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Screen House Options

Screen houses are a great addition to your home or yard and make for a relaxing oasis to rest and de-stress. If you are looking into purchasing or building your own screen house, you have a few options to consider.

First, do you want your screen house to be “three season” or are you only interested in keeping the bugs out in the summer? A “three season” porch will require you to buy windows that will close out the wind, rain, and cold when needed. This is an actual room and will not give you as much of the outdoor feeling as a true screen house, whose walls are made of screen only. Both options have their own ups and downs. I love the feel of screen walls that will allow the breeze to flow through and make you feel like you are truly outside. The downside of this plan is wind and rain can invade your sanctuary. You may want to buy plastic roll-down shades to keep your furniture dry; or you can buy covers for your furniture, as you would for a deck. A “three season” porch will keep out the rain, but may also hold heat.

You can buy screen house kits as a free standing house or attached enclosure off your home. You can use concrete or your decking for flooring; but if you are building a deck to hold the screen house, be sure to lay screens over the floor joists before you lay your decking, as bugs and mosquitoes will come up through the spacing on the deck. If you are adding a screen house to your existing deck, buy some inexpensive indoor outdoor carpeting to take care of this problem.

An inexpensive option is to make your own screen house using 4x4’s as a frame and simply nailing screen to the frame. A roof can be made out of 2x4’s and covered with fiberglass sheet roofing. Metal is another option for the roof, but this may attract heat and make your screen house unbearably hot. A more expensive option would be to make a roof out of trusses and shingles. If you are making a flat roof, be sure to make one wall about 3 inches lower to allow the rain to run off the roof. It is a good idea to anchor any screen house to a base, whether it is decking or concrete, as a good wind can easily blow it away. If you are constructing your own screen house, be sure and apply for a permit. Screen house kits are not considered permanent and do not require a permit.

We bought a Patio Mate Screen Enclosure that used one wall of our home as an anchor and gave us three walls of screening. I love this enclosure. The sliding door can be placed anywhere on the enclosure for easy access. You do have to order an anchor kit to anchor the screen house to your deck. Fir strips used to anchor the kit to the house are also not included. The other comment I have is that the instructions were fairly hard to follow. We are quite adept at putting things together and this was a full day’s project. I think their screen houses would probably be easier to erect than the enclosures attached to your home. We had to use a portable enclosure due to zoning laws in our area, but I would have much preferred to just build my own with 4x4’s and screen. The screen kits run anywhere from $500 to $1000 and up.


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