When it comes to outdoor living spaces, a screened-in porch has to be one of the most popular. It provides a bug-free outdoor sanctuary in the warmer months, but what if you modified it so you could use it in the colder months too? The good news is that it doesn’t take much to turn your porch into a cozy space for winter activities.
Are you ready to winterize your screened-in porch? At its most simple, all you need is some larger screens and portable heaters to make it a usable space. Or you could go all-in with advanced porch enclosure systems to keep the winter weather at bay. Whatever you decide, the tutorial below will give you ideas on utilizing your screened-in porch this winter.
A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Utilize Your Screened-in Porch
Step One: Close It Up
One of the first things you should do to keep your screen porch winter-friendly is to keep the elements out. The screen keeps the bugs and critters out during the summer months. However, during the winter, you want to keep the cold temperatures out.
One of the best ways to do this is with outdoor vinyl curtains. These are essentially vinyl sheets that surround your porch. They can be opened and closed, and you can even see-through ones for a vinyl window. These curtains allow you to close your porch off from the outside world so that cold air, rain, and snow won’t put an end to your porch party.
Another great thing about these curtains is that you can customize the configuration of your porch. Meaning you could close the porch off entirely, or you could leave one or more curtains rolled up for fresh air and sunshine on a warm winter day. When the weather turns sour, close the curtains and cozy up on the porch.
As they are designed for outdoor use, they can withstand the elements while protecting you from them. If you’re on the lookout for some vinyl curtains, read our roundup of the best outdoor vinyl curtains available today. You can also operable louvers, screens, or windows to enclose your porch.
Step Two: Seal It Up
While using vinyl curtains, panels, or winter screens will enclose your screened-in porch, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s airtight. Cold air has a way of finding its way through tiny gaps in windows and doors to create a draught that will strip all that warm air away.
To prevent this, you need to make sure your screen porch is sealed correctly. If you’re unsure, you could hire a professional to do the job right. Otherwise, break out the caulking and a caulking gun.
You should apply a bead of caulking to any visible gaps you see in doors, windows, and the frames for both. It could also be a good idea to add a coat of waterproofing to the exterior of your porch. It will close up any unseen gaps in the siding and make sure everything is airtight.
Pro Tip: Use a soapy finger to smooth the wet caulking for a tight seal and smooth finish. The soap stops the caulk from sticking to your finger and bunching up the finish. Any soap will do.
Step Three: Warm It Up
Keeping cold air out of your screened-in porch isn’t good enough to make it a comfortable place to hang out in winter. You need a heat source inside. Besides, it adds to the ambiance.
Porch heaters are a great way to heat your outdoor space. They’re designed for this job. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you’re bound to find one that fits your aesthetic too. Take a look at the best energy-efficient space heaters you can use on your porch.
Since many patio heaters involve a gas-powered flame, safety precautions need to be considered. Always check the manufacturers’ recommendations before installing and using a gas heater. Make sure it’s approved for use in covered patios and enclosed spaces. It’s always a good idea not to place any objects within at least 3 feet of the heater.
Pro Tip: Use insulated vinyl curtains to get the most heat out of your patio heater.
Step Four: Cosy It Up
Hanging out in winter looks a lot different from hanging out in summer. So to get the most out of your screened-in porch this winter, aim for cozy instead of cool.
To up those comfort levels and keep everyone toasty, look for an outdoor or patio sofa set. There’s nothing like snuggling up on a couch with those you hold dear.
Fluffy blankets and oversized pillows will complete the cozy factor in your screened-in porch. Don’t forget the mugs and marshmallows for hot chocolate on the porch.
Step Five: Glam It Up
Now it’s time to accessorize. It all depends on your aesthetic and how you like to decorate your home. Since your screened-in porch is now a four-season space, why not play on this with your accessories?
Use winter-themed decorations to bring a bit of the outside inside while keeping the cold weather out.
You could also opt to decorate your space according to the holidays if this is more your style. The options are endless!
Step Six: Pack It Up
If you decide to winterize your screened-in porch, you’re going to have a lot of extra stuff that you probably won’t need in summer. All those blankets and overstuffed pillows need to go somewhere, so why not make storage part of the furniture?
You could use a storage chest that doubles as an extra seat when you have company. You could even get a couch with built-in storage underneath.
That way, you could keep your extras out of the way while providing seating for everyone. Everybody loves plenty of storage.
Wrap It Up
By following the tutorial, you’ll end up with a warm and cozy screened-in porch to enjoy this winter. There is plenty of room to add your touches and ideas to personalize the space.
Remember that for the best results, you need to make sure your porch is sealed. Any air gaps around doors and windows will affect the air temperature in the space, and nobody’s going to spend much time in a place that’s icy cold. What’s more, this should also seal up any gaps where water can enter your porch, which is also great.
What do you think? Did you enjoy this tutorial? Are you ready to utilize your screened-in porch? Comment below with your top tip for making your space winter-ready.