Remodeling: Ask an Expert

Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine
Wednesday, February 1, 2006

*This article features DeckWright, now known as MOSAIC Outdoor Living.


Atlanta-home-improvement-logoQ:
I have a deck that is enclosed on two sides by exterior walls of my house. How difficult would it be to screen in the deck? About how much would it cost? Is it a DIY job?-J. Osborne, Marietta

A: I’m sure you will enjoy the benefits of a screened porchat your home. Al though it may appear simple on the surface, there are many factors to consider when enclosing a part of your deck with a roof and screen walls.

Unless you are an experienced builder, a screened porch is most likely beyond the skills and knowledge of a DIY project.

A screened porch must be properly planned before any work actually begins. The existing structure should be evaluated by a licensed engineer or architect. It must be determined that the structure is connected to the house appropriately, meets current building code requirements and can support the additional weight of a new roof. In most instances, this project would also require a building permit from your local building department.

Once these criteria are established, the roof configuration can be addressed. The new roof should be designed so that water will be shed away from the house at a proper slope. Because there are two existing walls already in place, the roof may be a tricky issue.

There are also many aesthetic and design issues to consider. How will the new porch roof affect the natural daylight of the adjacent interior spaces? Would skylights be appropriate? Is a ceiling fan needed? How would it be lighted at night? What materials should be used on the ceiling? How will the screens be attached? What type of roof shingles will match the current shingles? Are railings needed? You get the picture.

It would be my recommendation that you contact a professional company to assist with your project.
-Rick Goldstein, architect, DeckWright Inc.

See the reprint of the article here (PDF).