With a little effort and moderate expense you can winterize your aluminum screen porch to create a wonderful room for year-round use. Installing manufactured acrylic panels will let the warming sunshine in while insulating the porch from cold weather. Choose an energy efficient space heater to provide additional warmth. Insulated drapes, which can be drawn at night, and heavy rugs add warming touches. With proper lighting you now have an inviting sun room to enjoy all year. Just remove the acrylic panels in the spring and replace again when fall temperatures drop.
Things You'll Need
- Mop or soft brush
- Liquid dish detergent
- Steel measuring tape
- Acrylic or plexiglass panels
- Acrylic cleaner
- Soft cloths
Wash all screens with detergent and water using soft brush or mop. Rinse completely and allow them to dry.
Measure all screens and jot down results. Purchase manufactured acrylic or plexiglass panels if your screens are standard sizes, choosing the heaviest weight you can afford. These will come with mounting clips and screws.
Apply weatherstripping to all four edges of each acrylic panel and also around the door. A separate weatherstrip sweeper strip may be needed a the bottom of the door.
Remove protective film from acrylic panels and clean with acrylic cleaner and soft cloth. Install panels per manufacturer's directions on the outside of the screens using rust proof clips or screws and rubber washers.
Sweep floor (and ceiling for cobwebs). This is a good time to refresh the porch floor with another coat of paint or stain.
Decorate your porch with drapes, rugs, furniture and lighting. Plug in the space heater and get ready for some relaxation in the comfort of your new living space.
Tips & Warnings
- If manufacture panels are not available in the sizes you need, order acrylic sheet cut to your measurements. Ask the vendor to polish the edges to remove sharp surfaces. These are available online and in most locales. Screw the panels into the framing around the screens, using washers to protect the acrylic and prevent cracking.
- Over tightening screws will cause acrylic to crack.
- Acrylic scratches very easily. Do not place objects on panels. Do not place panels of surfaces that can scratch them.
- Clean with special acrylic cleaner and soft cloth. Do not use Windex or other chemicals. Do not use paper towels.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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