How Do I Staple a Wood Screen Porch?

Add screens to a porch to keep bugs out.
Add screens to a porch to keep bugs out. (Image: lizard on screen image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com)

Screening a porch offers an area to sit and enjoy the outside weather while providing protection from insects and small animals. Screens are available in aluminum, copper, fiberglass and tear-resistant fabric with sizes ranging from 36-inches wide to 96-inches wide and 100-feet or longer making fitting screens to a porch easy. Fiberglass and tear-resistant fabric are good choices for pet owners and those living in areas with severe weather. Copper screening provides and strong, durable and long-lasting enclosure, but at a much higher price. Aluminum screening is moderately strong, but more vulnerable to tears and holes than copper, fiberglass or tear-resistant fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • Pre-hung screen door
  • 1-by-2 lumber
  • Circular saw
  • Metal shears
  • Scissors
  • Heavy-duty staple gun
  • Galvanized staples

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Measure the height and length of the porch to determine the amount of screening you'll need. Measure the distance between posts to determine the width of the screening.

Install a pre-hung screen door at the top of the porch stairs by framing the door size with 2-by-4 lumber. Cut one 2-by-4 piece of lumber with a circular saw to equal the width of the door plus 4 inches. Cut two 2-by-4 pieces of lumber with a circular saw to equal the height from the floor to the porch ceiling. Nail the two-two by fours into the porch floor and ceiling in an upright position spaced the width of the door plus 4 inches. Nail in the top support fitting in between the upright 2-by-4s to equal the height of the door plus 4 inches. Cut a piece of 1-by-2 lumber to fit in between the uprights, nail the 1-by-2 to the side supports at the bottom of the frame and into the porch at the base of the uprights. Cut three pieces of 2-by-4 lumber to fit from the top of the frame to the porch ceiling, place them standing upright on top of the frame, and nail them into the frame and into the porch ceiling to create a header. Fit the pre-hung door into the opening and nail the door jamb into the frame.

Unroll the screening material and place it up to an inside corner of the porch, leaving an extra 2 inches at the top and sides. Install the screen while standing on the porch and enclosing the inside rather than working on the outer perimeter.

Cut the screen at the bottom, leaving an excess of 2 inches, with metal shears or scissors depending on the screening material.

Hold the screen in place at the top and staple the screen into the wood along the top of the porch every 2 inches using a heavy-duty staple gun loaded with galvanized staples.

Fold the 2-inch excess over 3/4 inch and then over again 1/2 inch to create a thick border. Staple it in place every 2 inches in between the existing staples.

Pull the screening to the side and staple it into a porch corner post every 2 inches. Fold the screen over 3/4 inch and over again 1/2 inch, and staple it in place every 2 inches, in between the existing staples.

Draw the screening taut and staple into the next porch post every 2 inches, fold the excess over 1/2 inch and over again, staple into the post every 2 inches in between existing staples.

Staple the screen to the decking, or bottom of the porch rails if they meet the porch decking, every 2 inches. Fold the excess over 3/4 inch and again fold it over 1/2 inch, and staple it in place in between existing staples.

Repeat between each porch post until the screening covers the entire porch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider stapling plastic over the screens in winter to trap heat.

References

  • "The Simon and Schuster Complete Guide to Home Repair and Maintenance"; Bernard Gladstone; 1987
  • "Grandpa's 5001 Handyman Secrets"; Dr. Myles H. Bader; 2006
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