Now that spring has arrived and I’m using and posting more about the porch and decks, I’ve been getting a good many questions about the porch lately regarding its construction and furniture, so today I’m posting some of the most frequently asked questions along with three new pics of the porch during construction.
Q. What size is the porch?
A. The porch is 18 feet wide and 14 feet deep. The ceiling reaches 12 feet at its highest point.
Q. Do you have plans or blueprints I could borrow?
A. No, sorry, I do not have any plans or blueprints.
Q. How is your porch floor constructed?
A. The porch floor is a tongue and groove, pressured treated pine floor called KDAT, (Kiln Dried After Treatment.) You can read more about KDAT, HERE.
My contractor had it professionally installed, then it was sanded and covered with 2-3 coats of polyurethane. He had a very thick, heavy duty subflooring installed and the KDAT flooring is both nailed and glued to the subflooring. (See photo showing the subflooring below.) I wanted a solid flooring (not decking) to ensure bugs and mosquitoes couldn’t sneak in. If you go with deck flooring, bugs will sometimes come in through the spaces between the decking, unless you screen underneath the deck. Then debris and such tends to get caught in the screening. I wanted to avoid all those issues so I went with a solid flooring.
The porch is around 4 years old and the flooring has held up well. I’ve had a teeny bit of cupping on one edge of the flooring, but not enough to be a problem or to even be noticeable. My contractor initially recommended a tile floor but I really wanted a porch with that old fashioned porch feel. I thought about painting the floor a porch gray. I decided in the end I wanted the transition to the decks on either side to be seamless, so the porch floor is stained with the same stain I chose for the decks, Cabot’s Heartwood.
Q. Do you have problems with rain on your floor or on your furniture on the porch?
A. I have a fairly large overhang so when it rains it rarely comes in on the floor. Occasionally, when we have strong, blowing rains, the floor will get wet a few feet in on the front side. The flooring is made to be outdoors on porches so this has not been a problem. When the porch was being built, the unfinished floor had several inches of snow on it for 3 days during the winter. Once the snow melted, the floor was fine underneath.
The only furniture that gets wet is the oval table nearest the screens, and since it’s wicker with a heavily polyurethane top, this hasn’t been a problem.
Q. Where did you purchase the furniture on your screened in porch?
A. Dining set came from Pier 1; Swing came from Wicker Paradise, HERE; the outdoor wicker seating group came from Pier 1. I think they have it in again this spring/summer (2012). The coffee table came from a local antique/thrift shop; the oval wicker table is old and came from a local antique shop.
Q. How do you keep your porch so clean?
A. The porch is a full story up off the ground…that probably helps keep it a bit cleaner than if it were on ground level. From April to around November, I vacuum it about once a month and give it a general dusting…takes about 15-20 minutes. It’s a porch, so I don’t worry too much if it’s a little dusty or dirty, but I do enjoy cleaning it which is weird since I never really enjoy cleaning inside. The only really bad time is during pollen season. During those few weeks, I take the cushions in (if I can remember) and just wipe the porch down about once a week until pollen season passes. I’m always very glad when that’s over, because the pollen is INTENSE here.
Q. I have a question, I wanted to know on your screen porch, did you use an outdoor paint on your hutch. My house we had in the city, had a screen in porch across the back and pollen and mildew were an issue. Just wondering what you do to prevent this. But your porch is much larger, you may not have this problem. Before we add a porch on the back, I want to be prepared!
A. Yes, I did use an exterior grade paint on the green hutch, even though it’s in a protected location on the porch.
I used exterior grade because the paint store recommended it as an extra precaution for the temperature fluctuations and humidity. You’ll find a tutorial showing how I painted the hutch along with the paint color/formula in this post: How to paint a Dark Stained Hutch
For the most part, humidity/mold/mildew have not been a problem on the porch. The swing and seating group are all “outdoor” wicker and are meant to withstand weather shifts. The wicker coffee table is real wicker but was very inexpensive ($22 from a local thrift/antique store) so I won’t mind too much if it begins to show some wear. So far it looks great but again, it never gets rained on directly.
The dining table and chairs are probably meant for indoor use, but I took a chance and they have lasted through four winters with no problems. The only piece on the porch I’ve had any problem with is the oval wicker table that’s close to the screened windows. It occasionally shows spots of mildew/mold so I use a water solution with just a hint of of bleach or 409 to wipe down the legs about once a year.
Q. Where did you find the Summer Breeze sign?
A. I found this one at a local thrift/antique store for $35. You can also find them online for around the same price by Googling the phrase, “Summer Breeze Make Me Feel Fine sign.”
Q. What kind of fans do you have on the porch and where did they come from?
A. The fans are outdoor grade and are made by Hunter. I special ordered them through Lowe’s. They were perfect for the porch because the finish is done to mimic white wicker.
Exterior grade ceiling fans is one of the nine features you’ll find mentioned in this post: 9 Great Features for Your Screened-in Porch
Q. What is the ceiling made of on the front porch and the screened-in porch?
A. I’m not real sure. I believe it came in sheets and was kind of bead-board product. It has a narrow bead board look on one side and a wider plank look on the other. I chose to show the narrow, bead board side on the front porch ceiling and the wider, plank look on the screened-in porch ceiling. Here’s a photo of it right after it was installed on the screened-in porch. (see pic below)
Wish I had been blogging back when it was built. I would have taken lots more pics and gotten a bit more info on all the little details. If you’re interested in having a ceiling like this for your porch, just show this pic to your contractor or a local hardware store and they should be able to direct you to the right product.
Hope this helps to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the screened-in porch here at BNOTP. If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask them here in a comment or email me at betweennapsontheporchatgmaildotcom.
If you’re thinking about adding a screened-in porch to your home, here are some past posts you may be interested in checking out. I especially recommend the first one in the list below because it goes into a lot of details about lighting and other features you would want to consider when adding a porch, particularly a Screened Porch.
Information about the front porch addition can be found here: Front Porch Addition
See you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!