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Screen Porch Enclosures :: Outdoor Porch Shades

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Screen Porch Enclosures

Screen porch enclosures can be the way to make your under used front porch, side porch, wrap around porch or veranda, or porch addition into the most popular room in the house.  You may have a wonderful porch, but because of those creepy crawly, flying, buzzing, biting insects that share this porch with you during the spring summer and fall, you just cannot enjoy it like you should.

Imagine creating a three season porch that functions like a whole new room for your home that you can use almost any time you like.  Depending on where you live, your porch could bring you four season enjoyment. Screen porch enclosures are a great way to transform your porch into your new outdoor living room!

Another superb reason to want a screen porch enclosure is that it provides privacy screening as well as insect screening.  If privacy is your main reason for screening in your porch, you can be more casual about it and think about using mesh curtains or blinds, instead of thinking about having a screened in porch to block out insects.  Tightly woven fabrics would give you more privacy but would at the same time cut down on air and light coming in. 

Something to consider regarding your screened porch design is this: If you use your porch mostly in the evening, and since your lighted porch is now brighter than the night outside, your screening fabric would need to be heavier with a tighter mesh than if you use your porch mostly in the day. For daytime use, you could choose a lighter fabric for your screen porch enclosure, to let in the breeze.  Because it’s brighter outside, and many daytime insect pests are larger than those at night (no–see-ums and sand flies are mostly out during the cooler parts of the day) you can get away with a lighter fabric.  For sun screening and UV blocking projects check out Sun Shade Blinds

Screening materials used in screen porch enclosures

•    Aluminum screening
•    Vinyl screening
•    UV coated vinyl and other high tech mesh fabrics

Screen Porch Enclosure Options (From Easy to Complicated)

DIY, or hire someone to DIY!  Screened porch kits abound, but you really need to know something to put them together.  So if you are not an amateur carpenter, at least, or a creative handy man or woman, you should consider hiring someone to put together your DIY kit or porch screening system.

Outdoor Curtains and Blinds

Consider buying outdoor curtains or outdoor roman blinds made out of mesh screen to hang from rods all the way around the porch, and you have basic insect protection as well as privacy screening. Obviously this won’t solve a serious insect problem, but would deter bigger flying pests such as bees, June bugs, and moths from entering.  Flies however might love this arrangement, so you can try painting the ceiling of the porch sky blue. Flies don’t like it because they think it is the sky and fly away looking for a more protected place!

Screening Material Attached Directly

Attach screening material permanently to your existing porch posts, beams and railings with a staple gun, nails or screws.  This is the easiest way to achieve instant gratification and solve an insect problem quickly, but it is not a good solution for the long term.  Now you have a screened in porch forever, or until the screen material starts to rip and degrade!

Screen Panels

Build screen panels that fit the openings of your porch. To do this you would also need to build a frame around the inside of your porch columns and posts to hold them in place so that they are removable. This is clunky, and you have to find places to store the screens when you are not using them. This option reminds me of old-fashioned windows with removable screens and storms, in other words, a lot of work!  To do this gracefully, one would need some skill and patience.  Once installed, this screening system could last and function for years. 

If you don’t want to build your own frames, there is a porch screen system called Screentight. They sell screen porch enclosure kits that utilize an installation system that was developed to help you make evenly taut, professionally stretched screens for openings up to 40 sq. feet.  No doubt there is more than one company making porch enclosure systems. These can often be used for pergolas and gazebos too.

So far we have been discussing only porch ideas, ideas that include the fact that there is a ceiling to the porch.  If you have an open deck or patio next to your house, one without a roof or ceiling already, there are more elaborate options to create a sun porch or sunroom, or patio room. These sunroom kits can be built right on top of the posts and railings of your existing deck or roofless porch, or built over an existing patio from the ground up.

You can have a contractor build your screen porch enclosure from a kit, probably better than you can, or go crazy and hire an architect to custom design your screen porch enclosure from scratch. 

Or you can buy a brand new outdoor screen room that you can install, or have installed, next to your house.  You could build a doorway into your new addition as well.  You don’t need an existing deck patio or porch.  Sunporch is the best know brand of screen porch enclosure but there are many more company’s that manufacture them. S unporch makes outdoor rooms with Plexiglas wall panels too.