Wooden porch screens: The setup

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We have several porches around our 1820 Federal style house, and no two of them are the same. Off the driveway we have an entrance porch, which I largely rebuilt last year (photo), and above that is a classic sleeping porch. Before the days of air conditioning, sleeping porches allowed you to catch the breezes all night while you were protected from the weather and the bugs. That meant some sort of screening.

Our sleeping porch has screened windows on two sides, with a movable screened window tucked between a chimney and the house on a third. It’s a pleasant room with a stained beadboard ceiling.

Sleeping porch - inside

A couple of years ago I was painting that side of the house and I took down two of the wooden screens. The wood had gotten punky in some areas and the screens needed to be replaced. I decided that I would rebuild the screens completely and let the old ones sit outside.

In this photo, the window with the missing screen in on the right. The windows themselves are about 15 feet (± 5 meters) up in the air.

Sleeping porch - outside

In the meanwhile, I found a good use for one of the screens I took down:

Old screen as garden gate

That’s not the permanent garden gate, but it will do for now.

Over a few entries to follow this one, I’ll show how I’ll build the wooden frames for the new screens, prime and paint them, install new aluminum screening, make and attach new trim molding, and then put the new screens in place on the porch.

Next: Starting construction


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