My husband had his heart set on a pool…..UNTIL I reminded him that I had been wanting to enclose the back patio for two years and how we could do it ourselves. After all….it was already enclosed on 3 of the 4 sides and just needed a fourth wall with a door. How hard could that be?!!? <<Cue the eye roll and huge sigh from the hubby>>. I guess he’s come to embrace my projects because he knows if he doesn’t help that I’ll still do it anyway and will take twice as long if he doesn’t pitch in.
Now considering that I’m a tightwad and don’t want to pay anyone to do something I’m fully capable of doing, I couldn’t bring myself to pay $2,500 for a wall that I knew we could build for $800. And $800 was a LOT-T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T cheaper than a pool!!!!
So he caved and we got to work!!!
This is the best pic I could get of the patio before we got started…..BLAH!!! I totally envision this space as a man cave for the hubby with a TV in that corner playing SEC football and sipping on my coffee under a warm blanket during the fall. Hubs had actually wired this corner for a TV and surround sound when we built the house.
I probably brainstormed on how to deal with that brick lip (see pic above….half way down on the right side) for a full year, and how I wanted the frame to work around it. Since I’m no super experienced carpenter or builder, I decided to simplify it as much as possible and just use 2x4s to build up along the hardy plank siding and get flush with the brick lip and that would be what I would attach the frame to. I also decided to do sets of frames instead of one big frame that would be attached…mainly so that if something got off somehow we could make up for it along the way (which usually happens in my projects). The last thing I wanted was to build the entire frame and then go put it up and the thing not fit!!!!!! The best part of this project, though, is that it’s already enclosed on 3 sides and has the header ready to attach to on the fourth side. Should be easy-peasy :).
Material calcs……Yes I’m type A!!!!
Building the 2x4s up to meet with the brick lip in order to attach the patio frame:
Do you see our psycho cat hiding there? She might look all sweet and nice…..but oh no….she’s waiting to pounce!
Frames going up!!!!!!!! One by one!!!!
In order for the pieced together 2x4s to look like one solid piece of wood, I had to do quite a bit of wood filling, smoothing and sanding. I also had to fill in all the holes where I screwed the frames together. I have a love/hate relationship with my power sander. I love it because it makes everything look so much better, but I HATE how it makes my arms feel like jello for hours after I use it!!!! And yes I wear a mask while sanding. The fine dust flares up my sinus issues so I’m always sporting my $1 mask from Dollar Tree (I know you didn’t forget that I’m thrifty!!!).
Next step……paint! Oh how I love to paint <<<<can you hear the sarcasm in that????>>>>. I painted and painted and painted some more in order to try and seal that treated wood as much as possible. Even though this project wasn’t crazy hard to this point, it seemed to take FOREVER because I worked in hour spurts here and there between soccer games, school schedules, extracurricular activities, cooking, cleaning, you know……just being a mom. So I called in the reinforcements!!!!! The grandparents :).
My parents came up and stayed a weekend to help us knock this thing out and let me tell you it took the ENTIRE time! Nana entertained the kids while the hubby, my dad, and I all worked on screening this thing in and finished out the door.
Now on to the screen part. Typically, porches are enclosed by mounting the frame, stapling screen to the frame, and then attaching wood trim over every frame piece to cover up where the screen is stapled into the frames. Now having 3 kids, a dog, and 3 cats, I knew it would be a maintenance nightmare if done that way since inevitably the kids or animals would at some point rip a screen. You can imagine my excitement when after researching porch screens I found a pop and lock system at Home Depot. You screw a base piece into the 2×4, spline in the screen (I did all individual squares so when one rips I only have to fix that one section), pop on the cap with a mallet and viola it’s done! I only wish it was that quick, though. That step was probably the most labor intensive step of the whole process. It took my husband and I working together that whole process to get it done. You can check out the patio system that we used –>HERE<–.
Splining the screen into the base caps……..you like those nice legs with his shorts and boots? That’s just how he rolls and I love it 🙂
I can see the end in sight!!!!!! So close!!!! Hallelujah!!
Can you tell from those drenched shirts just how blazing hot it was finishing this project?!!? Oh how I love these guys that allow me to strong arm them into helping with my small projects that turn into large projects! I know they get sick of hearing, “It can’t be that hard, right?!!?”. But I know they secretly enjoy the finished product and knowing they helped!
TA-DA!!!!!!!! We LOVE LOVE LOVE this space!!!!
Be sure to message with any questions if you’re thinking about a patio enclosure of your own. I might just have an opinion or two 🙂