If your home’s screened porch was built more than 10 years ago, it may have been built with a traditional screening system. With these dated older systems, screens are attached to railings and posts with staples or tacks, and trim is nailed up to hide the unsightly fasteners and seams.
The main problem with this method is that screens come loose and begin to sag over time. In addition, if screens are torn or damaged in any way, it can be very difficult to replace them, since you’ll have to remove the trim and pull out many staples or tacks to remove the screen.
Installing a Standard Screening System for a Screen Room
Happily, new screening systems have since been introduced to the market, which are much quicker and more economical to install, as well as being easier to replace. One of the more recommended of these systems is SCREENEZE, a patented system where screens are snapped in place between an aluminum base and vinyl cap. The SCREENEZE system eliminates the need for staples, tacks, splines, and posts, and can work with a variety of different screen fabrics.
The price of installing a new screening system can vary vastly depending on the number and size of the windows you have to screen-in. On a typical screened porch with six average-sized screens, say 4' x 6', the cost of installing a new SCREENEZE screening system can start at $4,500. If your trim is rotting or blemished, the cost of installing new trim can tack another few thousand dollars onto the price.
Installing a Motorized Retractable Screening System
Modern advancements in screening systems have also brought us another innovative type of screening: the motorized retractable system. With this type of screening system in place, you are able to roll out and retract the screens on your porch with the touch of a button on a remote. Many systems come with smart automation systems that can roll out and retract in accordance to the movement of the sun, the presence of high winds, or on a timing system. Examples of motorized retractable porch screens include Fenetex and Phantom Screens.
The cost of installing the motor and electrical work for a motorized retractable screening system is typically around $5,000 per motor. One motor is needed for each retractable wall of the screened porch, so most porches will need up to three motors.
Timelapse video of Design Builders installing Phantom retractable screens in Clifton, Virginia
In addition, if you want to install framing and trim to conceal the somewhat bulky-looking motors, this can add another $1,000 to $2,000 to the total cost of the project. By concealing the motors installed on the exterior of your porch with beams, you can give your porch a cleaner, more elegant appearance.
Installing or Updating Screened Porch Doors
When updating a screened-in porch with a new screening system, you may also want to consider replacing the door, which is likely to be a bit outdated if your screened porch is a bit older.
Storm doors are important for providing insulation and protecting the attractive but more vulnerable interior door from harsher weather conditions. Modern storm doors are made with sturdier hardwood and powder-coated aluminum that resists chipping, rusting, and warping. Not only do these storm doors look nicer, they can provide better protection and insulation for your porch.
Andersen or Larson screened doors, which come in array of price points and styles, are great options. Depending on the style and brand you choose, a new storm door installation should cost about $1,000 per door.
Installing a new screening system with new screened doors is an excellent way to give your older porch a like-new appearance. New screens and doors will also help keep your interior space secure, preventing insects, rodents, and pests from entering through holes and loose seams. With the help of a contractor, you should be able to quickly and economically transform your screened porch with a new, more modern screening system with durable, handsome storm doors.