Home>Discussions>YARD & GARDEN>Decks, Patios, & Porches>Porch screen maximum square feet for screen opening
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RC123
Porch screen maximum square feet for screen opening
RC123

What is the maximum square feet recommended for the size of screen opening for a porch? I have an opening that is 13 feet by 7 feet, will there be a problem if I use one piece of screen for this opening? Or, must I divide the opening into two or more screened sections?

A. Spruce
Re: Porch screen maximum square feet for screen opening
A. Spruce

You're likely going to have to divide it at least once, solely due to material size constraints. I would forget about going down to a big box with their limited stock and go straight to a glass shop to see what the largest size material is that you can get, then buy what you need from them. Keep in mind that you will need extra length and width to be able to either attach it to the house directly or to a frame of some sort, so plan on at least an extra inch in all directions, if not several inches, depending on how you will be installing the screen material.

Jack
Re: Porch screen maximum square feet for screen opening
Jack

I would divide it into 3 foot sections, that way you can get replacement almost anywhere and if there is damage it won't be as devastating.

Jack

ordjen
Re: Porch screen maximum square feet for screen opening
ordjen

Too large a span also allows the screen material to go slack and begin to blow in and out annoyingly like a sail.

The available screen material is limited by width, but almost unlimited by length, but too much length prevents the frame from keeping the material taut, and flopping results.

There are screening systems available that attach a decorative plastic strip directly to a 2X framing . The screening is applied to the strip and another decorative strip goes over it and holds the screen in place, like a track and spline. These are suitable for the more flexible fiberglass screening. They give a nice finished look from the outside, with only the plastic strip showing. And yes, the "big box" store has this system :)

If you go with such a system, it would be a good idea to have all the framing completely pre-painted before applying the screening or use pressure treated and leave natural or stained

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Porch screen maximum square feet for screen opening
Sombreuil_mongrel

I think 5 feet is the widest roll of material you can buy. Getting screen taut takes some skill. Bronze screening lasts the longest. It costs $4.25/sq ft, however.
Casey

dj1
Re: Porch screen maximum square feet for screen opening
dj1

All good answers, you can't have one piece that large, and you really don't want it that large.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Porch screen maximum square feet for screen opening
Mastercarpentry

You also might need to consider the safety aspects. Screen alone is not rated to restrain someone from falling through it, so unless there's a floor or ground level with the enclosed space you're going to have to have a railing with pickets or similar limiting all openings in it to less than 4". Since this is usually the case you can now see why the widest width of standard screening is 5 feet- that is usually adequate for above the railing where you can split the distance up.

If you're going for the big spans anyway, I'd use metal screening for best strength against wind and accidental damage. It's harder to work with and to get it taut but it will last a whole lot longer than nylon screening does.

Phil

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