TikTok Shares A Smart Way To Screen In An Existing Porch For Less Than $300

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Long summer days are definitely something to look forward to if you have a breezy porch and a great view. You've set up a comfy hammock or rocking chair to be able to watch your kids and pets frolic together on the lawn as your garden blooms with flowers. Unfortunately, things can take a turn for the worse when bugs like mosquitoes and flies get in the picture and ruin everything with their presence. Suddenly, you don't feel like lounging outside anymore. Luckily for you, you can set up a barrier to block out flying insects without having to break the bank for it. TikTok DIY homesteader Jess shares a smart way to put together a screen for your existing porch for less than $300.

Porch screens are an indispensable part of your outdoor life because you want to be able to bring your morning tea and snacks outside to munch on without being bombarded by a million flies. Sacrificing fresh outdoor air because of a few pests is totally out of the question. Also, thanks to modern technology, some porch screens also offer protection against UV sun rays.

To create your DIY porch screen, you will need Home Depot's porch screening base strips, wood glue, 2-by-4-by-8 wood to frame the porch, paint that matches your porch, and a screen toolkit from Amazon. Purchasing all of these tools will cost you less than $300, a steal compared to the thousands it would cost to pay an expert to install a screen around your porch

Paint the wood to match your porch

The first thing you want to do when setting up your porch screen is to paint your wood if you're not going to leave it bare. Next, lay down the base strips over the porch wood and secure them with the wood glue. Make sure you hold the strips to the wood long enough for it to stick. The strips have grooves to hold the screen in place. Then, screw the wood to frame the house as needed, especially important if you're going to add a screen door to the mix. It makes the screening job look more professional and neat. 

Now, lay over the screen with the spline tool, making sure that it doesn't fold over or wrinkle as you go along. It helps if you have someone helping you so that they can hold the screen in place while you spline it into the groves on the base strips. You will need to pull as tight as possible on the spline and also have your helper stretch out the screen. 

If you decide to go ahead with a screen door, then attach the door to the wooden frame you built using hinges. Once you have secured the screen in place, trim off the excess up to about ¼ of an inch before capping it. Make sure you give the caps a nice, little tap with a hammer or mallet when they're on just to make sure they are good to go.

Get the right type of screen

When you are buying your screen, make sure you get the right type for your porch. Yes, screens come in different types, each with their own range of functions. The most common type of screen is fiberglass, which is the black one that TikTok creator Jess used in her tutorial video and blocks most sun glare. Sun-control screens offer the best protection against the heat of the sun, blocking up to 90% of it from reaching the porch so that you can enjoy a cool summer day. Pet-resistant porch screens are pricier than other screens but are more durable to withstand the onslaught of overexcited pets and hyperactive toddlers.

One TikTok user asked an important question in Jess's comment section: what about rain? How do you protect your new screen from the harsh elements? To do this on a budget, you can install an overhang such as a tarp attached to your ceiling and some posts that will block at least some of the lesser rain showers from coming into your porch. You can also invest in storm windows for your screened porch, but these tend to be on the pricey side. The windows will offer up some good resistance against heavier showers and they look stylish, too.