How to Screen Your Deck

What You'll Need
Several feet of screen of your choice (plastic or steel are good choices)
Staple gun
Trim pieces to match your current deck color and stain
Brad nails
Measuring tape
Carpet scissors
Wood glue
2x4 planks (optional, size varied)

Sometimes it’s just necessary to change the configuration of your deck to a screen deck instead of a regular exposed one. Outdoor spaces are delicious treats that will help you incorporate indoor living with the beauty of nature outside. Often though, bugs will chase homeowners back inside, other times the elements like wind and rain will make sitting outside on the deck unpleasant—which defeats the purpose of having a deck in the first place.

Step 1 – Measure and Get Screen

The first thing you must do is determine how much screen you need, and where you want to put it. You may want to put screen below the floor of the deck, to keep critters from coming up through the cracks, as well as screening the rest of the “room” in. You should hang your screen up on the support beams that hold it up to your home, in a vertical fashion much like you would hang curtains. Measure accordingly and leave a foot per panel you need for error in cutting. It’s also a good idea if you get a screen that’s wider than the panels you need, or you’ll have to build something to tack extra panels to. Also measure for screen to be installed on the bottom part as well, below the banister and behind the spindles.

Determine how much screen you need and take it home from the hardware store, and get ready to screen in your deck.

Step 2 – Cut Screen

Now you’re ready to cut your screen into panels to fit the deck above and below the railing, giving enough room for the panels to overlap the edge of the screen on the wood. Cut them to meet the size requirements of your deck.

Step 3 – Staple Screen Up

You can now put your screen onto the wood. It’s going to look a little rough at first, don’t worry. Hold your panel up to the wood and begin stapling downwards, keeping the staples horizontal, and put a staple every 1 inch down and across. Make sure you reinforce the corners with a second staple right over the very tip of each corner, so they don’t curl up.
Repeat this process until you have your screen up everywhere you need it, and get ready to finish the edges.

Step 4 – Finish Edges

Now you can tack up your matching trim pieces over the screen and staple seams. If you need to cut them to fit, make sure you cut them at 45-degree angles so that tey fit perfectly at the corners, looking more like a picture frame than a plain box to hold the screen in. Start with the bottom piece by putting a very thin bead of wood glue across the wrong side and then stick it to your screen seam. Now use your hammer and brads to tack up that piece. Next work on the side pieces by putting a bead of wood glue at the meeting points of the side piece and bottom trim piece, and tack it up. Repeat this for the other side, and then for the top.

Finally, wipe down the trim pieces and where they butt up against the wood of your deck so you remove any excess wood glue.

You’re all done, and you can now (finally!) sit down in your screened-in deck and enjoy the outdoors without going too far into nature.