How to Turn a Deck Into a Screened-In Area

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Screening in your existing deck adds value and additional living space to your home. The screen also protects from insects and debris. If your deck does not already have a roof, the project requires more work and may be considerably more challenging without carpentry experience. Screening a deck with an existing roof, however, is a project easily completed by two do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Rolls of screen
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • 1 to 2 inch-wide pieces of cap trim
  • Small hand saw
  • 2-inch finishing nails
  • Hammer

Measuring

  • Measure the space between the deck posts to determine the width of the screen you will need. Rolls of screen are easy to find in widths of 36 and 96 inches at most hardware stores. Screen will need to extend an inch beyond the opening on each side.

  • Measure the length of the openings between the deck posts. Add 2 inches to the measurement of each open space to allow for stapling. The length of your openings will likely be the same.

  • Multiply the length measurement by the total number of screen panels needed. The answer tells you how many total yards or feet you need to complete the project. So, when you buy the screen rolls, buy enough total feet or yards to complete the project. Make sure the rolls are wide enough to staple on the outside of the opening they are to cover.

Screening

  • Unroll about 4 inches of one roll of screen. Have one person hold the roll at the top of a panel's opening. Be sure the screen is centered so that at least 1 inch extends beyond the open area on all four sides.

  • Staple across the top of the screen about 1/2 inch from the edge of the wood.

  • Pull the screen taut while the assistant staples along each side and the bottom. Be careful to keep the screen straight during this process.

  • Cut the roll with scissors at the bottom of the panel. Be sure the screen extends an inch beyond the bottom edge of the opening. Screen all panels.

Finishing

  • Measure and mark cap trim for cutting, referring to previous width and length measurements. Add 1 inch to all four sides of the screen.

  • Saw strips of cap trim to fit the measurements.

  • Cut corners at 45-degree angles to create a mitered fit when they are nailed in place.

  • Nail the strips in place, covering the exposed edges of all trim.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add a screened door to your deck project by purchasing a ready-made one from a hardware or home improvement store.
  • Choose your screen based on your intended plans of use. Nylon screen may be fine for homeowners with no pets or small children.
  • Adding the capping at the end of the project is not necessary, but it does provide a nice, finished look.
  • Use caution with scissors, saw and staple gun.
  • Don't use nails to connect the screen to the deck. They will not provide the same tight hold that staples do.
  • You can do this project alone, but having someone to pull the screen taut as you work is a big help and ensures a longer-lasting project.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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