Preparing an Enclosed Patio: 5 Elements You Will Need

patio screen

A patio is the perfect place to enjoy the warm seasons in comfort. With an enclosed patio, however, the space can be utilized year-round. As fall fast approaches, you shouldn’t be concerned about insects or the falling temperature.

To make sure your patio will stand the test of time, you need to plan out your construction carefully. However, installing patio screens for an enclosed patio is easy enough that any DIYer can handle it. Here are five elements that go into installing a patio screen mesh:

Screen Mesh

When selecting the right screen mesh, you will want to consider a few factors:

  • The size and type of local insects
  • The amount of sun you want to allow in
  • The appearance of the patio from the outside
  • The view from the inside of the patio

Tighter mesh options, referred to as 17/20, will keep out smaller insects, such as no-see-ums and nats. More open mesh, referred to as 17/14, might allow no-see-ums through but will stop flies and female mosquitoes from getting in and irritating your skin. While either mesh option makes an effective bug screen, you might want to consider the bugs in your area before buying.

Similarly, the tighter 17/20 mesh will necessarily block more sun and create a more private space than 17/14 mesh. Conversely, 17/14 mesh will allow a clearer view through the patio screen looking out from the patio, but also looking into the patio. This option will boil down to your personal preferences.

The screen mesh material also makes a difference. Polymer screen mesh materials are 200% stronger than fiberglass screens. Moreover, polymer screen mesh materials are resistant to ultraviolet rays, which means that they will not fade or become brittle over time like fiberglass screens will. The overall result is that polymer screen mesh materials are more durable and will be replaced less often than fiberglass screens.

Measuring Tape

Once you have decided which screen mesh you want to use, you need to measure your porch so you buy enough screen mesh material. Screen mesh comes in 100-foot rolls with widths varying from three feet to eight feet. You should measure each screen frame opening to determine how much screen mesh material you need. Keep in mind that you may also need to measure the screen for a screen door if your patio has one.

The measuring tape will also assist you in determining the size of the screen frames you need to build or buy.

Screen Frames

Screen frames will hold the screen mesh taut and prevent debris and insects from getting around your patio screen. Screen frames are generally made from aluminum, although plastic may also be used.

Each opening that will have a screen window will need a screen frame. Since you measured the openings, you should be able to buy or build screen frames with the correct dimensions to fit into all the openings of the enclosed porch.


Spline is the plastic cord that holds the screen material in the screen frame. The screen frame includes a channel around its perimeter to receive the spline. The screen mesh is held in the screen frame by sandwiching it between the spline and the channel. Thus, the spline must match the channel of the screen frame in both size and shape.

After cutting the screen mesh to roughly match the screen frame, the spline is pushed into the channel over the screen mesh. To assist you in securing the screen to the screen frame, a tool called a screen roller can be used to push the spline into the channel. Alternatively, the spline may be pushed into the channel by hand.

Utility Knife and Straight Edge

After securing the screen mesh with the spline, you will need to cut the spline and any excess screen mesh away. A utility knife usually functions well for these purposes. While you could cut the excess screen mesh from the screen frame freehand, a straight edge can help protect the screen mesh while you cut. There is nothing more frustrating than getting to the final step of building a window screen, only to accidentally cut the screen mesh.

A patio can be enclosed by most DIYers with a few tools and the right supplies. When you want a great patio screen that functions all year long, rely on Super-Screen for more information.