Deck and Patio Screen Installation - 4 Simple Steps

Deck and patio screen installation is the easiest on a covered deck or patio. In this case, you can use the roof structure and the base structure to create an easy to finish screened enclosure.

Step One – Check Building Codes

Your community may require a building permit or similar permission if you are completely enclosing a porch or deck with screens.  If you are simply installing a wood privacy screen or a smaller screen for shade on one side of a deck or patio, then such permits will likely be unnecessary.

Check with your local building office, however, to be sure you are following guidelines. Ask at your city hall, county office or township administrator office, and they will direct you to the proper department to let you know what regulations to follow.

Step Two – Create Frames

Buying a screen room kit is an easy way to complete this part of the project, but with measuring and basic woodworking skills, you can complete it without a kit.

Measuring each side of the deck or patio, divide that length by the number of screen sections you’d like to have. Remember that you don’t want screen frames to be much wider than a standard screen door – about 2 ½ to 3 feet in width.

Construct simple wood frames from 2 x 4s to extend between the base of the deck and patio and the roof. Divide the length as evenly as possible for a uniform look.

Use wood screws rather than nails for a stronger frame, and attach to the roof for stability.

If you are installing screens to a patio permanently, then you can use a foundation board attached to the concrete with concrete screws. Attach the frames to this board as well as the roof structure.

Use pressure treated lumber if you want to stain or seal, or outdoor wood if you are going to paint the exposed surfaces. Remember to leave a 32 inch or a 36 inch opening for the screen door.

Step Three – Treat the Wood

After creating the basic frames, you should paint or stain the wood before installing the screens.

Use a good, outdoor primer, then cover with two coats of outdoor paint.

If you choose staining, you can use a garden or paint sprayer to apply the stain evenly across the wood. Use tarps or newspapers on the floor of the deck and patio to protect them from over-spray.

Step Four – Install the Screens

There are several good choices for screen installation. For removable screens, look at the hook and loop fastening systems that allow you to put Velcro-type hooks on the frames and the loops on the screen. They hold well when you want the screens installed, and roll up easily or are completely removed when you want the deck and patio open.

The standard screen installation is to stretch screen material between the frames, staple it on, then secure it with painted or stained narrow wooden battens. However, using screen base strips with spline indents around the frame provides a better-fit and taut screen throughout the years. It also makes the screen extremely easy to change if it tears at some point.

Add your door, and your screens are complete.