A well-planned screened porch can extend a home's living spaces during at least three seasons. You have many options for dining, entertaining, relaxing and working on a screened porch. This space can be anything from a child's play area to a home office. By investing time in its design, you can create a room that adds market value to your home.
Install a Sturdy Roof
Plan a well-made roof for the porch. By creating a roof that ties into the home's roof rafters, for example, you will have a porch that is secure during storms. An A-frame roof, hip roof or slightly slanted roof can work well. However, invest in high-quality lumber and roof materials. Adding wall materials for enclosing part of it at any time works best if the roof is sound.
Construct a Strong Entry Door
Design a heavy-duty outside door. The main door coming from a deck or patio will get a lot of use. Design a door with well-made framing that can survive lots of slamming or strong winds. You want a door that will lock securely just in case you want to leave personal items in the screened area temporarily or on storage shelves. Install a double set of hinges to give the door added structural support too.
Make It Snug
You'll want to keep insects out, which you can do by securing the edges with wood trim to fit tightly around flooring and roof areas. Constructing the screened porch on concrete versus a deck flooring works well to keep insects out. The spaces between floor boards offers an opportunity for bees or other insects to find their way inside. Address this issue with an outdoor area rug over floor boards or screening stapled under the flooring.
Allow Elbow Room
Create an interior big enough for ample furnishings. You'll need chairs and a dining table, but you may also want to include a media cabinet for a CD player or small television. Installing storage under sitting benches or in a wall cabinet is handy. Don't overcrowd the space, however, or this will defeat the purpose. A screened porch should be uncluttered and neat at all times. Otherwise, it will just become a source of stress in terms of gathering clutter.
Follow Electrical Codes
Install good lighting and safe electrical wiring. If you decide to read the newspaper or serve dinner late in the evenings, appropriate lighting helps. Check local building codes about how to run electricity for lighting and outlets to accommodate a television or small refrigerator. Ensure the wiring is installed permanently, not just serving the porch via extension cords.
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