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 as of this writing, 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 Makes 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 (which is real important for porches) and are made by Hunter. They were perfect for the porch because they have a wicker appearance. They come in both white and brown and are still available here: Hunter Bayview 54-inch Ceiling Fan I love them and have them going almost all the time.

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 a 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 a lot more pictures and would have 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 picture 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
Hiding Ugly Swing Chains
Painted Hutch for Porch
Information about the front porch addition can be found here: Front Porch Addition

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  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. 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. 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.

  20. Love your porch and your blog! We built a screened porch two years ago, and wish I would have had the benefit of your info at the time. One thing we did that was really helpful was to insulate the ceiling. Between that and the ceiling fan, we can be comfortable even on the hottest, most humid days. We’re in Minnesota and it does get hot and “buggy”. We did use the screen under the decking system, and so far it’s worked just fine for us.

    • Thanks, Barbara! You know, when my porch was being built, I asked my contractor about that. I asked him about putting insulation in the ceiling and he said, no. I can’t remember why now but it was either against the building code here or maybe it was because it would void the warranty on the roof. In any case, he gave me a reason why it couldn’t be done. Oh, I just remembered, the blog Young House Love actually did a post about that. They opened up a sunroom and turned it into a porch and started insulating it, but had to remove the insulation. Okay, I just googled and found the post…you can read it here: http://www.younghouselove.com/2013/09/well-take-one-beadboard-ceiling-please/
      They live in VA and I’m in GA so maybe it’s just a southern thing about not insulating porch ceilings. I’ll have to read the Young House Love post again to see if they say why they had to take the insulation back out.

    • Okay, I reread the Young House Love post and here’s what they said about why they went back and removed the insulation:
      The issue we learned (first from a commenter, and then later confirmed by the framing expert who helped us remove the drop ceiling) is that insulation traps heat (duh) and needs airflow in order to sweat that heat out. Since our insulation would’ve been installed smack dab between the roof and the beadboard ceiling, there’d be no air flow. Not only could that mean built-up moisture that could threaten our beadboard, but the hot insulation could actually result in a roof that doesn’t even meet its expected lifetime due to all that trapped heat burning it up prematurely. So we’re very grateful to have learned the error of our ways so that we could correct it before it meant tearing out our new ceiling. And we figure with the cross breezes we get paired with the two fans that we’ll be installing, this little shady retreat from the deck will be nice and cool by comparison – even without the insulation.

  21. Thanks for the reply Susan. That is interesting and does make sense. Our builder did allow for the airflow issue, as the overhangs are vented just as in a house, and the porch ceiling is a lower pitch than the roof, so there is a gap between insulation and ceiling, and of course there are a couple of roof vents. I’m glad he knew what he was doing because I never thought about that issue.

  22. Love your porch! In fact your porch is the one I most often refer to when planning my porch. The thing I haven’t read any information about is the screening. Are the screens specially made? How do you attach them to the railings and walls (and arches)? What kind of wood is used for the railing and trim and baseboards? The contractors I have talked to about constructing a porch want to staple the screening and then cover with trim, but that’s not the look I want. Thanks.

    • Hi Janice,
      Thanks! My contractor built the porch and the openings and then hired a screen company who came out and measured the openings and custom built screens to fit. They are just screwed to the trim so they can be removed to be rescreened if one ever got damaged. The porch is built from pressure-treated pine but the sill part of the window is a man-made product…not sure what it’s called. That’s really all I know since I wasn’t involved in the actual construction…just told my contractor what I wanted. It sounds like you need a contractor who is up to date on the latest building techniques for porches. You’re right to question what they have suggested. Did you see this post? I love how Linda’s porch is made with Ezebreeze windows: https://betweennapsontheporch.net/an-ordinary-patio-becomes-a-beautiful-three-season-porch/

    • Janice, I just wanted to add, what he’s suggesting is probably a less expensive way to do it, but if a screen ever gets damaged by pets, children, or whatever, you’ll have to have someone come out and remove the trim and rescreen that section and replace the trim, instead of just being able to unscrew it and take it a local screening company to have it rescreened. I had to do that with a lower panel once when I left a birdfeeder on the porch overnight and a squirrel chewed himself a doorway right through the screening to get to the feeder.

  23. I just LOVE your outdoor living spaces! We’re getting ready to do something similar here in Tuscaloosa and, as you know, these bugs we have in the South are just out of control! I had never considered using flooring instead of decking…it’s brilliant! I just went to check out that flooring on the Yella Wood site (following the link you provided), and based on all the installation dos and don’ts, they are almost scaring me into NOT choosing it! It’s so hard to find competent contractors around here that actually follow a manufacturer’s installation instructions that I’m afraid I’d be hovering over the workers throughout the entire process.
    Anyway, I do have a question for you: Did you consider mahogany or any other type of hardwood flooring for the porch? If so, what were the costs and benefits/drawbacks relative to the PT pine you ultimately chose?

    • Thanks, Sam! Well, you just need to make sure that whatever wood you use, that it’s pressure treated since termites are an issue in the south. I’m not sure what other type wood is available that’s pressure treated. When I built my porch, I just knew I wanted an old fashioned porch floor and my contractor recommended the KDAT wood, which is pine. I’ve seen mahogany decking (with spaces between the boards) but I don’t think I’ve seen tongue and groove, pressure treated, mahogany porch flooring. Not sure anyone makes that but if they do, it’s probably VERY expensive.
      Look into some of the manufactured wood flooring they have now, too. There are a lot more choices to choose from now than there was when I added on my porch. The best thing to do is to get 3-5 estimates from porch companies in your area and see what they recommend. If they are good companies, they will know about the latest flooring choices for porches. Then google and do some research on your own, as well. In case you haven’t seen it, here’s one more post that you may find helpful: https://betweennapsontheporch.net/screened-in-porch-how-much-do-they-cost-to-build/

  24. Did you put any polyurethane or anything on the screen porch ceiling?

  25. Hemlata M Patel says

    Thanks Susan, for this excellent info you provided. We just retired and moved into a ranch style home with my backyard facing east. We are new to
    construction vocabulary and also the type of material required for this kind of addition to a house. Your blog has educated me with the kind of question I should ask a contractor and also your pictures gave me ideas I would like to
    incorporate in my future screed porch planning.

  26. Pippa and Ray Ryan says

    Hi. I am just reading your post for the first time about your porch built years ago. A little late to the party, LOL. We live on Cape Cod, in MA, and would love to add a little screened porch to the back of our old home so we can enjoy the outdoors. We live quite close to the marsh and in the summer the green head flies are horrid. Thanks for some great suggestions and info – I will be referring back again and again I’m sure. I love your screened in porch and the others, as well.

    • Thanks so much, Pippa! You will loving having a screened porch! I’ve never heard of green head flies but sound scary! They sound like they are the biting kind.

  27. Love your porch! It was an inspiration when I remodeled my house, and I patterned my porch after yours. My problem has been spiders/webs and bugs, in corners and under all the furniture. Is there anything preventive that I can do, or just sweep & dust more frequently? Thanks!

    • Living in the south where we have GIANT roaches that you could saddle up and ride, I have the exterior of my home treated quarterly to keep them out of my home. When my bug guy comes each time, he treats the inside and exterior perimeter of the porch. I haven’t seen any spiders and that may be why. I do occasionally get them inside, though.

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