To Screen or Not To Screen?

Allrighty people, I have a pressing issue (and I use that term lightly) that I need y’all to weigh in on…

Should we screen in the porch?  Or leave it as a veranda?

July 2012 907 copy

I see pros to both – primarily that screens would keep out some bugs, leaves and debris, but a veranda affords crystal clear views and makes it easy to hang my flag buntings (yes, I consider little things like that).  I don’t find screens to be the most attractive things in the world.  But perhaps their function overrides their form??

July 2012 915 copy

We haven’t had too much of a problem with mosquitoes yet, but then again I was convinced I had west nile earlier this week…

July 2012 936 copy

What to do?  What to do?

Perplexed in GA…

(See the whole porch here.)

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50 thoughts on “To Screen or Not To Screen?

  1. Glad you posted this! I had been wondering if it had been screened – as I wasn't quite sure from the pictures.

    I love everything – but I say to definitely screen it! I think the bugs would be my main reason.

  2. We have a big open porch and I so wish if were screened. We are actually considering enclosing it with glass and big slider windows. The pollen is a killer in the spring. It would be great to just slide everything shut to avoid the mess.

  3. Yes, such a dilemma. We had a screened in porch in our last home, and while it did save us from west nile, I abhorred the screens during pollen season. They caught every particle of pollen and they had to be removed and spray cleaned weekly. But, it did save the furniture from being covered in said pollen. It's such a beautiful porch—maybe glass? I'm sure the price is up there but then you could preserve your view and still be protected from west Nile!

  4. I don't know since I don't live where you do. All we have are biting and stinging things. I have the bites to prove it.

    We are considering screening our patio in but it will restrict of view. Sigh.

  5. How beautiful!!! I love the furniture. Gorgeous. As for screening, I wouldn't if I were you especially since you aren't having bug issues.If I were you I would hang some pretty curtains or shades up and put those down if you needed. I think some bright curtains would really be perfect! Good luck! and let us know what you decide:)

  6. I'm in South Georgia and there is no way we can enjoy a porch during the Summer unless it's screened in. Y'all don't have the gnats or as many bugs as we do, tho… so if they aren't a problem I say leave it as is. Maybe y'all can get one of those mosquito fogger things for your yard and that will control the small amount you do have.

  7. How about a retractable or rolling screen that you could pull down? This would give you the best of both worlds! It might be a bit unsightly inside when rolled up, but you could DIY something to cover it, I'm sure.

  8. How about a retractable or rolling screen? This would give you the best of both worlds. It might be a bit unsightly when rolled up, but maybe you could DIY something that could cover it – seasonal bunting or something more permanent like a cornice board?

  9. I would say no screens so your view is not obstructed. Do you ever leave your French doors open? I
    love leaving doors open especially since you have a great outdoor room. Maybe if you did screens you wouldn't have to worry about bugs getting into your house.

    Unfortunately here in Annapolis, MD the mosquitoes are horrible. I was convinced I had West Nile too!

    I am no help because whatever you do it is a beautiful space.

  10. Consider using a dark color screen that is very fine mesh. You can see through it and the bugs can't get in. One note of caution. If the floor of your porch is not solid, bugs will come up between the planks. We had a beautiful wooden floor with very, very tiny spaces between the planks. The mosquitoes in the South were relentless. The solution was to put screen on the underside of the porch to keep all winged creatures at bay.

  11. I vote screen! You have so many nice things in there that they will likely bear the weather much better with less rain/wind getting to them. Plus, it's nice to have the bug & critter free environment!

  12. I was wondering if your porch was screened. I live in Florida and we don't have a choice. Our back porch and pool is screen enclosed. Not only does it keep out most bugs, it also keeps out armadillos and other southern critters. You probably don't have that problem. We don't find that the screen interferes with our view much at all but your view is quite beautiful. I think I'd have it screened if only for the Mosquitos. But then again, I've alway wanted a house with wrap around porch and I'd probably never think of screening it. I guess I haven't been much help at all. Ha

  13. I would screen it! We live just an hour north of Atlanta and we can't go in our backyard during the summer without being slathered in bug spray. I would love to have a screened porch (and I am drooling over yours!) so that we could have bug free meals outside in the summer.

  14. Hi Amanda! I seriously am an avid lover of your blog! Your creativeness and Southern hospitality makes me wish I was from the South at times! hehe

    I say, you should screen your porch! Your porch is absolutely exquisite, but it would be safe to keep the bugs, pollen, leaves and what not out of your precious porch! =)

  15. That would be an easy decision for me.I hate insects flying around when we are eating or when I am sitting outside reading. I would chose to screen.Your porch is beautiful either way!

  16. It's just so gorgeous and I know you love to have the "open air" feeling. Is it possible to have glass added…like windows that could be wide open when desired? You could then enjoy it all winter. So neat to be out there with the fireplace going, etc., esp if it snows.

    Not sure if this is making any sense, but Texas summers are brutal and the West Nile virus is rampant here in the DFW area.


  17. Don't screen it in. You will work yourself to death trying to keep it clean. Several friends tried to tell me and I would not listen.

