DIY Screen Enclosure

Screening a porch, deck or patio is a great way to expand your living space.

Old Fashioned Screen Enclosures

A screen enclosure can turn your porch or patio into another room for dining, relaxing, or play. Screens provide protection from insects, privacy and turn an outdoor space into a room of its own. Depending upon your climate, you may be able to use a screened-in patio much of the year. If you already have a patio or porch with a roof, turning this space into a screened enclosure is surprisingly easy and affordable.

The traditional solution to screening a porch or patio requires tacking or stapling screening to porch posts and supports. You may need to install additional supports before installing the screens. Narrow wood battens are then applied to cover the staples and further support the screens. Your porch screens may start to sag rather quickly and can be a challenge to repair or replace. This option is also fairly labor intensive, but can be a do-it-yourself project.

The Screen Tight System

A new option on the market makes it easy to screen a patio or porch. This system uses aluminum frames to frame out your screened enclosure. You will cut your frame pieces to size and install using simple tin snips or pruning shears. Screening is then installed using standard screen spline and a spline tool. Attractive caps snap on, creating a neat and uniform appearance for your screened porch. This system can screen large areas evenly and without sagging. This is an ideal, manageable and quick way to add living space to your home. Visible caps are available in white, gray, brown and beige, making it easy to coordinate your screened enclosure to your home trim.

Making the Most of Your Screen Enclosure

A screened-in porch or patio can be a great living or dining space; however, a few considerations can make this space even more comfortable and functional. Be sure that your flooring and roofing is secure and without gaps to prevent insects in your screened-in room. Have a few power outlets wired in, and install soft and pleasant lighting for evening use. You may want to install a large ceiling fan to keep your screened-in room cool and breezy on hot days. Choose furniture that can survive weather changes, including sun, wind and humidity; however, do include cushions, a throw rug and even a comfortable quilt for autumn days.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.