HGTV's Jenny Marrs Recommends This Sturdy Material For Your Screened-In Porch

In season 3 of "Fixer to Fabulous", a co-parenting dad wanted a home where his two sons could feel comfortable whenever they came over. He especially desired a home that they could enjoy with their friends, so Jenny Marrs decided to do something unique with the abundance of outdoor space. She decided on a screened-in porch that doubled as a game room, and vinyl windows were a practical match (via Dave & Jenny Marrs).

Jenny explains on her blog, "We chose unbreakable vinyl windows that extend from floor to ceiling." A screened-in porch is a type of indoor/outdoor living space that is enclosed to protect it from insects and other outdoor elements while still allowing for fresh air and natural light. It typically functions as an extension of the house that's used for hosting and relaxation. Because a screened-in porch needs to work for both inside and outside the home, style and sturdiness go hand in hand.

Choose vinyl for your screened-in porch windows

"Using vinyl instead of glass protects from home runs swinging in from the outfield that is the Zylowskis' backyard," says Jenny Marrs on her blog. This material is sturdy enough to withstand any strong impact from inside or outside the porch, giving you peace of mind as you enjoy family games or activities. In addition to their strength, vinyl windows are popular for screened-in porches due to their low maintenance requirements and energy efficiency. They are relatively easy to clean and provide good insulation because vinyl will help to regulate the temperature within the porch.

When choosing a vinyl product, opt for those that were specifically designed for outdoor use and therefore fit the needs of a screened-in porch. UV-resistance is an important feature to look out for so you don't have to worry about fading or discoloration from sun exposure. You should also consider other parts of the window and ensure they're durable and fit for the space as well. 

Vinyl windows and screens

Jenny Mars mentioned that the vinyl windows she chose "can be opened, closed, or used with screens—essential for the weather through all the Arkansas seasons" (via Dave & Jenny Marrs). We recommend Pella's 150 Series white vinyl single-hung windows because they can open if you need ventilation and they are made of sturdy, fade-resistant materials that can insulate against the cold. One unit costs around $438 at Lowes.

Screens can be great companions to your porch windows, especially as a way to prep them for the winter. Another benefit is that they can act as stylish window treatments due to their colors or their opening style. They can either be installed on roller tracks for more flexibility or fixed in place. Metro Screenworks offers fixed a sturdy porch screen that is made to size for around $200. They are invisible screens so you don't notice it when you look out the window.