But these type screens are also useful on porches or enclosed patios. If your porch has built in windows, these screens will be the same ones you use on your home windows. But another option is to use screens as windows on your porch or patio. Typically, the screens are attached between the porch posts. As shown, the screening can also be used between the posts and railings. Or, the screens can go from the beam to the floor.
There are many reasons for using screening material as your porch windows.
Porch Window Screen Benefits
Insect and animal guard: A porch screen is basically your first line of defense against insects and other animals invading your porch. Insects like mosquitoes and cockroaches are not only a nuisance but are known carriers of diseases that could potentially harm your family. Small animals from the rodent family can also harm your family with bites which can infect you with rabies.
The window screen is an effective way to keep these unwanted creatures from entering your porch and causing you and your family harm.
Dirt and debris guard: Falling leaves and other outside materials carried by the wind can easily enter your porch if it is exposed to the air. Imagine the problems it could cause your porch if you are not protected from this type of debris during a storm.
Then there’s the issue of clean up. It’s always a pain to clean this dirt and trash from your porch. The protection that screening offers can relieve you from tiresome cleanup as well as accidental destruction of tables, chairs, or other furnishing you keep on the porch.
You may not think much about this protection in the summer months, but you will want this benefit during seasons with strong winds and rainstorms.
Natural Ventilation: Not only does a screen window protect your porch, but it also allows natural airflow inside. Having natural ventilation is both healthy and relaxing. You can enjoy gentle breezes while still getting the protection from the sun the porch roof or patio cover offers. This would be especially enjoyable in the summer and spring. If you live in a warmer climate, you can get this benefit all year round.
But even if you live in a place with a cold winter, when your house gets too warm, you can take a quick retreat to your screened in porch and get a breath of fresh air.
Sunlight and Heat Reduction: If you choose solar screening material, your porch window screens can also offer protection against the sun’s rays. Some solar screens can block out up to 90% of the sun’s rays. This can be very beneficial if your porch or patio windows get a lot of sunlight.
What’s more, these type screens can help reduce the heat that gets into and out of your porch. This can make the porch more comfortable in the hot months and useable in the cooler seasons.
The drawback of solar screens, however, is that they may cut down on your outside visibility.
Additional Space: With a porch or enclosed patio attached to your home, you can instantly increase the space you have available. You can use the porch for entertaining all during the summer and into the spring. With screens for windows you don’t have to worry about bugs fighting with your guests for food.
If you have kids, you can use the additional space as a play area. Because it’s attached to the house, it’s a safe place to play. And the window screens can prevent toys from flying out into the back yard.
Porch Screen Wire
Porch screening material is typically chosen from among the following types.
Aluminum: Strong and long lasting. Usually only available in black, charcoal, and a bright silver.
Fiberglass: Long lasting, because it often has a protective vinyl coating. Less prone to scratching, rotting, or corrosion. Popular because it’s available in many different colors.
Bronze: In time, this mixture of copper and zinc weathers to a bronze color. Resistant to corrosion in salt air.
Stainless steel: Long lasting and resistant to corrosion. Usually costs more than other choices. Fewer color choices.
For more detailed information about screening material, read Window Screen Material and Construction.
When building your porch or outdoor patio, you’ll want to plan for the screen windows. Since most screening material is a standard 36 inches, you’ll want your posts on 36 inch centers. If your posts are too far apart, the screening material might sag when installed.
A horizontal rail at about 30 to 32 inches high is also recommended as this is chair back height. That can prevent people in chairs from accidentally knocking the screening out of place.
Your screen windows can be stapled or tacked to the porch posts and rails. This is the most typical method of installation. Screens attached this way do tend to sag and if they need replacing you’ll have a lot of work removing all the staples and tacks.
Another method is to build a more permanent wood frame that the screening material is attached to. You then screw the frames into the porch framing. This allows you to use a different frame, such as one with glass, when the weather gets colder.
A newer method is to use a system called Screen Tight, which is sold at many home centers. This system is based on vinyl strips that allow you to lock the window screen against the framing.
Using a window screen on your porch or enclosed patio can allow you to enjoy this outdoor extension to your home throughout the year.