When we bought our home, we dreamed of adding a screened porch and deck addition we could use most months of the year, including windows that converted to screens and composite decking so that it will be maintenance free for years to come. We’re thrilled to share the design plan, construction process, and soon the big reveal!
Love porches? Catch the inviting screened porch and deck ideas that inspired us here and if you’re with us for the first time, here’s a tour of our new construction home right before we moved in.
We always knew we wanted a screened porch and deck, but we opted not to add one on while building our home because we wanted full control of the design. Plus, the screened porch in the model home was tiny and didn’t meet our needs, and we knew we’d be paying a premium if we upgraded because the builder would get a huge cut. Instead, we scouted out a local company and hired an architect to draw up the plans and are super happy we went that route.
Here’s what our deck looked before we started construction, as you can see it was tricky to plan with the roofline and various rooms jutting off the back:
The deck that came with the house was tiny and didn’t match the exterior, with barely enough room to put a table and a grill and still have space to walk across to the stairs leading to the yard. Certainly not enough room to entertain or play a round of beer pong. I mean, IF we were the type of people to play beer pong.
The deck stairs awkwardly protruded into the only part of our yard with enough square footage for playing and running, and was in an inconvenient spot.
With that in mind, we created our screened porch ‘wish list’ for the architect:
- enough room to fit an outdoor sectional and dining table in the screened area, plus a deck for the grill
- three season windows we could close during winter and pollen season and open to screens during warmer weather
- composite decking for long-term investment and making it maintenance free
- we wanted ALL THE SUNLIGHT both in the porch and in our home, so no covering exterior windows
- use as little yard space as possible
The Screened Porch Design Plan
We walked the area with the architect and discussed various ways to handle the uneven exterior and roofline. After a few iterations, we came up with a plan that included using less yard space, getting tons of sunlight, and maximizing the space for entertaining and relaxing. Here’s the proposed view as you look at the back of our home, notice how we had the porch go right up to the edge of the kitchen windows to create as much porch space as possible without blocking the interior sunlight:
Here’s how it looks if viewing from the right hand side– this is the biggest wall full of windows and a door to the porch, plus the deck and stairs:
Choosing the Deck and Railing Colors
I agonized a bit about the color of the deck and railings because THAT’S WHAT I DO. I’m chronically indecisive. In the end, I went with light gray composite decking because it was the least expensive color, matched well with our exterior, and wouldn’t get burning hot in the sun like darker colors. While black railings and spindles are a popular design choice in our area, we decided on gray for a classic New England look and also to hide the EZE Breeze window rails which would also be white. Here’s a photo from the Timbertek gallery to show a similar combo:
During the entire process I kept hoping I’d made the right choice, and when it finally started to come together, it was perfect! It encompassed the coastal resort feeling we really wanted.
Finally, it was time to get started with the construction! They demo-ed the previous deck boards but kept the framing. Then, they poured new footers and added onto the existing framing.
It’s a bit hard to see, but here’s something we REALLY wanted: screening UNDER the flooring! This prevents bugs from climbing through the cracks in the deck boards, and ensures a critter-free environment.
Then the framing starting going up for the walls and roof:
After the footers and supports were added and framing completed, the roof, shingles, and deck boards were installed. They added beadboard on the ceiling to be painted white, and added electrical. We made sure to get enough lighting and outlets installed to make this room comfy!
Then the magic really started happening when they wrapped the lumber and got ready to measure for the EZE Breeze windows.
All our anxiety starting going away as our dream room materialized!
The last step was the hardest… waiting! Since the EZE Breeze screens were custom ordered, the builders needed to install everything before measuring for the windows.. which then took 6 weeks to arrive.
Even though we didn’t have screens, I couldn’t help myself and had to start decorating. After I rolled out the rug I snapped a quick pic with my iPhone:
Next up: THE REVEAL! I’ll share how it looks now, with the three-season screens/windows installed, furniture, and decor. I’ll tell you one thing– we’ve spent more time on this porch than in the house once those screens went it. It’s the perfect napping area and we’ve caught ourselves living our best lives in this very spot. It was well worth the months of waiting to have it come to fruition. I’m so excited to show it to you… soon. 😉
Do you have any questions about the plan or the construction process? I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments!