How to Winterize a Screened-In Porch

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

A screened porch can make for a wonderful hangout spot in the summertime. It allows you to get those rays of sun without having to worry about constantly swatting bugs and critters that make their way into your area.

Unless you winterize your screen porch, however, it won’t last all that long and you’ll have to replace it. Take the time to get your screen porch ready and follow the easy steps of winterizing it. This will allow it to last through many a winter so that you can enjoy it when the weather starts to warm.

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Start Off with a Good Clean

A good rule of thumb with any do-it-yourself project is to clean the area thoroughly first. When dealing with adhesives of any kind, you don’t want dirt or debris getting in the way because that adhesive may not function properly.

Give the porch area a good weep before you start. This way, you remove any additional dust or dirt that may have accumulated over time. Make sure that you wash any linens, mop the floors, and wipe down the walls before proceeding forward.

Preparing the Screened Porch for Winterizing

Before you can begin, you must first measure the width and length of the screen with some measuring tape. You need to do this so that you know how much vinyl that you will need to purchase. It will also determine just how wide the sheets that you end up buying have to be.

When you have the correct measurements, you need to purchase your vinyl. You can regularly find sheets that come in widths of either 48 inches or 54 inches; which one you choose depends on how much screen there is to winterize.

Preparing the Vinyl

The next step is to cut the vinyl sheeting. Make sure that it is large enough that it will cover all of the screens to your porch but give it enough overlap so that you can attach it to the wood framing that surrounds your screens.

A good rule of thumb is to add two inches to all four sides of the screening so that you have enough room to properly install it all. When you have done this, it is time to cut all of the vinyl screen panels as neatly as you can (try using scissors).

Lastly, use the measuring tape in order to properly mark off your dimensions so that you can properly winterize your screened porch.

Use Velcro

Velcro is another key element for installing your vinyl and winterizing your screened in porch. Start by cutting off around six to eight sections of Velcro tape around 12 inches in length. This can all depend on the size of your screens so check the measurements.

These sections are for the bottom, top, and the sides of your vinyl. With larger screens, you will need larger pieces of vinyl. Naturally, you will also need more Velcro to get the job done. When you’ve done this, it is time to attach the Velcro. To each of the spots on your porch and then to the vinyl itself.

Lastly, you will need to stick the clear vinyl to the screened porch itself to ensure that the screens have all been adequately winterized. This will winterize your screened porch so that it will last for years to come.

Average Cost Involved

While the cost can vary depending on the size of your screened porch, the average cost for a porch that is around 200 square feet can run somewhere in the range of $2,000 to $2,800. This is around $3-$5 per square foot for your materials and another $2 per square feet for the labor.

It is much more cost-efficient to do it yourself; you can trim the cost down to about half of that if you install it yourself using the step-by-step guide above. Still, not everyone feels comfortable doing projects like these themselves so having a professional to help can be good.

Winterization Tips

You can make your screen covers out of polycarbonate or acrylic sheets instead of traditional vinyl rolls. This will give you increased protection and the “windows” of your winter porch will last for many more years.

Also, if you have wooden frames, you can use nails instead of Velcro. Nail your panels in place and then hang them from hooks or just mount them using the kind of sliding tracks that you would use for something like a closet door.

Summerizing Your Winterized Porch

The biggest thing with a screened porch is that you get to enjoy the sun hassle-free. But when winter comes around, that can seemingly be challenged by your newly installed winterization. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can start by changing up the flooring of your porch. Besides, the sun isn’t the only thing about summer that makes it such an enjoyable time. Other than the sun, we think about the bright green grass all around us.

You can install artificial grass on the floor of your winterized porch to get that summer feel even when there is snow all around. Real grass isn’t a good idea, but some artificial turf will work all the same ( and be easier to pick) and you’ll want to keep it all year. You can even add in some refurbished furniture to liven it up.

Add in Accessories

You can also improve your winterized screened porch with a little bit of accessorizing. It will take the eye away from the materials used to winterize and put a stylish focus on your accessories instead.

Try adding something like a quality or a throw that has bright, bold colors or even floral prints. This can give the summer feeling even when the temperature has dropped into the single digits and July is forever away.

Add in a Heat Source

Even though you have winterized your screened porch, that doesn’t mean that it will stay toasty warm. It can be a good idea to add in a heat source. You can do this relatively easily by adding in something like a mini-split wall-heater or even an electric fireplace.

The latter is especially realistic-looking and can add a homey feel to your screened porch. That is the kind of aesthetic that makes it feel like a comforting place in your home rather than outside. Plus, you can stay nice and warm even with a storm raging outside.

Make it Welcoming

Your winterized screened porch is meant to keep the elements out, but it should do more to keep you in. This is where turning it into a media room can be a great idea. Installing a television and a wireless receiver can give you an escape when you want to get out of the house but don’t want to go out into elements.

Best of all, you can create whatever kind of aesthetic that you want. There’s nothing like getting the best of the outdoors while still getting all the modern amenities that technology provides. It really is a “best of both worlds” situation.

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Make it What You Want

Ultimately, it is about making your screened porch whatever you want it to be. Whether you want it to become a high-tech getaway or simply a quiet spot to enjoy the natural sunlight and the smells of the outdoors, it is up to you.

The point is that you can create whatever you want from your screened porch when you winterize it and allow it to remain comfortable regardless of what the weather is doing on the other side of the screen.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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