Weather-Proofing Your Porch!

This is a PSA for those of you who live in cooler climes…like we do here in the Northeast…and wish to “shrink-wrap” your screened-in porch before the winter hits. This most definitely will NOT be helpful for those of you in the Buffalo NY area-it’s a little too late for that! Anyway, this is a post from a couple of years ago when I was preparing to serve our Thanksgiving dinner outside. Yup, that happened. I figured if the Pilgrims could eat outside, then why not us??

The First Thanksgiving Dinner

But, even with a heater it was still a bit chilly, so we are back inside this year. So, without further ado-I give you…the shrink-wrapped porch!

“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”

So there you have it, but just a couple of side notes for those of you who are interested in doing this project on your screened porch. Since the installation, a few of the grommets have come loose, and some of the tape as well, so that needs replacing. Also, this installation needs to be done on a fairly warm day. The vinyl is quite thick and in the cold it’s very difficult to work with to get it to lay smoothly to tape the edges, and then stretch it out to attach it. Otherwise, it was a great DIY project that I am very thankful we have installed now! Have a great weekend, everyone! Susan 

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