Screen Your Porch for Comfier Living

Screening your porch offers a simple solution to keep out bugs, severe sunlight, and possibly intruders.
Keep Intruders at Bay

Burglars aren't the only intruders you want to keep out of your home. Your list probably includes bugs and blistering sunlight, too. If so, one surprisingly simple solution will help in all these cases: screening.

Types Available

Aluminum and fiberglass are the two basic materials to choose from. Solar screening, along with stamped aluminum and bronze screens, are available to block sun. Heavy mesh steel screens can be installed as a security measure.

Features to Consider

  • Bug banning. If you are only concerned about mosquitoes and their ilk, light aluminum or fiberglass screens should suffice. These inexpensive screens come in colors and are easily installed. To get a feel for different finishes, unroll several feet of screening at the store and look through an unfurled section from a distance. Screen appears darker up close than it does from a few feet.
  • Sun shading. All screens stop some sunshine, but solar screens are woven so tightly they offer significant shading for anyone standing near windows. Typical solar screens stop up to 65 percent of the sunlight for less than $1 a square foot. Stamped aluminum and bronze screens capable of blocking out as much as 85 percent of sunlight are also available at costs up to $15 a square foot.
  • Thief thwarting. Security screens don't look much different from other screens, but they are made with heavy mesh steel that is mounted in tough frames. They won't fend off the most determined criminals, but they can't be kicked or punched out and are very difficult to cut. For further information, check with companies in your area that provide security systems.

Cost Guidelines

Depending on what it is made from and how tightly it is woven, simple mesh screening can be an effective first defense. The price for screens will vary according to your need. Basic aluminum or fiberglass screens in 100-foot-long by 30-inch-wide rolls are $78 to $85. Solar screens in 100-foot by 36-inch rolls will cost you $175 to $200.

Continued on page 2:  Cottage Comforts