Screening in a Porch
Don't Sweat It host Steve Watson shows how to create an outdoor room for your home.
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fiberglass screen material
1x2s for trim
screen door kit, including door hardware
powder actuated nail gun
reciprocating saw or handsaw
Tip: Always use a chemical-blocking primer on pressure-treated wood. It prevents the chemicals in the wood from bleeding through the paint and causing color staining.
1. Remove existing railing. If railing is metal, use a reciprocating saw to cut the railing down and grind flush with the flooring.
2. Measure the space between existing posts and build a frame out of 2x4s to fit the screen. If using a 48-inch screen, lay out the studs 24 inches apart, so you'll always have a secure place to seam the screen. Add a 2x4 halfway up to act as a handrail. To hide the nail, nail diagonally from underneath the handrail. Measure the screen door and leave the correct space for the opening. The frames should be a tight fit. Lay a piece of lumber perpendicular to the frame and use a sledgehammer to put it in place. Nail to the existing posts. If flooring is made of concrete, use a powder actuated nail gun to attach to the bottom.
3. Prime and paint the frames as desired. Paint the trim pieces on sawhorses to save a lot time later. Let dry.
4. Staple one side of the screen to the stud, starting in the top corner of the frame. Stretch the screen taut, working your way down one side and then staple to other side. Once the screen is stapled, cut off the excess with a utility knife. If you make a mistake, carefully pull the staples through and start over.
5. Cover all staple lines with the painted 1x2 trim. Cut to fit and tack it up over the staples. Since it's already painted, you will only have to touch up over the nail holes.
6. Hang the screen door by screwing through the hinge side and snapping the top into place. Screw the strike side (the side with the handle) to the framing. After the door is secure, attach the handle, strike plate and closing piston according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Steve Watson and his team help this family by showing them how to transform their porch with a new floor, ceiling and columns.