Building a screen porch or screening in a garage can expand living space and make outdoor spaces more comfortable for a greater portion of the year. But there are a few considerations you should take into account to make sure your project best suits your needs for years to come:
- Local Restrictions:
When you’re planning to add a screened-in porch or modify your existing structure, you need to make sure you’re complying with local ordinances and codes. Ensure that you’re not blocking easements (such as runoff depressions and utility lines), comply with setback codes (which regulate how close to the edge of your property you may build) and check in with your homeowner’s association to make sure you’re allowed to do whatever you are planning (not all HOAs allow garage doors to be left open or used as recreational space, for example, making garage door screens problematic).
- Sun-Related Concerns:
One of the main reasons to sit out on a screened porch is to enjoy cool breezes in the summertime, but that purpose can be defeated if the sun is beating down on you. Place your porch somewhere where it won’t get overheated by the afternoon sun. You might also consider solar screens, which can also decrease your overall energy costs when used for windows and sliding doors.
- Door Types:
If you are wanting to add screens to a sliding or French door, you may want to consider retractable screen doors, instead of traditional sliding screens. Retractable screen doors are spring-loaded such that they retract into tubular casings when not extended. This avoids the unsightly appearance of the screen on the other side of your glass doors, which ought to be offering an enhanced view. Keep in mind that pull down doors are another option particularly helpful for screening garages.
- Project Size and Installation:
If you’re looking at a relatively small project like installing a garage screen, find a product that you and a friend can install together without a professional. This can keep down the costs, since you can dedicate your budget to a better screen rather than installation fees. If you’re looking at a completely new screened addition, then you should hire the necessary professionals to make sure it’s done right.
- Wise Furnishing:
If you’re going to the trouble of screening an area, furnish it just like you would a second living room. After all, your neighbors and passers-by might be able to see inside depending on its location, and curb appeal is an important part of maintaining property value.
Do you have any other advice to share, or questions about retractable screen doors? Join the discussion in the comments.