Pier installation details (C) Daniel Friedman Porch Construction & Porch Screening Installation Details

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Porch construction & porch screen installation:

This article provides details for porch construction and porch screen installation.

This article series discuss best porch & deck construction practices, including choice of framing materials, decking or flooring choices & installation, how to select and use deck and porch structural and flooring fasteners, actual deck & porch framing construction details & connections, deck joist & beam span tables,

How to build leak-proof rooftop decks, construction of covered & screened porches, deck & porch railing construction & materials, choices of finishes and stains for decks & porches, and past & current deck lumber preservative treatments with related health & environmental concerns.

This article series includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.

Construction Detailing for Covered & Screened Porches

Rooftop porch, Mexico City (C) Daniel FriedmanThis article includes adaptations or excerpts of material provided by and © Copyright protected by Steve Bliss, Wiley & Sons, used with permission

The detailing for decks and porches is very similar. Code requirements for railings are the same, whether a deck is open or closed in with screening.

If the screening runs to the floor, railings will be required to protect the screening, even if the railing is not required by code.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Porch decking can be spaced (like an open deck) or installed tight with a slope for drainage. Structurally, posts are easier to anchor on a porch, since they are tied in to the roof framing, which keeps them rigid.

Guide to Solid Decking for Porch Floors

Where the decking will be protected by a roof, it can be either spaced like a typical open deck or sealed and painted with a decking enamel for a more formal appearance.

Solid decking is typically tongue-and groove 1x4, 5/4x6, or 2x6 decking. For solid decking, choose kiln-dried stock and install it with tight seams.

Solid decking should be sloped 1/4 inch per foot to drain. Make provisions for drainage on the three exterior sides and, if exposed to significant wetting, on the house side as well.

If the porch has a solid knee wall, leave minimum 1-inch scuppers at floor level to allow water to drain from the porch interior to outside.

More information about the porch floor above is found at Rooftop Deck Construction.

How to Install Enclosed Porch Screening

With a screened enclosure, use either solid decking or spaced decking with insect screening stapled to the underside of the joists. Furring strips tacked over the screening will help keep it from sagging and tearing.

If the screening goes from floor to eaves, a system of rails and balusters will need to be installed to protect the lower half of the screen (Figure 4-18 below).

Figure 4-18: Porch screening details (C) J Wiley, S Bliss

If the porch is 30 inches or more above grade, the railing will need to comply with code for guardrails (see “Railings,” page 147). Another option is to build an enclosed knee wall and start the screening at the top of the knee wall (see Figure 4-19 shown below).

Figure 4-18: Porch screening details (C) J Wiley, S Bliss

Options for Screening-in a Porch

Screened porch (C) Daniel FriedmanThere are several options for screening. Whether you build your own or buy custom screens, aluminum screening is much stronger and more tear-resistant than fiberglass. Removable screens have the advantage of being easy to remove and repair. However, building screens from wooden screen mold is very time-consuming.

Simpler options for screening are:

Deck & Porch Resources, Products, Manufacturers: Where to Buy

Prefabricated Deck & Porch Railing Systems

Hidden Deck Fastener Suppliers

-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.



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