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Springtime Means Porch Time: Answers to Your Most FAQs

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.

Building a Screened-in Porch

Hope you find this information helpful…here goes.

Building a Screened-in Porch

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.

Build a Screened-in Porch

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.

Build a Screened-in Porch

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.

Build a Screened-in 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

Build a Screened-in Porch

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.

Screened-in Porch, Deck and Pergola Additions Renovations

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.

Build a Screened-in Porch

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

Preparing the Porch and Decks for Spring

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.

Build a Screened-in Porch

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.

Screened-in Porch, Deck and Pergola Additions Renovations

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.

9 Great Features for Your Screened-in Porch
Tour the Porch
Hiding Ugly Swing Chains
Painted Hutch for Porch
Refurbishing/staining the Decks

Information about the front porch addition can be found here: Front Porch Addition

See you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!




Comments

  1. Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest says:

    You absolutely have the best porch EVER. Thanks again for inspiring me. I need one and I intend of getting it somehow. It’s just our Ohio winters are so wet and miserable – I just am having trouble justifying having a porch when here it is either too hot, too cold and almost always too wet and humid. Sigh. We shall see – thank you again, Susan. Love that porch of yours!!!!!

    • Thanks, Michele. I’ve noticed the temperature on the porch is ALWAYS consistently 4-5 degrees cooler than the temperature anywhere else. When I’m driving home in the car, I’ll notice the temp, but once I’m home and on the porch, it always a lot cooler. Maybe it’s the trees in the back yard. The only time it’s really too hot here to be out there is for about 2 weeks in August. Even then, the mornings and evenings are wonderful out there. So you may find that your mornings and evenings would be perfect even if the middle of the day is too hot during some parts of the summer. Great place for breakfast and that evening glass of wine. :)

      • Betty Birkner says:

        What part of the country do you live at? Do you put all of your pillows up during any time of the year? I saw your post about cleaning the porch. Thanks

        • Betty, I’m in North Georgia. I usually don’t put any of them up, normally leave them out year around and just vacuum them off every so often. I recently washed all the cushions that were on the dining chairs, they were 6 years old and had never been washed. They came out looking almost like the day I bought them, just a teensy bit faded. I haven’t put them back out on the dining chairs since the colors didn’t work with the Christmas decor but normally I do leave the cushions out year around. One reason I do that is because here in GA, we always get a few warm days each month during the winter, temps will sometimes reach the 60s and 70s, so it’s nice to already have the cushions out there for those nice days.

  2. Cynthia says:

    Your porch is absolutely breathtaking. It is so stunning I don’t even nowhere to begin from the lighting, the curtains on the sid,e the furniture and no metion the hutch it is just beautiful and to have it screened in is a huge bonus. I am so jealous that when we were building our home we didnot think of do this since we live int woods with tons of bugs. We sit outside at the right time of day to deal with it though. Cynthia

    • Cynthia, it’s never to late to add one. This house didn’t have one for the first 26 years of it’s life and for the first 16 years I lived here. You would LOVE having one! Go for it!

  3. I love your screened in porch. That is something I have always wished we could incorporate into our home.

  4. crystal woolever says:

    I love your Sumer Breeze sign, I would like to try and recreate it. Thanks for this post!!

  5. Elizabeth @ Pine Cones and Acorns says:

    What a beautiful porch, I am sure that it is like being in a treehouse!

  6. Sanna - My Blueberry House says:

    Hi Susan, Great Q&A´s! I have always admired your porch! One thing I´ve been thinking about is, if it´s a “real” screened-in porch? Do you have glass windows all around? Looking at the pics I can´t tell if you have or don´t have, maybe you hook them off..? If so, how did you construct the frames? Have a nice day! Sanna

    • Hi Sanna, Yes, it’s all screened…no windows. I really wanted the openings to be BIG and often when you build porches that can be glassed in for winter, the windows are a lot smaller. I looked into those type porches but decided to go with just screening.

      • Lois Stokes says:

        Your porch is awesome. I’m doing research now to add a porch to a patio I have.
        Can you tell me what kind of screen you used?

  7. Deanna Schultz says:

    So beautiful Susan! I’m jealous!

  8. ❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ says:

    I am still coveting your porch!!! It is absolutely lovely and cozy. I have a side porch that is small but I would love to convert it to a screened in porch much like yours. It’s on my wish list :)

  9. Brandi says:

    Your porch is so beautiful. I bet you really enjoy it out there!

  10. dreamingahome says:

    That last picture makes me covet your porch. I know that you’re not really supposed to covet your neighbour’s porch, but it’s so beautiful I’m sure I’ll be forgiven! :) Liz

  11. The Decorative Dreamer says:

    I love your porch! I especially love the arches and the overall size. We have a screened porch too and I would love to increase the size of it one day to extend across the back of our house. I was hoping to hear what size your porch is. You have such a nice amount of space to have a swing, seating area and dining table. It looks so well portioned without seeming too large. Would you mind sharing the dimensions? I enjoyed this post very much. It’s neat to know others are curious about some of the details too!

  12. Kimmie says:

    Beautiful…I would never want to leave. And i mean never. (guess that is why God has you living there and not me, we can see that my heart would totally make that room an idol.) ;-) Beautiful! Kimmie mama to 8 one homemade and 7 adopted

  13. Recipes We Love says:

    Your porch is beautiful!!! Amber

  14. Brooke @ Spruce Your Nest says:

    It is just stunning!

  15. Tombstone Livestock says:

    As always, love your porch but then your whole house is spectacular.

  16. Lizabeth @ Infuse with Liz says:

    Love your screened in porch! It’s perfect! Your ceiling is tongue and groove pine. Your contractor did an excellent job! I like that it’s so high too, it adds to a more secure feeling!

  17. About to screen in my existing backporch. I have railing as you do. I can’t decide whether to keep it or not. Is the screen on the inside or outside of the railing? Yours is just beautiful!

  18. Beautiful porch! Can you kindly give me some more information about the average total cost for the project and which firm you had help you? Also, can send pictures of the bottom base? I really appreciate any help you can give!
    Thanks in advance! Z.

  19. Kathy Griffith says:

    We just had a screened in porch built and it is still a work in progress. I would like to know what kind of curtains you used on your porch? Are they outdoor material? I am trying to convince hubby to do this exact look but he wants roll up shades, ewww.
    Thanks!

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