Sunday, January 17, 2016

Screened in Porch on a Manufactured Home

Screened in Porch....LOVE IT....

When we bought our home, this is what the back porch looked like:

We weren't sure why this little roof had been built, but I decided it'd make a great little screened in porch, so while John was at work one day, I screened it in to surprise him. 

It was a very simple design and very easy to do. I loved our little screened in porch, but after about a year, we started having a bear visit our home. A really big guy sat his butt down on the ground outside the porch, watching inside. When our dog, who happened to be named Bear, realized it was out there, he ran out and the two of them got into a growling match, with the actual Bear reaching up and clawing the botton half of the screen, which ripped it. 

This really worried my husband, who worked 2nd shift at the time, and since the Bears kept visiting, he wanted to close in the bottom half of the porch, so we did.. But it never felt the same after that.. 

Eventually, I decided I wanted to add a simple roof to the rest of the deck. We used a simple corrugated PVC roof panel system purchased at Lowes.. It was pretty easy, and inexpensive to use and has held up for about 9 years now. 
Eventually I added railings to the porch and furniture. It was comfortable, but we really didn't use it much.

But for years now, I've really missed that first screened in porch with screening all the way to the floor.. so last summer, I suggested we screen in the back porch.. 

By the way, my husband does wonder at times if I've hit my head or something.. He's perfectly happy with things the way they are, but I'm constantly wanting to change things!

But he goes along with all my crazy ideas and does what I ask him to do.. Then when it's all done and said, he always says "Good idea Karen" with a smile on his face..

So we started screening in the porch. Another easy and inexpensive job. We bought 3 rolls of 36" wide screen from Home Depot, a dozen or so 2x4's, two very inexpensive screen doors (cost $21 each) and got started. 

We moved everything off the porch, then used a wood cleaning product to clean up the deck boards.

You just hook this container up to your hose and spray it on, leave it for a time, then rinse off.. It helped even out the color of the deck floor. 

This really was an easy process.. There are two door openings on the porch, so we screened in the rest of it just using an electric stapler and then covering all seams with a thin strip of wood (which john created but ripping a couple of 2x4's)... We used black head screws to attach the small ripped pieces of wood.. I like the look of black screws against natural wood... 

We built up the doorways with 2x4's to fit the 36" doors. Since the doors were so inexpensive, I added metal L-brackets to the corners to help stabalize them. 

I had a box of door hinges in my studio that worked perfectly for hanging the doors. We added cheap screen door springs to keep them from flying open in the wind and handles I already had.. 

We moved some extra furniture from the house to the porch along with a few other things we've had stored away.

We moved the eliptical and treadmill back to the porch along with some cat toys... I added curtains, which are really shower curtains, to the corners that can be pulled shut when it rains.. 

It took Rascal about 1/2 hour to push through the bottom of one of the screen doors to chase a chipmunk, so we went to home depot to get pet grates for the doors. However, each grate cost more than the doors did to begin with, so we looked around the store and found a roll of plastic black hardware net for about $15, which was enough to not only do both the doors on the back porch, but the front door, too.. I just stapled it to the bottom half of the door and Rascal hasn't escaped since.

I once again love having a screened in porch with screen all the way to the floor, and so are our pets.. They love to lay out there spring through fall, and on hot summer nights, we just leave the back door open all night.. It's like having a huge screened in window open.. 

Fortunately, we haven't had any Bear guests in a couple of years.. Hopefully, they won't become a problem again.. 
Actually, I really didn't feel they were a problem to begin with.. Michigan bears are pretty timid, but do seem curious and like to "people" watch through windows and screens. 

We have clear tarp covers for the outside of the porch in the winter. It not only helps keep that end of the house warmer, but it's also protecting our new screened in doors and the furniture on the porch.. I can't wait for warm weather so we can open up the porch again and enjoy it.. 

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