Screened porches allow you to get the most out of the hot summer months. With your own screened porch, you can sit outside but be protected from the bugs and the sun. Planning, building and taking care of your screened porch are easy when you follow these steps.
Planning Your Screened Porch
There are many different types of porches available that allow you to enjoy the outdoors while still having the indoor feel. Some porches are just screened in version of regular porches. Others are specially built outdoor rooms with screened in sides.
When you are planning your screened porch project, you should start with how much space you want to have inside of your porch. You can set up the furniture that you want to have on the porch and then use that to determine the amount of space you should have in your porch. You should also leave enough space for the door and walkways.
You should position your screen porch so that it isn't in a spot where the glare will affect your ability to enjoy the porch. Stand in your backyard in several different locations during sunset to see where the best position will be.
Once you've figured out the size and the location of your screen porch, you can start designing your porch or purchase plans online. Alternatively, you can get quotes from contractors to do the work. A contractor will normally help you develop a plan that is architecturally sound and within your budget.
Building a Screened Porch
Whether you have a contractor build your porch or you plan on doing it yourself, you will need to get a building permit from the county you live in. You should apply for the permit well in advance to be sure that you are covered when construction starts. Each county or city has specific rules for building permits so make sure that you call the appropriate office before you start the project.
If you're working with a contractor, he or she will take care of the building materials and the building process. Always collect several quotes from different contractors to be sure you're getting the best deal. In addition to the price for the job, you should also ask about their policies on refunds, deposits and satisfaction guarantees.
If you'll be building your porch yourself, your local home improvement store will be a great help in your project. Not only will you be able to buy your supplies there, but also you can get advice on your project. Many home improvement stores offer free classes to help the community with building projects. Check with your local store to see if there is a porch building class available that will help you with your project.
Taking Care of Screened Porches
After your screen porch is built, you'll want to take care of it so it will last for years to come. There are many different areas of your screened porch that need to be cared for. By taking care of your screened porch and all its parts you'll be sure that your investment is protected.
Each fall and spring you should remove dead leaves and debris from the rooftop and gutters. Leaving dead leaves to rot on top of your screened porch roof will cause the roof to start to rot as well.
You'll also need to clean the screens from time to time. You can use a power washer from the inside with a mild bleach solution to kill any mold. If you don't have a power washer, you can use a hose sprayed from the inside out and a soft brush on a handle to clean the screens.
Screened porches give people a way to enjoy the summer months in comfort. With the right building plan and a good maintenance schedule, you can have yours around for years to come.