We are thinking about putting plywood over our screened porch windows to preserve the screens. We figure we need 8 pieces of plywood and for less than 200 dollars (wood and hardware) we can build screen covers that can be easily installed and uninstalled and add years to our screens life.
We don't want to screw the plywood into the framing (pressure treated 6x6 posts and some 2x6 members) because we'd have lots of exposed screw holes in our wood after a few years. I was trying to think of a way to fasten the plywood to the frame with a fastener that could just stay on the porch ( when the plywood was removed) and not look too bad. I was thinking barrel bolts where only the bolt receiver would be installed on the frame (4 per frame), And the plywood would be flush with the front side of the frame so the barrell bolt would work. I was also thinking l-brackets mounted to the frame but that would mean the plywood would have to be cut smaller to wiggle it inside the l brackets. Is there any other kind of specially fastener that could be mounted permanently to the window frame, where the plywood could be set in place and the fastener "turned" to secure the plywood?
We don't need hurricane protection, just wind and snow protection for the screens , so these dont need to be too beefy. We also want to make it economical, easy to install/uninstall, and not too ugly
Oct 12, 2013, 02:46 PM
I was trying to figure out the "protect the screens" thing, then I saw where you live.
First question: Are your screens fiberglass or aluminum. If they are aluminum, then even years of snow should not be a problem. If they are fiberglass, then spend a little money to change them out to aluminum.
I really thing just using a good aluminum screen is the way to go. Even if the screens do get stretched out every few years, your best bang for the buck will be just to replace the screens as needed.
Just using plywood without some kind of frame will warp - you'll likely only get one or maybe two seasons out of it. Plus, you have the "how to attach the plywood without it looking crappy' problem. Add in where do you store the plywood in the off season and I don't think that making solid covers is a good idea.
When I started reading your post, my first though was to just get some plexiglass. This would not only cover your screens but would extend the season of your porch a little. But plexi is expensive and in your cold environment, pretty brittle.
Unless I'm missing something, I don't see why aluminum screens will be a problem.