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House With Screened In Porch

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

Man Removing Wood Battens From Screened Porch

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

2. Remove Old Screening

Man Removing Old Screen From Porch Screen

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

Man Installing Vertical Base Strips For Screened In Porch

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

Man Trimming Base Strips For Porch Screen

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

Man Installs New Screening For Porch Screen

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

6. Trim Away Excess

Man Trims Excess Screening From Screened In Porch With Utility Knife

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

7. Reinforce the Bottom Screens (optional)

Man Installs Screen In Lower Portion Of Walls And Doors of Porch Screen

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

Man Installs Wide Cap Trim For Porched In Screen

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

Man Installs Narrow Cap Trim Of Porch Screen

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

10. Install Base Strip Trim

Man Installs Base Strip Trim of Screened In Porch

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

11. Install the Screen Door

Man Installs Screen Door Of Porch Screen

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