Turn Your Deck or Patio into a Screened-In Porch


Make the most of your back yard this summer by turning your deck or patio into a screened-in porch. You can create the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about summer sun and heat, rain storms, and pesky bugs and mosquitoes.

For professional results, it’s best to hire a licensed remodeling contractor for the conversion. According to real estate studies, a screened-in porch offers a 70 percent return on investment when you stay in your home for at least five years after completion.

Choose the Right Roof

Choosing the right roof can mean the difference between a porch that looks like part of the original house plan or one that looks like an afterthought. Here are some tips:

* Choose a roof shape that’s compatible with your home’s existing roof line. A hip roof will provide the most strength and support. A gable roof will let in the most light. A shed-style roof will be the most economical.

* If your deck or patio has an existing roof or cover, you may be able to build a new roof over it to save money. You will probably need to replace the flashing and rearrange the gutters and downspouts to work with the new roof line.

* To unify the conversion and enhance your home’s style, use the same roofing material that’s on your main roof.

Choose the Right Screen

When selecting a screen, consider your lifestyle and how you intend to use your porch. If you have a beautiful view, don’t block it with an obtrusive screen material. If you have pets and small children, make strength a priority. Here are some options:

* Fiberglass (17 cents/sq. ft.) – An inexpensive, lightweight screen that comes in black or charcoal gray. It’s easy to install, but it stretches and tears easily.

* Aluminum (26 cents/sq. ft.) – The least visible type of screen that’s stronger and more durable than fiberglass, but it dents easily and can oxidize over time.

* Vinyl-Coated Polyester (60 cents-$1.53/sq. ft.) – A very strong material that’s used to make pet screens. It also helps to dissipate heat in hot, sunny climates.

* Bronze ($1.10/sq. ft.) – A strong material that resists oxidation in salt air along coast lines. It develops a nice patina with age.

* Monel ($2.25-$5/sq. ft.) – A very strong screen material made of copper, nickel and stainless steel. It will not tear, rust or corrode over time.