Breezy, Bug-Free Screen Porch

A screen porch is a great way to extend your living space. (Hello, value and enjoyment!) Here’s what one of our contributors learned from screening in her existing 8 foot by 10 foot porch.
1. Consider the view from your porch. The homeowner’s railing included balusters, which obscured the view. Since the railing was warped, she replaced it and added cross bracing instead of the balusters. The cross bracing serves as support and allows for more visibility.
2. Use the wood or other material you demo for something else. She used the railing wood to build a compost bin.
3. Keep your comfort top of mind. The existing porch had a roof of sorts because it’s two levels. But the overhead floorboards let rain drip through. Solution? A hip corrugated sheet metal ceiling. Be sure to slope the ceiling material a bit so water runs off and away from the house.
You don’t want the heat of summer to limit your use of the space, so make sure to install an outdoor ceiling fan. The homeowner opted for one with dimmer switches for the fan and the light.
Plus, she added an extra outlet. You’ve got to hang string lights on a porch, right?
Probably the single most important comfort factor to plan for when you design a screened porch: Make sure bugs can’t come through the floor boards. In this case, her boyfriend had the genius idea to add lattice to the small space beneath the porch floorboards and the ground so he could staple screening to that.
Alternatively, you could lay down outdoor carpeting. Or, if there’s space to access the floorboards from underneath, you can screen them from below.
4. Consider the best method for install the screening. DIYers often use the old stapling method and cover the staples with lattice. But screens usually sag in a few years. This homeowner used a product called Screen Tight, which includes bases and caps that help hold the screen in place. The process was still labor intensive, but she said it worked well. Here’s the finished porch:
See project details, including materials and costs:
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Susan Susan on Feb 08, 2019

    Looks like a severe down slop out of the side door,Has anyone fallan and rolled down hill yet ?


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