A deck is a great place for enjoying the outdoors, but there are times when the outdoors can be less than friendly. When weather and insects intrude on your enjoyment, it may be time to enclose your deck. An enclosed deck not only allows you to enjoy the fresh air on those days when the negative aspects of nature intrude, it also adds to the value of your home. Building one isn't difficult, either. Follow a few simple techniques to make enclosing your deck a viable DIY project.
Before beginning your enclosure, check with your local building authorities to find any regulations that may affect your plans.
Check the flooring of your deck, as you'll need a solid base on which to build your enclosure. Any cracks or gaps between planks will have to be sealed to prevent insects from crawling in through your deck. The roof will add weight to your deck, so additional support under your deck may be needed. You can build an enclosure around any deck, but the ideal flooring for enclosing is one made from brick or concrete. No matter the flooring type, make sure the floor has adequate drainage away from the deck before enclosing it.
Create anchor bolts in your flooring on which you can attach the walls of the enclosure, mounting the bolts around the perimeter of the deck.
Your enclosure can be constructed in phases, the first being the framing of the enclosure. When constructing the frame you'll want to build an entire frame wall for the enclosure and then raise and secure the wall into place. Start with the front wall of your enclosure. Build the front wall with a bottom and top plate. Use 4-inch by 4-inch corner posts with 2-by-4 cuts for the studs between the posts and the blocking pieces providing bracing between the studs in the lower framing. When the frame wall is complete, raise it and attach to the anchor bolts. Use a brace to keep it steady. Build the remaining walls and place them as well, connecting the walls together.
You can create the deck cover from a variety of materials, including solid roofing materials, sheeting or Fiberglas panels. Use the house to support the rear of your patio cover. Attach support beams to your home's roof and the front posts of your enclosure walls. Attach the ceiling trusses to the support beams, spanning the deck space and then attach roofing materials to the trusses, creating your roof.
With the walls in place, you should screen the enclosure. Choose a screening material that provides protection from insects as well as an attractive look. Screening comes in several materials such as aluminum, copper, rust-proof bronze and vinyl.
To install the screen, you need to cut the wire to fit each opening, overlapping studs about 1 inch to provide enough screen wire to securely attach it to the enclosure studs. Start at the top of the wire, and pull the screen downward. Staple the bottom edge into place, making sure that the screen remains smooth and free of wrinkles. Once the top and bottom are placed, attach ¾-by-1 ½-inch batten boards over the screen edges on the studs, nailing them into place.
Install the doors to your enclosure by hinging them to batten boards. You can install springs and hooks or screen-door closures to keep the door shut when desired.
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