Building A Screen Porch The Beginning Stages

Last fall we started the beginning stages of building a screen porch.

In our past homes we always had a patio,and rarely ever used it.

When we moved into our present home I told my husband that I did not want a patio,I would rather wait and save up to build a screen porch.

These photos are not very pretty,and it’s the reason I rarely ever shared my backyard.


Yes this is the back of our home,that little stoop was our porch for seven years!

We used to enjoy sitting on our front porch when my daughter was small.

But we could never sit out for long because of the mosquitoes and yellow jackets that would fly around and annoy us.

Ah that is part of living in the midwest!

When we started our research for a builder we had an idea of what we wanted.

We wanted to build a room that we could sit in and relax,enjoy meals without being attacked by insects.

We were not looking for a seasonal room to be used in the colder months.

We also wanted to make sure that while sitting outside we did not have a wall obstructing our view.

Having the screens go down to the floor was a must for us.

I have big plans for the next coming years to create a secluded back yard, filled with beautiful trees,shrub and gardens.

And I want to be able to see those beautiful things as I sit and relax.


Things to think about when building a screened in porch.

What is your budget?

What materials do you want used?

We wanted a room build from solid wood.

How big do you want your room?

Are going to to just use it for sitting outside and relaxing,Or are you going to use it to entertain and eat meals?

What kind of roof  do you want?

How many outlets do you want?

How many doors should you have?

Is it going to be painted or stained?

What about lighting?

Do you want a ceiling fan?

What about a skylight?


Roof designs are really cosmetic,but we decided on a hip roof.

We get lots of sun in our backyard and a gable roof would bring in even more light.

Hence the reason we did not want a sky light.

With a hip roof we can add canvas shades to block out some of the light if we need to.

We had a budget for our screened porch,and the prices vary between 20,000 and up.

We are also getting a side patio installed,this will give additional seating if we had a large party or if we want to grill.

We are vegetarians but we still need to have a grill for entertaining.

We decided on pine for our ceiling which the builder will add a clear coat.

The flooring is a treated decking that will be painted,more on that later.

We added four outlets not sure what my plans are,but now is the time to do it.

Much cheaper to add additional outlets now than later.


After the foundation was put in the next step was the frame and roof.

back yard3

What a difference already!

back yard 4

You can see the day I shot this photo it was snowing.

We added that knee wall for cosmetic reasons.

You can really get fancy but we were on a tight budget and could not go crazy with extra’s.

We added one door on the side,So glad I only added one door.

I was thinking of adding a door on each side, but it would really limit how I set up our room if I had a door on each side.

back yard 5

This is our room now, still lots to do.

With the cold weather and snow the builders had to stop.

We have been dreaming about sitting out here,spring seems so far away!



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  1. says

    Anne, t hat’s awesome – you have the perfect back house to add this – going to be GREAT!

    Now you are in Ohio, right? Does your contractor come to Columbus for work? I am getting quotes for screened in porches now too. Please let me know via email yes or no? Thank you. This is going to be such a fun room for you. CONGRATS! I cannot even believe they do that in winter, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    • says

      I am in Illinois,look in your area for a good builder.This is a very reputable builder.We searched and searched to find the right one.

  2. says

    We built a screened-in patio at our first house and boy, do I miss it! You will really enjoy sitting out there. Can’t wait to see how you decorate it!

  3. says

    Oh Anne! That is coming along beautifully! I just love it! I’ve been whining to my husband ever since we moved here about making our back porch deck into a screened in porch! I’ll have to show him yours and maybe it will help motivate him a bit. lol

    xoxo laurie

  4. says

    It looks so great. That room is going to be great when our weather gets warm. I cannot wait to see all the cute decor you use to make it so sweet out there. Now if we could just fast forward to Spring and Summer!!!

  5. says

    OH HOW FUN FOR YOU!!! (and for me too, because I’m coming to visit and we can sit outside..and have tea!) It’ gorgeous and I just know that you’re going to put your wonderful style to work in there after it’s finished! Congrat’s, my friend! xo

  6. says

    The room looks wonderful. It is always hard to think of everything you may want or need when you build. I love watching the progress and I can’t wait to see how you decorate it. Alaina

  7. Christine says

    Did you remember dimmer switches for over the table? Or motion sensors outside? Or switches INside so you can turn the lights on before you go out?

    I just saved enough to have the concrete poured to extend my existing slab to the end of the house. That would put it under the mudroom door, where before was just … mud. It was an 18′ x 12′ extension and is FAB.U.LOUS! I’ve also planned outlets. I always, always put quads in my house. Electrical needs have changed since the 50s. I have my lighting in. I’ve chosen to use reuse center-but-new single-pane 36″ French doors for windows. I have floor to ceiling casement windows from H4H for the center for the center section. If I’d known, I’d have used this gorgeous retractable screen and bi-fold hardware (from Ireland!) to make my doors open wide. But it needs a track in the cement. Oh well. I digress and enough about my dreams. I get excited when I see inspiration!

    Don’t forget what KIND of outlets and switches! You might want lamps that give a nicer glow that overheads. You could also plan a bug light or zapper. I grew up in MI, where everyone whines about the bugs. Come to think of it, here in MD they do, too. I must taste bad, because absolutely nothing even lands on me. LUCKY in that respect!

    Anyway. I’m watching avidly. It has completely changed the look of your back yard! Absolutely gorgeous and looks like it’s always been there!

    • says

      This is a screen room only,we did not want windows.We wanted to feel like we are sitting outside,but without the bugs.And because we have screens I don’t need a bug zapper :-)

  8. Claudia says

    So happy for you! I totally understand the bug thing…I have always wanted a screened in porch. The Hubs and I talked about just doing ours as screened in, but we decided that we wanted to extend our porch time to 3 seasons. So far we have built the deck and I LOVE it, bought the windows and doors…We are doing the work ourselves, then everything came to a grinding halt. Hopefully, my flares will stay down for us to finish.

  9. says

    I need to do something like this too Anne ( maybe not this year ) the house we bought has a big pool and that attracts mosquitoes even more!
    Yours looks gorgeous – can’t wait to see it once you’ve put your magic touch on it :)

  10. kim says

    Like your porch design, did you paint the exterior or use some kind of maintenance free material? If maintenance free, what did you use?

    • says

      Hi Kim, We did not use a maintenance free material we wanted that rustic look and feel.I don’t mind maintaining the look of this.We have vinyl siding and I don’t like it at all.Next house will be all brick or cedar and brick.

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