How long have you been daydreaming about enclosing your porch with a screen? Have you been waiting to hire a contractor? Are you exhausted from trying all sorts of candles and tricks to keep creepy crawlies, flies, and pests off your porch? If any of these questions can be answered with a ‘yes,’ then it is time to stop daydreaming and time to start doing.
DIY screen porch kits range from very simple screen replacements, to panels, to kits for wooden porches or homes and so much more. Good quality screen porch kits will come with everything you need for assembly. They make turning a deck or your patio into a screened-in porch convenient and quick. There are few things in life as enjoyable as having a screened porch to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and spending quality time outside with friends and family.
- Standard size kits should work perfectly fine. Make sure to measure your area well to double check your selected kit will fit. A good window treatment retailer will ensure they have a large variety of sizes in width and height to accommodate your space.
- Make sure the DIY kit comes with instructions and make sure to understand the directions before attempting to use.
- Almost everyone can use screen porch kits without having to be a professional contractor. The only area in which you should make sure you know what you are doing is when it comes to attaching to the house. Depending on the material your home is made of such as clay, siding, wood, cement, stucco, or brick will determine the method of how to attach it. So make sure you know exactly how to anchor it to the material of your home before assembling it.
- In many communities, so long as you are not changing the structure of your house, pulling a permit isn’t always needed before putting in a screened porch. But it’s always best to err on the side of caution and call your local building authority to make sure. If you do have to build something to screen your porch properly, like a roof that ties into your home, you’ll almost always need a permit.
Pre-existing Decks or Patios
If you already have a covered porch (or a patio with a roof) the steps to screen in a porch with a kit are pretty do-it-yourself friendly. Also, having a pre-existing covered porch or patio makes screening it in with a kit a project that could be completed within a weekend.
The cost of a DIY kit will be extremely budget-friendly even if you include extra lumber, screen fabric, screws, and paint for finishing. You can expect a Screen Porch Kit with all the extras to run you about $300-$450. Meanwhile, hiring a contractor would not only include the kit’s price but payment for labor as well. You could see prices upward of $600 to $1000.
Think About Design
The type of screen porch you want should be considered before purchasing a kit as well. For instance, the size of the screen panels will depend on the size of your porch along with your tastes.
- Small screen panels will ultimately be easier to maintain and repair should a screen tear. However, small screen panels may obstruct views.
- Large screen panels will provide you wide-open views but they become more unwieldy to repair as well as being much more expensive to repair. Large screen panels also tend to see the screen begin to sag or bulge over time in a windy area, or if you have children and pets that bump against the bottom of the screening frequently.
So, it will be important to keep in mind what you want to use your porch for. If you plan on having children or if you plan on getting a dog and so on might influence which design will work best for you.
Other Useful Tips About Screen Porch Kits
- It’s always easier to cut down individual sections to fit a smaller area, but much harder to adjust to fit a larger area. Make sure you know and have your porch’s dimension and configuration at hand to purchase the kit size and supplies right for your space.
- If you are building your screen panels and choose wood, remember to invest in insect and weather-resistant woods like redwood, cedar, and treated lumber. This wood will be exposed to the elements.
- If using wood to build your screen frames, always use exterior-rated screws, like galvanized screws to prevent rust and corrosion. For treated lumber, use ACQ-compatible screws.
Using a screen porch kit is the most affordable, easy, convenient means to add screens to an already existing porch or patio. It can be done in little time, and with a kit, you get everything you could need to build at a fraction of the price it takes to hire a contractor. So, what are you waiting for? Get building your dream porch today!