A New Room to Enjoy: Building the Screened-in Porch

A New Room to Enjoy:  Building the Screened-in Porch

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted something.  I have been busy again.  And a forewarning, this post is extra long and picture happy. 

I have always wanted a screened-in porch, ever since I was little.  I love the outdoors, and I love our back yard, so we decided to finally go ahead a build one on the patio that is outside our walk out basement.  We have had a lot of flooding problems inside the house because this patio was built without any drainage precautions, but we had a drainage ditch installed along the edge two years ago, and it seems to have fixed the problem.  You can see in this picture, what we were up against.  That’s our dog, Harley.  patio flooding and shalingAlso, you can see that the patio wasn’t poured correctly, and so every time we had moisture that froze, it would cause the cement to crack and break apart.  The patio had a lot of shaling, so we decided we would cover that up:-)

Here is what we started with.  Pretty much a blank slate.  We did have help from our good friend, Joel, who helped us move the wood pile, dead leaves, and some dirt, before we got started.  Thanks, Joel!Blank slate

Thankfully Double D has an extensive background in construction. He took some measurements, wrote some numbers down, and we were off to the store to spend pretty much all of our money we had sat aside for this project.  There wasn’t too much room to manuever on any of the design elements.  Big thanks to our friend Jimmy for letting us borrow his trailer because those boards leaning up against the house are 16 feet long.  There was no way they would fit in my Xterra:-)

We started by laying 1x4s perpendicular to the house, and using a concrete nailer to fix them to the patio.  This was fun, and kind of loud. 1x4s on the patio

Then we laid the 1/2″ sheets of plywood down over the 1x4s and screwed them on.  We did have to cut three of the pieces to fit, but that wasn’t too big of a deal.Plywood flooring After the plywood was on, Double D and I decided to build the east wall.  In order to attach it to the side of the house, the siding had to be cut away to fit a 4×4.  This was the point that there was no going back.  I was basically cutting into the side of my house, and short of residing the entire house, there would be no way to fix it.  We started with tin snips, but eventually had to use the circular saw to cut the siding away. After that, we stood the built wall up and attached it to the side of the house, and the new floor. That was the end of Day One.

For Day Two, my poor, poor parents got roped in to helping us.  However, without them, we wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far as what we did, so a big thanks to them. Pop and Double D started by building the south wall, complete with space for the door. South wall being built

After it was built, they stood it up and secured it to the east wall, and the flooring.  Now it was starting to look better. Pop and Double D also laid the base plate along the retaining wall for the west wall.  That was hard to do because it has a slope instead of an actual angle, but we worked it out by using short pieces of 2x4s until we got past the slope.  South wall

I don’t have pictures for the next couple of steps, but basically, we ripped some more siding off horizontally along the side of the house for the joist support piece of wood. That took a little bit and the 2x8s were heavy. While Pop was attaching the joist hangers that would hold the 2x4s for the ceiling, Double D and I went behind him and put the 2x4s up, then screwed them in.  That was the end of Day Two (thankfully).roof supports are on

Roof supports thru the treesDay Three was just me and Double D working on the porch.  We started by building the west wall because that was the last one that needed to be done. West wall

It was occasionally drizzling, but nothing that hindered us from putting the roof on. We attached the metal flashing over the 2×8 support piece, and then started putting the PVC roofing material on.  We used the wavy wood boards to screw the roof pieces into, and added support pieces in the middle of each one.  We are hoping to put on an actual roof in the next couple of years, but our budget wouldn’t allow for one this time around. Roof material Unfortunately, we got halfway through the pieces when someone (who will remain nameless) drilled into my finger, so it was off to Urgent Care for us.  It was pretty gross, and hurt pretty bad, but I didn’t need any stitches thankfully.  They cleaned it out, gave me tetanus shot, slapped a Band-aid on it, and sent me on my way.  Back to work for me. We worked the rest of the day, and got the ceiling completely covered.  End of Day Three.  Roof almost complete

We let it sit for about a week and a half because we were prepping for a camping trip, and dealing with other stuff that life threw at us.

We eventually got back to it, and Day Four consisted of an evening in which we installed a 2x10x20 support beam on the underside of the roof, because we didn’t want the roof to collapse under the weight of any snow we might get.  We live in Kansas, and that is a real possibility considering how much snow we have been known to get.  A big thanks to Russ for helping us out on this one.  I don’t think I could have lifted it too well:-).

