Screened-in porches require careful planning.

Screened-in porches are getting more popular as we are staying home more.  However, when making the choice to add one to your home, with so many new products, materials, and design ideas, planning a screened-in porch that suits your needs and wants can be a very difficult task.

1. Consider the door dynamics

This includes door placement and the type of door to use. When deciding on door placement, make sure that opening the screen door will not block the traffic flow from inside your house. We recommend homeowners always use aluminum doors. Wood doors tend to sag, and the movement prevents the screened-in porch from getting a clean seal when homeowners use a wood door.

2. Evaluate all aspects of screening

We recommend you always stay away from hand-stretched screening. The aluminum creases very easily, and when the time for screen replacement arrives, it will be laborious and require trim removal to replace the screen. We use fiberglass screens because the material is easier to work with and does not crease. You may want to use a charcoal or gray-colored screen to help reduce glare and block the sun.

3. Look into the light

With a home addition of any kind, you have to think about the loss of light in your home. A screened porch will reduce the amount of natural light in rooms adjacent to it.

You must also consider how much light you want inside your screened porch and how you wish to obtain that light. Do you want recessed lighting or ceiling fans with lights? Homeowners must decide on these options prior to any electrical work. You may consider one or more skylights if you want a tremendous amount of natural light within your screened porch.

4. Think about the electrical needs

Estimate how many outlets you will need as well as ceiling fans and any other type of lighting you decide to use. Many of our customers like to install wall-mounted flat-screen televisions in their screened-in porches. Installing a TV requires running cable and another wiring, so your electrician will need to know about it ahead of time.

5. Think about different screened-in porch materials

The materials you wish to use in your screened structure should look right and work together. There is a huge selection to choose from, including pressure-treated wood, cedar, composite, and vinyl to name a few. You also have to consider your flooring choice, exterior materials, and your interior trim. Interior trim finishes such as beadboard and wooden ceilings can add character and uniqueness to your structure — but nicer finishes also add to the price.

6. Research roof styles for the porch

Your roof style will likely be decided by the roof of your existing house and the amount of light you wish to receive within the structure. In some cases, a different type of roof will work and look better. A licensed contractor will help you choose the roof that best complements your home.

7. Plan how you’ll furnish your screened-in porch

It’s a good idea to pick out furnishings beforehand or have certain styles and sizes in mind. Use furnishings that lend the ability to do things to your screened-in porch and fit its unique design. To plan how furniture will fit in your finished porch, measure a room within your existing home and picture where each piece would fit.

8. Consider zoning requirements

It is crucial to know the zoning requirements in your area when building any type of structure. An expert will handle this for you and let you know what is required.

9. Choose the correct ceiling

Make certain you consider what type of ceiling you desire, such as flat or cathedral. Flat ceilings give your screened porch an interior room feel while the cathedral with its clerestory look is open and more outdoorsy.

10. Get a professional

Get a professional opinion about where to locate door openings and posts. This step will make sure that the porch’s structural soundness and avoids any safety or structural issues.

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