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 on How to Install a Screened In Porch
1. Remove the Wood Battens
Remove the 1×2 battens to expose the staples that secure the old screens in place.
2. Remove Old Screening
Pry the vertical 1×4 battens from the porch posts. Pull down all the old screening and pound the staples flat.
3. Install Vertical Base Strips
Fasten the vertical base strips to the outside of the porch posts. Use the 3½-inch base for 4×4 posts.
4. Trim the Base Strips
Use pruning shears or tin snips to trim the base strips to length. Screw 1½ inch-wide base to 2×4 rails.
5. Install the Screening
Pull the screen fabric tight with one hand as you roll the spline into the groove in the base strip.
6. Trim Away Excess
Remove excess screening by drawing a utility knife along the edge of the raised spline groove.
7. Reinforce the Bottom Screens (optional)
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
Cover up the base strips and screen splines on the 4×4 porch posts with long pieces of wide cap trim.
9. Install Narrow Cap Trim
Use a non marring mallet to tap the narrow cap trim onto the base strips that are screwed to the 2×4 railing.
10. Install Base Strip Trim
Cut the narrow, horizontal cap trim to length with pruning shears after tapping it onto the base strip.
11. Install the Screen Door
To complement the new screening system, we installed a matching solid-vinyl screen door. It never needs painting.