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Add a screen porch for more outdoor living flexibility.

Lately I’ve had more and more clients asking about including a screen porch in their new home. They are especially desirable in parts of the U.S. where insects are a big problem (mosquitoes and flies in the South and Southeast, bees in some mountain states). I’ve even had a client in Florida who wanted to cover his entire yard and pool with a screen! While that is certainly on the extreme end, I do love the flexibility that screen porches give homeowners for outdoor living. One of my favorite products for this are Phantom Screens (http://www.phantomscreens.com), an electric retractable screen that rolls up (electronically) vertically or (manually) horizontally on a track with an almost imperceptible frame. The nylon-coated screen and aluminum frame are virtually maintenance free, making it a great choice if you can afford the price tag. I don’t recommend screens on wood frames just for the issue of added maintenance, and I caution my clients that a screen porch attached to their home will make the adjoining room quite a bit darker (the need for an enclosed roof on the porch blocks most of the room’s natural light). Other must-haves for a screen porch include ceiling fans (for both air circulation and to deter bugs), radiant heat floors or radiant space heaters (even outdoor fireplaces may need supplemental heat sources), and often an insect repellant system (new products mist a fine spray of eucalyptus or lavender that are pleasant and eco-friendly). With a bit of planning and foresight, you can create an outdoor haven your family will enjoy practically year ‘round.

Retractable screens like these from Phantom Screens give your screened porch or outdoor room even more flexibility.

3 Responses to “Add a screen porch for more outdoor living flexibility.”

  1. Pat Murphy Says:

    Jack, as you remember as part of our remodel, completed just three years ago, we installed five Phamton Screens on the French Doors leading out to the veranda. The color of the casings was a perfect match for the trim color. Carol and I could not be any more pleased. JPM Great Falls VA.

  2. Sande Chase Says:

    Dear Mr. Arnold,
    I am a retired interior designer, present website owner, and blogger from Canada who built one of your plans 11 years ago. Readers have asked to see the interior of my Jack Arnold home which I have mentioned a few times. Anyways, here is the link and we still adore our home after all these years…………I think your work is spectacular. Should we want to downsize in the futurre, it will certainly be another of your designs. If you ever wish to advertise on a blog let me know, but that is not what this email is about, I simply wanted readers to take a peek at your lovely house plans. All the best in the upcoming holiday season.
    Sande Chase ~ A Gift wrapped Life

    http://agiftwrappedlife.blogspot.com/2010/11/warm-welcometo-my-home.html

  3. elisebross Says:

    Hello! I am currently not on twitter, but plan to be very soon! Also working on another blog post. Thanks for your interest!

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