Wrapping It Up!

Last year Coach and I converted our deck into a screened-in porch, which was simply awesome. No more buggy nights, or rainy afternoons when we couldn’t use the deck for anything other than furniture storage!

Since we had decorated it with quite a few pieces of antique wicker, I decided to “shrink-wrap” it to prevent any winter weather from ruining our newest addition. We used thin plastic sheeting and some lathing strips and tacked it up all the way around. Functional, not very pretty and it wasn’t very transparent, it flapped in the wind (which drove me crazy!) and the plastic kept ripping away from the lathing. Uggh. So this year I decided to get a more permanent wrap, something we could re-use each season. I went online to purchase a custom porch weather-proofing system, only to find the prices @ $1500.00 and up, to be a bit exhorbitant. Sooo, this past weekend’s project was weather-proofing the porch, country design home style! With this how-to video on You Tube as my guide, we began the laborious task of wrapping it up!

The supplies: 20 gauge clear vinyl (heavy enough to withstand the winds and rain, clear to let in the light) and 2″ white Duck Tape

Dritz 7/16″ steel grommets

5/16″ screw-eye hooks. 

I measured each section, determining the placement for the grommets. Cut the vinyl, then wrapped the edges with the tape on both sides for extra stability, overlapping in the corners where the grommets will be installed.

Some sections had to be taped together, since the width of the vinyl is only 54″. That proved to be the most difficult part of this project, as the unrolled edges were a bit curled. You just have to smooth it as you go.

Mark the center holes for the grommets, cut out the circles and then hammer the grommet into place (this pounding away with a hammer activity is fun for anyone wanting to vent some anger or angst : ).

Hanging the large panels requires 2 people to make it level and install the screw-eyes.

The finished project : )

Hard, painstaking work, this easily took 20+ hours. The cost? All of the materials, with the exception of the screw-eyes ($5.19/50 @ Home Depot), were purchased at Joann’s using 60% coupons, of course! So the vinyl that normally would have been $7.99/yard became $3.20/yard and in total we will probably use 25 yards-so $80 + tax. The grommets, screws and tape totalled approximately $70, so the grand total (aside from the band-aids, the Motrin and a trip to the nail salon to repair that damage) comes to $150+ tax- one tenth of what the online estimate was! It wasn’t easy, but it looks great, the sun shines through year round AND we don’t have to pack away all of our deck/patio furniture-it just stays in place! And now we will have another functional space for the holidays- as long as you wear your winter coat and mittens : ) And remember, always measure 3Xcut once!! Susan

Comments

  1. Susan! How smart you are!! We are getting ready to build and I want to downsize but need a large space for entertaining at Christmas. I want to build a big patio/porch, enclose for winter and put large heaters out there. This is the perfect solution. I, too, priced the “ready made” and MY GOSH!!! THANKS!!!

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  2. I love your ideas!!!! Just one question (or two): Do the grommets fit in to the 5/16″ screw-eye hooks? Or how did you hang them?

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  3. patti l says:

    Just finished making 5 panels like this to use on the screened porch of our “summer house” in Northern NY. the Screw Eyes are the best idea i have seen yet for securing the sides and bottom! I am actually going to use heavier cup hooks along the top as the roof has a good overhang and provides a lot of protection up there, I also am adding strips of velcro along the sides and bottom. I LOVE all the ideas for being able to use the porch in the winter with curtains or tarps! I will tuck those away for the future when it turns into our full time home. My main reason for wanting something like this project, besides something that looked nicer than the opaque plastic and strips of lath, was so that it could be a one person job to put up and take down easily and quickly!

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  4. Having a hard time finding the 5/16″ screw-eye hooks, Lowes/Home Depot do not carry them. Any other suggestions?????

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    • Hi Mary Rose! I am certain that I purchased those at Home Depot- I practically live there! You might try an online source such as Amazon or build.com- they are not that uncommon so they should not be that difficult to source. Good luck!

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  5. I did this to our screened in lanai in Florida 2 years ago and it has held up wonderfully. I did not do the grommets since our lanai is aluminum, I just used double sided velcro. However I did the gaff tape on a few of the windows, but after a year with our humidity and rain the gaff tape only got mold and mildew on them. After 2 years we wanted to bleach and pressure wash our lanai and I was about to toss all the clear vinyl windows because they weren’t the prettiest but instead I took them down and washed them, took off the gaff tape (luckily there were only 3 done with that) and hung them back up with new velcro since some had lost their stick….they are like new again….so 2 years of Florida sun, rain and tropical storms they have passed the test. It certainly does keep our lanai warmer in the winter (not that we get cold winters) but cuts out the wind and rain. I love them. Also I wanted to mention that I first tried the clear shower curtains but they disintegrated in the Florida sun and also were not as clear as the vinyl from Joanns is. I hung ours from the inside of the lanai.

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    • Perfect! I think that the vinyl from Joann’s (with the coupon, of course : ) is the best value. Plus, it is the clearest to let the light shine through. Mine have seen better days after a few winters, so when I remake them next year, I will hang them from the inside as well.

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    • When you put the Velcro on was it all the way down the edge or just ever so often? Thinking this would be easier and better than using grommets and tape.
      Thanks

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  6. I did this to our covered deck on back of house, using clear shower curtains and metal shower hooks, plus put metal electric polls to hand curtains on. This way I can open or close depending on how feel. I also use gray (large heavy tarps the same way on the side of deck for evenings when I prefer to have privacy if we have a light on. Attaching the same way as the shower curtains.

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  7. This is what I have been searching for. I am so glad I found this site. I just wrapped my porch with plastic. After seeing what you did, I am totalling taking down and starting over. Wonderful idea!!!!

