Adding a screened porch to your house extends the amount of pleasant space your family can relax in without leaving home. It enables you to be closer to nature, while enjoying all the comforts of the indoors. One of the most important ingredients to gaining the benefits a screened porch can provide is the screens themselves.
For anyone planning to add a screened porch to their home, choosing the right screens is an essential part of the process.
5 Questions to Consider Before Selecting Screens for Your Screened Porch
Choosing the right screens for your screened porch starts with clarifying what you want out of your screened porch. There are a few good questions that can help shape your decision.
How do you plan to use your screened porch?
Each homeowner will have their own vision for how they see themselves using their screened porch. Do you imagine drinking your morning coffee while looking out over your garden? Sitting around a fireplace on the porch on cold winter nights?
Thinking through how you plan to use your porch will be important in planning the overall design of it and what features to include. And it can help you determine whether certain screen features—like how much light they let in, or how much of a view you can see through them—are important to you.
Do you want the screens up full time?
Some families are certain they want the protection screens provide from bugs and bad weather at all times. Others will want the option to open them up occasionally on nice days to get more of the view or the breeze from outside. Both options are possible, and defining which you prefer upfront will help you get the screened porch you want.
What are your priorities for your screened porch?
Is keeping your costs low a top priority for you? Or do you want your screened porch to exactly match all your desires, with expense as no issue? Is it important to you that the screens be resilient and need minimal long-term maintenance? Do you have a gorgeous backyard that you want to be able to see well from your screened porch, or is privacy from the neighbors more important than your view? Work out what your top priorities are, so you can base your decision on what matters most to you.
Do you have pets or kids?
Pets and kids both add a lot of joy to life—but often at the cost of a tendency toward destruction. If your screens need a bit of extra strength to ensure they can withstand a pet’s scratches or a kid’s clumsiness, that’s an important factor to take into consideration.
Do you have aesthetic preferences?
There’s not a ton of aesthetic variety in the screens available, but there is some. You can choose between colors like silver, charcoal, bronze, white, and tan. But getting picky about the coloring can complicate your options—in some cases, going for a less common color could mean having to invest more in custom tracks that go with your specialty screens.
The Main Types of Screens We Recommend
We do a lot of screened porch installations, and there are three main types of screens we consistently recommend for our clients.
Screeneze sells fiberglass, vinyl, windowless screens. They’re the most common option homeowners we work with choose, and the best economical choice for those on a budget. Screeneze sells a screening system with a track and a cover, and we’ve found their screens are easy to repair when needed. For anyone who wants to ensure an easy maintenance option over time, they’re a solid choice.
They also offer a variety of screen options. You can choose your preference based on factors such as the degree of visibility the screens provide, how durable they are, and how much air flow they allow.
EZE Breeze screens cost more than Screeneze, but they provide a window-style option that you can open and close as needed. You can choose when you want to keep wind and pollen out, and when you want to let the breeze in. You can also choose whether you want to slide them up and down or left and right.
They offer a variety of frame colors (white, beige, bronze, khaki, and black), as well as vinyl colors (clear, bronze, and two shades of gray). The screens are durable, to the degree that the company offers a 10-year warranty. If you’re willing to pay a little more to have the option to install screens for your porch that have windows—so you can shut out the outdoor elements you don’t like, as needed—they’re a smart option.
Safety note: Be aware with EZE Breeze that there are some restrictions on the heating features you can have on your porch. If you include a gas fireplace on your screened porch, 30,000 BTU is your maximum option for safety.
Many homeowners spend time torn between deciding whether they want a screened porch or an open porch. Phantom Screens offer the best of both worlds, with motorized screens you can open and close via remote control. They’re a great option for anyone that appreciates the flexibility of choosing between screens or full access to nature depending on the weather or your mood. But as you might expect, they are the priciest option. For homeowners that can afford the investment, these are the premium option for your screened porch.
Tips for Installing a Screened Porch
Picking out the right screens will impact your overall satisfaction with your screened porch, but you want to take the right steps to get the entire project right. To ensure a successful screened porch installation, make sure to:
- Hire a reputable contractor – Finding a contractor you can trust is crucial for any home improvement project. It’s the most important step to ensure your screened porch will be built safely and to code, while also meeting your needs and preferences.
- Discuss your budget and needs – A good contractor will help you work through how to get a screened porch that comes closest to your vision, while staying within your budget. That includes helping you understand the cost-benefit analysis of your main screen options.
- Consider durability and maintenance – Your screened porch can look amazing on day one, but if you find that your screens tear easily or let in a lot of dirt and pollen that leaves you cleaning all the time, it may impact your overall satisfaction. Think about durability and ongoing maintenance from day one, so you can make informed choices that ensure long-term happiness with your screened porch.
Take the Next Step
You already know you want a screened porch, the next step to making that desire a reality is reaching out to a good contractor. For families in the Charlotte, NC area, Fineline Construction is a go-to local expert on building screened porches. Let us help you get a plan in place to build the screened porch of your dreams