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Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

A clever new way to replace or install porch screening

porch screen

The traditional method of screening a porch has pretty much remained the same for a hundred years. That's unfortunate, because it's a flawed system. Small tacks or staples are used to attach the screening to the porch posts and railings. Then, narrow wood battens are nailed up to conceal all of the seams and fasteners.

It's a labor-intensive method, and screens installed this way typically develop noticeable sags after just a few months. Plus, when it's necessary to replace a damaged screen or fix a sagging one, you must remove several battens and yank out about a million fasteners.

But there is a much better and easier way to install screens, and it doesn't require a lot of experience. This project will show you how to rescreen an existing porch using the Screen Tight installation system. You can use the same techniques detailed here for new and remodeled porches, deck enclosures, breezeways and gazebos.
 


Steps // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens
1 ×

Remove the Wood Battens

 
Step One // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Remove the Wood Battens

removing old screening

Remove the 1x2 battens to expose the staples that secure the old screens in place.

 
2 ×

Remove Old Screening

 
Step Two // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Remove Old Screening

porch screen installation

Pry the vertical 1x4 battens from the porch posts. Pull down all the old screening and pound the staples flat.

 
3 ×

Install Vertical Base Strips

 
Step Three // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Install Vertical Base Strips

porch screen installation

Fasten the vertical base strips to the outside of the porch posts. Use the 3½-inch base for 4x4 posts.

 
4 ×

Trim the Base Strips

 
Step Four // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Trim the Base Strips

porch screen installation

Use pruning shears or tin snips to trim the base strips to length. Screw 1½=inch-wide base to 2x4 rails.

 
5 ×

Install the Screening

 
Step Five // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Install the Screening

installing screening with a spline roller

Pull the screen fabric tight with one hand as you roll the spline into the groove in the base strip.

 
6 ×

Trim Away Excess

 
Step Six // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Trim Away Excess

porch screen installation

Remove excess screening by drawing a utility knife along the edge of the raised spline groove.

 
7 ×

Reinforce the Bottom Screens (optional)

 
Step Seven // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Reinforce the Bottom Screens (optional)

porch screen installation

On this porch, we installed tough, tear-resistant PetScreen to the lower portion of the walls and to the door.

 
8 ×

Install Wide Cap Trim

 
Step Eight // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Install Wide Cap Trim

porch screen installation

Cover up the base strips and screen splines on the 4x4 porch posts with long pieces of wide cap trim.

 
9 ×

Install Narrow Cap Trim

 
Step Nine // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Install Narrow Cap Trim

installing narrow cap trim with mallet

Use a nonmarring mallet to tap the narrow cap trim onto the base strips that are screwed to the 2x4 railing.

 
10 ×

Install Base Strip Trim

 
Step Ten // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Install Base Strip Trim

porch screen installation

Cut the narrow, horizontal cap trim to length with pruning shears after tapping it onto the base strip.

 
11 ×

Install the Screen Door

 
Step Eleven // Faster Way to Install Porch Screens

Install the Screen Door

porch screen installation

To complement the new screening system, we installed a matching solid-vinyl screen door. It never needs painting.

 
 
 

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