Enclosing screened-in porch for the winter

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For 5 years in my new home, I was closing up my screened in porch with plastic sheeting stapled on frames that fit inside the porch screen frames. I had to carry 16 of these panels up through my house since my deck has no stairs, and it took half a day to unscrew the safety railings, put them in, secure them with screwed-in L-brackets, and cuss all the while lamenting losing some fall fishing time. Once in a while high winds would rip them up, and spiders would crap all over them during summer storage.


This year, I found some 20 mil clear vinyl tarps that I hung with stainless screws and stainless s-hooks under the soffits, and adding tension with bungees on the bottom hem of the tarps. Granted it took some time to get on a ladder and screw in all these hooks, but when I remove them in the spring and re-install next fall, it should be way faster than my previous method.


The 1st pic shows a few panels I chose to keep (cloudy translucent plastic) and the 20 mil tarps on either side.


I can't believe it took me this long to think of searching on-line for these tarps. The idea was in my head from seeing restaurants do something similar, but I thought it would be too expensive. I bought 3 8x16 tarps, 25 bungees, 25 ss screws, 18 ss hooks for about $370.


I chose 20 mil vs. 30 mil because I knew it would be lighter and easier to hang from a ladder and it should work out in NY winters.




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I used bungees with hooks along the corners of the house and where the spindles were, and used deck furniture or weights to hold the middle sections down.


Since this post, we have converted this into an all season, heated and insulated family room.  I was lucky to sell the sheeting; I'm sitting in the room here typing...

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On 12/10/2017 at 2:35 PM, staktup said:




I got a question for you. I have a 3 season porch that I still wanted to make a better use of it. When you hang the vinyl up, do you ever get rain and moisture from the top to inside? 


Also will wind and cold still get into it? How much of a difference in protection versus none? 

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I don't recall any rain coming in from the top due to the eaves protecting the top of the "window" opening.  I also hung the vinyl well above the opening too.  


Yes, wind will work its way through any openings, and yes it will be cold.  However, it will provide some protection and be a few degrees higher than ambient conditions, especially if it gets some sunlight.

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