In the early days of the pandemic — back when many people were only leaving their homes when it was absolutely necessary — having any type of outdoor space made a big difference, and helped people feel less trapped. But some outdoor spaces are more pleasant than others: Especially ones that are basically extensions of the indoors.
But porches fully enclosed in glass are pretty pricey, so many opted to install a screened-in porch instead. Depending on where you live, though, your screened-in porch can’t be used year-round. Plus, the screened walls are great for letting fresh air in, but that may not necessarily be what you want in the dead of winter.
Whether you’re looking to use your screened-in porch during the winter, or simply protect it from the elements, here are some suggestions.
Cover the walls with vinyl sheeting
Get enough clear, heavy-duty vinyl sheeting to completely cover all of the walls of your porch. Measure, then cut the vinyl into pieces for each wall, using Velcro to attach them to the inside of your porch. This may not be as effective in areas that are especially windy, but it’s definitely better than nothing.
Install vinyl or acrylic panels
If you want to take things to the next level — both in terms of cost and effort — you can install vinyl or acrylic panels on the walls of your screened-in porch. Although this is a project you can take on yourself, go in knowing that it’ll likely be time consuming. But when you’re done, you’ll essentially have a three-season room, and you can store the panels during the warmer months and reuse them the following year.
Put up insulated curtains
For those living in climates that don’t really have a prolonged cold, snowy winter, putting thick, insulated curtains around your screened-in porch should do the trick. If you want to get fancy, you can do a double layer of curtains: Dark, heavy outdoor drapes that will absorb the warmth of the sun when it’s out, and then a thick, clear vinyl curtain underneath. Keep both layers closed when you’re not on the porch, and then open the dark drapes when you’re using it.
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