• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to animal-proof a porch.


    1 Dig 8- to 12-inch-deep trench alongside porch.

    2 Cut hardware cloth slightly larger than opening under porch

    3 Use 2x4 to bend a 6-inch-wide L-shaped flange into hardware cloth.

    4 Cut hole in hardware cloth with aviation snips.

    5 Attach one-way door over hole in hardware cloth.

    6 Set hardware cloth in trench, with L-shaped flange along the bottom.

    7 Staple the hardware cloth to the porch.

    8 Backfill the trench with soil.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      Working with hardware cloth can sometimes turn into a wrestling match, but the installation is quick and easy
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      Video Directory

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      Tools List

      • trenching shovel
        used to dig trench alongside porch
      • aviation snip
        Aviation snips
        used to cut hardware cloth
      • hammer
        for driving in staples

      Shopping List

      1. 4-foot-wide roll of hardware cloth

      2. 8-ft.-long 2x4,
      used as straightedge guide for bending hardware cloth

      3. One-way door,
      used to allow critters to escape from under porch, but not re-enter

      4. Nylon cable ties,
      for attaching one-way door to hardware cloth

      5. Staples,,
      used to secure hardware cloth to porch