss installation techniques with a consultant at a hardware store to gain tips. Leave at least 2 inches of border around the edges to have room to grip and adjust the screening. Fold the edges of the material under neatly and add wooden trim on top to hide the stapled seams.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tools
  • Sketch pad
  • Home design books
  • Outdoor living magazines
  • Circular electric saw
  • 2-by-6-inch lumber boards
  • Electric drill
  • Nuts and bolts
  • L-shaped angle iron brackets
  • 4-inch stainless steel screws
  • Electric screwdriver
  • 1/2-inch exterior-grade plywood
  • Tar paper
  • Staple gun
  • Hammer-tacker
  • Asphalt Shingles
  • Door hinges
  • Stain
  • Screen material
  • Wooden trim

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.