Day Five was door installation, screen and trim.  We started with the door, since we knew we wanted to get that on and leveled up.  It was fairly painless, and since we bought an all-in-one kit, went pretty fast.Door is in  Next was attaching the screen to each 2×4 from top to bottom, and then doing the triangle pieces that make up the roof slope.  This took the longest, and we did it on the hottest day, so it was no fun.  However, the screen went on well with the use of my electric staple gun my parents got me one Christmas, and was easy to cut to trim it up.Screen going up   Here is a picture of the east side partially screened.  Only 17 more to go:-)

This picture is of the screen on the west side and half of the south side, with the door already up.  Moving right along.South side screened Once the screen was completely up, we then had to trim the outside to cover the staples.  We used a brad nailer borrowed from our friend, Bob.  Thanks, Bob!  That worked very well, and I might have to have one now:-) This will also make it easy to remove any screen that might have to be replaced.  Just pop off the trim pieces, remove the staples and replace the screen. In this picture, the east side is trimmed, and you can see the staples on the south side, waiting to be covered. We got everything done on Day Five, so now all we have to do is enjoy and decorate it!trim pieces up

And here it is completed, cleaned, and my vintage patio furniture put out.done!

West side doneI have a lot more to do with the inside, since I want to build two benches, create a pallet coffee table, and paint a whole bunch of stuff.  For right now, I can’t imagine a more peaceful place to relax.  Thanks Double D for working so hard, and not just slapping something up to the side of the house like I wanted to do! I will be sure to add more pictures after the other projects are complete.inside done  Thanks for looking!


Partying with Between Naps on the Porch, Thrifty Decor Chick and The Shabby Creek Cottage:

Thrifty Decor Chick

shabby creek cottage


19 responses »

  1. How cool is that Sarah and Daniel. You both worked so hard and it looks great! Can’t wait to come by and sit a spell:)

    • Thank you! So far it has been keeping out the mosquitos we have here, and those horrible June bugs. It is very nice to sit outside and not have to worry about any of that.

  2. Scottie and I had to read this together because I knew he would enjoy seeing your construction project since he is always building things too.

    • Thanks for reading, and showing it to Scottie, Elinor. I hope it all made sense. It was a lot of hard work, but it is awesome being able to enjoy it.

  3. What an awesome project! I have wanted a screened in area for years. I eagerly followed your picture narrative and think I could do something similar – with the right handy people and tools – and $$ to buy the materials. Thanks for showing it. Visiting from Thrifty Decor Chick.

    • Thank you for looking at the post. It is very fortunate that my husband had a lot of construction experience, or I don’t think we would have been able to do it, so you are right about needing the RIGHT handy people. Best of luck to you!

  4. Pingback: I miss my dog… | DanDàphotographier

  5. Great looking project for sure. It is now some 5 or so years later from the original construction. Your blog mentioned wanting to change out the corrugated poly roof for a “real one” which I guess means a shingled or more weather worthy one. Did you follow through with those plans? It looks as though your original design used 2×4’s for roof rafters supported mid-span by a couple of 2×8’s (perhaps).

    Most roofs are supported by either manufactured rafters made of 2×4’s with lots of bracing to support the load of a decked and shingled roof. If not using these manufactured units, one usually as to beef up the rafters to at least 2×6’s or even 2×8’s if the span is too long. Did you find that your original construction of 2×4’s sufficient for the real roof?

    I live in coastal Florida and when hurricane Irma blew through here, I lost my existing screened porch which I am now looking at ways to replace. Therefore this message to you.


    • Hi Steve,
      We actually have the same corrugated poly roof on the screened-in porch that we put up in 2012. I hesitate to say this, because I don’t want to jinx anything, but it has held up surprisingly well! (We were originally worried about hail, since we get a lot of that in the spring.) That being said, we never put on a shingled roof.
      I don’t believe we had done this step when I did the blog post, but we did add 2x4s in the middle of each panel, on the underneath side. While we don’t have hurricanes here, we do have a lot of snow, and we were worried that it might be too heavy, if the snow didn’t melt right away. So far, we have had no issues and the extra support seems to be holding.
      That is the only additional steps that we’ve done with the porch.
      Good luck with yours, and sorry to hear about Irma:(

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s