If a $20k screen porch addition to your house is outside your budget, here’s a fun summer project that one of our members shared with us!

Ben from Highland Park shared this idea with us after obtaining a quote for a screened-in enclosure that was well over his available budget.

“After looking around for more affordable alternatives, we found these aluminum ‘kits’ – but even that felt like overkill compared to what we wanted. We just want to be able to sit in our backyard this summer without being eaten alive by bugs! We’ve tried gazebos with drop-down mesh, but at least in our town, the squirrels and other wildlife seem to quickly create tears and holes in the fabric, so we know we want a sturdier metal mesh that is inside a frame. After further browsing in the Lowe’s and Home Depot websites, we found the perfect option – pre-constructed screen doors! At ~3 feet per panel, it’s easy and very affordable to construct a 6′ by 12′ enclosure – as long as you are willing to buy and cut some wood and drill some holes!”

Our backyard area

Constructing the walls

Connect the walls with 4″x4″ posts

3 walls up and laying out the roofing panels

As soon as this project is completed, we’ll post the final results!


  • It’s going to take longer than 1 weekend unless you regularly do construction projects!
  • Inexpensive, unsealed wood warps easily, so stain and assemble quickly.
  • Some of it can only be done with 2 people.
  • For a few parts, having 3 pairs of hands really helps!
  • We stained the wood with Valspar Honey Gold Transparent exterior stain and sealer.

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