New summer project: an enclosed porch.


This is what my porch looks like now.

When I was in Florida earlier this month, I was impressed by some of the screened in porches I saw around my son’s apartment complex, some festooned with white or colored year-round Christmas-type lights, lots of plants, and decked out with comfy indoor/outdoor furniture.    I mentioned to my daughter and her BF Zach how inviting they looked and how I wished my porch was enclosed like that.

Well, as it happens,  Zach knows a bit about building and construction, and said he and my daughter would be willing to pay for half of the cost of enclosing my porch.  All I’d have to do is come up with the other half.   I’d been able to save a little this year and have enough to cover half the cost (total cost would be $900).   Since I don’t own my home (I have a landlord who doesn’t care if changes are made, as long as it improves the property) I asked him if enclosing the space would be alright.   He said it would be fine, and is even allowing me to take $100 off the rent each month until the $900 it would take to start enclosing the porch is reimbursed.

Several things need to be done.  The grey paint is peeling off the cement floor of the porch, but the old paint is loose enough it could be pressure washed off.   We’d repaint it and possibly then cover it with indoor/outdoor carpeting (to cover the cracks in the cement, which it would probably cost too much to replace).   The beams that currently hold up the roof (which is actually formed by the room immediately above the area) are old, rotting, and don’t match in size.   Zach would remove these and replace them with treated natural wood 2 by 4s, and then fit the spaces in between with screens that would start about waist level and natural wood below those extending to the floor.    A simple screen door would be installed.    After that it’s just a matter of furnishing the space and making it look great.    It would be a better place for my plants (which aren’t doing too well outside right now due to an overabundance of sunlight and heat) and a great place to read, nap, have company, enjoy the sights outside, and just relax.

It would also provide a kind of extra room as well as a nifty “catio” for my cats, where they could enjoy the outdoors while not really being outdoors.     The space is large enough to be a sleeping porch in the summer, and being enclosed would certainly help keep the bugs and the heat down.  Right now, it’s usually too hot to sit out there long in midsummer, except in the evenings.

I think we’re going to start the work next weekend.  I’m pretty excited!

This is what I envision the finished result looking  something like:




23 thoughts on “New summer project: an enclosed porch.

  1. Your porch looks very nice as it is although I can see the advantages to the new design. Your landlord is really nice to pay for it. So I guess you must be planning to stay in NC for quite a while instead of moving to Florida.

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  2. George and I are working towards enclosing our own front porch so I was excited to see what you envisioned as the result. We have to do it all on about 100.00. yes, I just said 100.00. I WISH we had more fund but it will all work out I am sure. I was given a ‘screened room” of those things that have an aluminum frame? frame just the screens..which i cut into pieces and stapled up around the entire porch. We already have a half ‘fence’ that encloses it. I found one screen door at a junk yard for 5 bucks, and am looking for a second one. The opening is wide! I have two hanging swings on either end and am thinking about taking one and putting it into the backyard so I can have a porch bed. In any event, I look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

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    • That sounds like it could work! There’s all kinds of shortcuts where you don’t have to spend a lot. I like the hanging swings. I’d love one, but probably not enough room.

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  3. I put up narrow curtain rods high up on the inside of my porch ceiling and hung long white drapes made of plain, shirred sheets – which can be taken down occasionally and laundered. They catch the breeze, can be left open for the view, or closed to shield from the sun, or for privacy. This is my inexpensive cheating way of “enclosing” a porch.

    An old piano bench doubles as a coffee table in which I keep reading material covered underneath the lid. I attached to this a victorian drawer pull that is shaped like a cherub holding violets. Total cost for coffee table $25. This is surrounded by chairs, a rocker, and the old porch swing. On a side table sits a pot filled with vintage pansies, and an old bottle on the floor holds leaf-less, but interestingly shaped branches.

    I am pretty much surrounded by trees and out in the country. I am really tempted to sleep outside on the porch swing on summer nights. One night I just may do it. It is also lovely sittting out there during a rain storm, listening to the rain’s pounding against my porch roof – and watching the grass turn a lush green.

    I too have draped inexpensive white Christmas lights around the porch railings, and candle light adds summer ambiance.

    Can I suggest to cover cement cracks in your floor if you must (I like rustic) not artificial turf – but one of the many new indoor/outdoor faux wood finishes or something that looks natural?

    Happy “space” creating! I love the concept of an “outdoor” room!

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    • Oh! That sounds absolutely charming! Those are good ideas. I was thinking about using laminate flooring that looks like wood over the cracked cement — except there are spots in the cement that aren’t perfectly flat due to the cracks, so I thought the carpeting might work better (even though it’s less attractive).


          • Oh! I’m so sorry! My mistake! When you said indoor/outdoor carpeting I had a mental flashback to a relative’s old turf carpeting. It was only a flashback. That is so funny.

            But I guess what I’m suggesting (which might even be cheaper and more stylish but I don’t know your space) is a painted floor (I see deep chocolate brown) paired with a smaller, centered area rug beneath the furniture.

            I am in the middle of renovating my living room and cannot afford the wood flooring yet, so after ripping out the yucky 80’s carpeting I actually painted the floorboards dark brown then temporarily placed smaller rugs. It actually gives the illusion of rugs on wood.

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  4. I like the idea of a “bear rug” minus the critter though. Cats tend to…well..pee on furs laid on a floor. (lol) so……you could make a fake bear rug out of brown furry like material…okay…back to bed for suze. Even I looked at that thought and went EUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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    • Oh ! I meant a faux bear rug, or one of those artificial dark brown fur rugs you can pick up at Home Goods or Marshall’s. I actually used a heavy “fur” blanket throw as a “bear” rug – and it fits in my washing machine.

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    • And yes, I have purchased “fur” material to use as a rug but imagine the ends would have to be hemmed before I can put it through a washing machine. I believe it was 9.99 a yard, purchased at Hobby Lobby – which has 40% off coupons. Fur blanket throws work well if they are heavy enough, the “fur” is long enough, it’s a small space, and stationary furniture holds it down.

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