Screened Porch


No matter the size, from a small front porch addition to a large screened in porch construction for entertaining, knowing how and when to build a screened porch will help determine many factors.

An important question to think about when creating your custom porch design is the purpose of your custom screened porch addition and it’s functionality.

Not sure where to begin? Check out our gallery and view these completed screened porch and addition designs to get some inspiration for your next project!

What is Your Screened Porch’s Primary Function?

Is it:

  • A quiet place to sit back and relax in comfort
  • Neighbourhood get-togethers on weekends
  • Quiet intimate outdoor dinners
  • Entertaining (business or pleasure)
  • Exercise room
  • Outdoor office
  • Outdoor game room
  • Spa retreat complete with hot tub or jacuzzi
  • Weekend “tailgating” room to watch all the games
  • Entertainment room with surround sound
  • Sleeping porch
  • Place for morning coffee and the paper
  • A privacy area for reading a good book or watching wildlife
  • Combination of these

Why is the Purpose so Important?

Why is knowing how the porch will be used such an important aspect of designing a screened porch? Ideas or purposes for screened porches create specific construction criteria:

Designing a custom screened porch for intimate dinners may require electrical modifications to accommodate a chandelier. In comparison, an exercise room will possibly require in-floor receptacles to power treadmills or stair climbers. An office area may require additional direct lighting, computer surge protection, and smooth flooring to easily maneuver an office chair. Finally, an entertainment room or sports room may require a fireplace and wide-screen TV, stereo surround sound, and even a popcorn machine!

Here are a few other important considerations to think about before designing a screened in porch.

How Many People will be Using your Screened Porch on a Regular Basis?

You will probably furnish your screened porch based on this number. If it will be used primarily by family members on a regular basis, you will want to plan for that number plus 2 more for occasional friends and relatives.

What is the Highest Number of People that will use your Screened Porch Periodically?

If you host a Thanksgiving dinner every year in your screened porch, consider adding space or reconfigure your seating to accommodate a larger number of people. You may want to have additional outlets on a wall for food warmers, or a storage space to hold additional furniture used on special occasions.

How Young are Those that will use the Screened Porch Regularly?

Both toddlers and younger children are inquisitive and love to play. Your screened porch may need additional considerations, like a combination of vinyl slider and screen or a knee wall instead of screens near the floor, etc., to both protect the porch screening, and prevent someone from falling through the screening.

Screened Porch Design Location Considerations

The major location factors to consider for screened porch designing deal with the property itself: easements, setbacks, Home Owner Associations (HOAs), and topography (terrain, slope, and landscaping) all affect the location where a screened porch can be built.

Easements: are pathways that must be accessible and unencumbered by law. Here’s a few easements that could potentially affect the location of your new screened porch:

  • Flowage easement: You cannot alter or block water runoff depressions, gullies, or streams.
  • Utility easement: You must allow access for utility lines and poles.
  • Accessibility easement: When properties are split, you must allow access, usually a driveway width, to the other property.

Setback Restrictions: are based on the distance from the edge of the property line to the new construction, most municipalities have such restrictions.

Property Setbacks: could impact where you can locate your screened porch. Most municipal planning departments require a site plan; they should check to see if any violation exists before a permit is issued.

Home Owner Associations (HOAs): This is not a group you want to dismiss during screen porch building if you happen to live in an area controlled by one. HOAs have immense legal power in the courts and it is very difficult to get a favourable ruling if you violate a rule, in most cases.

Topographical Features Such as Slopes, Terrain, and Landscaping can Affect the Location of Your Screened Porch Addition.

  • A steep slope or even moderate sloping may create an excellent location for a screened porch. Most would require additional support column reinforcement, which will increase costs, but by taking advantage of slopes, you would be using property that otherwise is unusable.
  • Terrain can affect your location as well. If you live in a flat area that is prone to flooding, locating a screened porch at ground level in a low area may not be the best decision.
  • Landscaping should be considered as well when locating a screened porch. Although you have a roof, shade trees can help keep the hot sun off your porch and keep it cooler. Alternatively, if you desire a lot of light for reading or playing games, you might consider not placing it in a shaded area.

Screen Porch Placement

You will want to take advantage of the prevailing breezes of summer. This will help to keep your screened porch cooler and more enjoyable. If you live in a windy area, you may want to place the screened porch in a location to avoid the wind, especially if you’re using your screened porch for dinning.

Along with the wind, comes the sun. Placing the screened porch addition on the west side of your home will invite plenty of sunlight. Blocking out the sun is easy with porch blinds and shades, in case you need more shade.

You’ll also want to capture views of wildlife, the setting sun, or even your children playing in the yard. Keep this in mind when positioning your porch.

Views are also important; the view from the porch should play a major role in determining where you build or position your screened porch. You’ll want to avoid unsightly objects, for example, your neighbour’s dilapidated shed, an untended swimming pool, etc.

In addition, consider noise levels. If you have noisy neighbours perhaps placing the screened porch on the opposite side of the neighbourhood will help alleviate the intrusion.

And lastly, consider traffic patterns in your screened porch designs. Does your porch give you easy access to the areas of your yard and home that you frequent most often? Do you have a garden that needs to be watered one side of the porch, but the water faucet is on the opposite side? Will your guests have to go through the kitchen, or other parts of your home, to access the porch?

A small screened porch off the kitchen designed for morning coffee and the paper needs to appear from both inside and out as an extension of the original kitchen. Likewise, a large second-story screened porch needs to appear as an integral part of the second floor.

When applying All-Craft’s porch design process, your screened porch will be sure to define how you will use it!

Consider the Following When Designing Your Screened Porch:

  • Roof lines are the trickiest part of the screened porch in most cases, and are the most important screened porch design factor. Try to keep the roof lines consistent with your home.
  • If you have a gable roof, try to incorporate a gable into your screened porch roof design. Although a shed roof would be less expensive, a gable roof will not only have more appeal, but also allow for a cathedral ceiling.
  • In some cases, it may be very difficult to join one roof to another. The longer the roof the more rise (slope) it needs to shed water, ice, and snow. Adjustments may have to be made to meet code requirements.
  • The roofing materials used on your home should match the material used on the screened porch’s roof.
  • Style is important. If you have a country-style home, building a contemporary screened porch will look out-of-place. Try to keep window framing, trim, etc., basically the same throughout. It doesn’t have to match exactly, but the closer it is, the more natural the addition will look. Just as different window coverings can change the appearance of a room, trim and framing can change the appearance of your custom screened porch.
  • Attention to details can help blend your porch’s style with that of your home. Carry your home’s trim onto your screened porch addition if possible.

If you could not find the information you were looking for, visit our decks and sunrooms FAQ page for more!

Please contact us today if you are looking for a screened porch design or addition quote in Halifax!