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  8. Bethany Myers says:

    I love this idea! I live in Georgia and have been thinking about a way to enclose my pack porch for the fall/winter. How has it help up over the years? Did the vinyl yellow at all? Thanks for posting this idea.

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    • Hi Bethany! The vinyl has not yellowed at all. But after a couple of seasons some of the grommets pulled away from the tape as it softened and stretched
      due to the harsh weather conditions and the heavy winds. So those need to be replaced. Otherwise, it really did help quite a bit, especially keeping
      the snow out of the porch. Good luck!

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  9. Vinyl: yes, Pro gaff tape: yes. Grommets: yes. Screw/eye hooks: my ahaaa moment.

    Thank you so much

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  10. Ginarowina says:

    LOVE this idea!! You did a fabulous job! I’m sure it was a really time consuming project but it looks totally worth it. We have a screen porch and I would love to do this. While looking at the pics, I see it’s on the outside of the porch screen. We have it on the 2nd floor so it would require a really good ladder or scaffolding. Not sure if it would look okay on the inside of the screen porch.

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  11. I’m so in love with this idea. I’m definitely going to try it. Can I ask where you live? It gets really cold here in Maine so I think it would make a 3 great season porch. Still would allow a great deal more time outside than without the vinyl. Looks so good too. I really appreciate you posted this. Thanks Laura

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    • Hi Laura! We are in Massachusetts, and although it probably doesn’t get quite as cold as Maine, it’s pretty frosty in the winter. With the heaters on, we can use the porch well into the late fall. The best part is that we don’t have to move all of our outdoor furniture- it just stays put! Good luck!

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  12. I plan to do this before it gets cold here again, however I’m going to add a weight to the bottom so they don’t blow, and somehow make them so they can roll up for the warm months. We have an existing screened porch and it is already covered with indoor/outdoor carpet, and I’m in NC so its not cold but a couple of months. I hope it is warm enough to go out there for most of that time anyway… I really didn’t like everything out there being semi-exposed, and also I can put the dogs out there when I work without worry!

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  13. These are all great ideas but couldn’t you use a heavy duty clear shower curtain? Especially for the larger windows. It has grommets at the top so you could fasten it down there. Then add grommets to the sides and the bottom. Depending on the area you may or may not need to trim it. It’s waterproof and instead of having panels that will let more air in because you are not getting the area between the wood and the screen sections this could be installed from the inside keeping that extra air out. Someone posed the question of air from below the porch as an issue couldn’t you do the same thing. However it would require getting under the porch every late fall to install. You could also use large heavy area rugs. They might keep some wind out but these are only ideas for those who don’t want the expense of enclosing the porch but still want to enjoy it. You could also use the shower curtains on the inside floor by fastening them down add the large area rug and use large planters around the edges of the porch to hide the plastic. There would be one big issue with installing indoors instead of under the porch you would need to tape the seams together. You could also use heavy drop cloths sew them together along with the shower curtains making one large area rug fasten along the inside edges of the porch. Then paint or dye the dropcloth to match your decor. These are only inexpensive tips to not enclosing your porch. In the past I used the same plastic you mentioned except my porch was enclosed about half way up and it had screens for the windows. So I removed the screen in the fall and placed the shrink wrap heavy plastic from Michael’s in the window.

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    • Those are some great ideas! I actually thought about using shower curtains, but they just aren’t as heavy and sturdy as the poly that I bought at Joanns. But it certainly would be easier to install from the inside! For the Thanksgiving dinner I had hosted out there, I did use large area rugs and that helped to decrease the cold coming up through the floor slats. I wouldn’t bother climbing under the porch to put down the plastic, as the real reason for the plastic is to keep the rain and snow out- it really doesn’t help with the cold once we are in freezing temps. Thanks for all the tips- I am sure my readers can use them!

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  14. I am so excited to find this instruction! It took years to convince my DH to put a cover over our patio to provide some shelter from the intense Alabama summer sun. Ten years later, he is finally on the page with me to make this covered patio a screened room. Of course, I am already thinking of the “shrink wrap” phase and have had a tough time getting him to understand “how” to accomplish this! Your tutorial has me moving on to decorating while he sorts out his “honey do” list to catch up with me! Thank you!!

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  15. Hello, I really like the idea of enclosing the front porch. One tip I would like to pass on in regards to joining the two panels together. To eliminate some of the curl at the edges and thereby making it easier to apply the tape; heat the edges with a hair dryer before applying the tape and be sure that the “curl” is in a downward direction.

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  16. Thank you!!! We live in Northern California and I have a couple of porch kitties who have a protective box to sleep in but the rest of the porch is open to the elements. I’ve been fretting about the impending storm and having no way to keep the rain from driving in, but after trolling the aisles at Lowe’s came up empty handed. I then had a light bulb, vinyl from JoAnns, but had no idea how to make it work. You have saved the porch kitties (and I’m hoping this will cut down on the wind that freezes my front door, just a little!

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  17. Did it keep the porch any warmer or just protect the furnishings?
    I’m wondering if wrapping the front porch would create a kind of wind barrier and keep out some of the cold from the front entry and/or insulate the glass front doors a bit.

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    • Hi! It did actually keep the porch warmer. That first year we actually had Thanksgiving out there! I added some insulated drapes and space heaters. But it doesn’t stop the cold from coming up through the slats in the porch floor, so in the dead of winter it is still chilly out there. But I would think it would keep the wind and cold from coming through the front door. Good luck!

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  18. I did the same thing (deck into screened in porch ) then found it too much trouble taking down and putting back panels twice a yr so last yr had the screened in porch turned into a room, that was a winner!

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Trackbacks

  1. […] 4. Add a layer of vinyl (this part is optional). I happened to have a roll left over from when we shrink-wrapped the porch last fall. I know, it’s almost that time of year again, yuck. This will give the blotter a […]

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