  18. my best friend has her porch screened in and it does have its pros and cons…the worst being that they've had to have the screens replaced 1-2 times in the last 10 years since the house was built. i love the openness of not having screens but there are certainly advantages to having them too….i'm no help am i? (LOL)!

  19. Being a true Southern Gal myself ( SC) I think I would screen it in. However if you don't screen you could put up the curtain rods and hang pretty outdoor curtains :) Im thinking the same about a home that we are gonna build next year to have a screen or not…

  20. Being a true Southern Gal myself ( SC) I think I would screen it in. However if you don't screen you could put up the curtain rods and hang pretty outdoor curtains :) Im thinking the same about a home that we are gonna build next year to have a screen or not…

  21. After reading some of the comments I just had a thought. What about screening under the porch, as someone suggested, so bugs don't crawl thru the cracks. And then hanging up mosquito netting?

    When the bugs are bad, you can pull it closed. But when they aren't a problem it can be pushed to the corners of the porch and look like voluminous sheer white curtains. I love white sheer curtains on a porch.

  22. Having lived in Atlanta and spent quite a bit of time on front porches, I'd say no screen. Were you in Louisiana it'd be a different story…

  23. I would screen it personally. We have a screened in porch and it is like an extension of the house, you can leave the doors open and not worry about the bugs. It's easy to DIY!!!

  24. Going by the photo of the porch taken from the outside, I think screens will anchor it to the space. I like the thought that adding the subtle coloring of the screens will break up the white of the porch, making it blend with the dark gray of the house.

  25. ok, here's this southern gal's two cents: No screens. You really impede the breeze flow with screens–a lot more than you would think. And my Dad made this point years ago–bugs will still get in with screens (the door opening & shutting constantly) but with screens it's way more difficult for them to get out :)

  26. I love your porch! I wish I had put skylights in mine. I wouldn't hesitate to put screens on. I have the dark screens that read "invisible" when you're enjoying your room but provide all the mosquito protection you need. I live OTP and just couldn't imagine how we could use our room without the screens. As for the pollen, since we can't really go outside until the pines finish torturing us, we just do one big day of spraying everything down. Screens or no screens, your whole porch will be yellow until the pollen stops.

  27. My legs are covered in bug bites at the moment and I am expecting some West Nile symptoms any day now…yes, I vote for the screens! Maybe look into those retractable screens like Kim mentioned. That would be the best of both worlds! Also, congrats on the room feature!
    Cheers! – Shelley

  28. I was just going to say the same thing that Kin did already! Invisible screens or "Phantom" screens as they're called here in the Pacific Northwest. Its a great way to have the best of both worlds.
    By the way, found you from Savvy Southern Style and I love your porch, its something I have always wanted to do and this is such great inspiration and just so beautiful! Thank you for sharing,

  29. I fought my husband about screening our porch. He won and I am glad he did! We use it more! You sometimes do not even notice the screen. I would recommend screening!!!

  30. I live in Charleston, SC and as much as mosquitoes and no-see-ums (gnats) love to bite me, I vote no screen. We're planning to build a porch/Loggia similar to yours soon and I'm going to use fans, citronella candles and torches (like we do now on our patio). I like the unobstructed view and I hate how dirty screens get. In my opinion, it's easier to pressure wash without screens. Your porch is divine!

  31. Amanda, we live in Atl too. We had the same issues but in the end we screened it in to give us more time outside. For ease of cleaning, maintenance, and options we had custom screens installed so we could remove for better views and if damaged you just remove one section vs the whole area. The view is still very beautiful and you have no bugs. Happy to refer our vendor if needed.

  32. Okay, I'm gonna put my two cents in here! LOL! I live in Louisiana with a LOT of bugs. We have a screened porch, opened porch and backyard pergola. We do tend to spend more time on the pergola but we also have a mosquito fogger to control the buggers! We don't really use our screened porch much….I don't really know why though but I do love both open and screened in porches. However, I definitely have an opinion on the type of screen! In our old home, our screen porch had a darker type screen and I hated it! I am a bright and sunny kindof girl…I say let the sun shine in! That was the condition to my husband when he wanted to screen our porch in. It could not be the darker screen. It made our previous porch so gloomy! It was quite depressing to me! If you do go with screen, I would suggest you get a little color. If my husband was here I could tell you what kind we have because I'm not sure. I will say this, it does not obstruct the views. Whichever route you take, I'm sure it will be gorgeous as is the rest of the porch!

  33. I would screen. You can still enjoy the breeze and, if you get a fine mesh, you can still enjoy the view.

  34. I would screen it and use it as an extension of the house when the weather permitted. But, I live in South FL with bugs the size of dinosaurs so it's not even a question.

  35. Screen for SURE! Once we screened in the porch behind Sandview we used it SOOO much more. It was also nice because I could leave the house doors open and hear the kids playing out back. XOXO

  36. Well, as I just came across your blog from Frugal Girls, I discvoered you are in GA! Always nice to find people nearby. I am in Loganville….southeastern i think it is from you. Anywho. In regards to your porch…and without reading other comments…have you considered running some steel bars along the top and installing some floor length drapes that can be closed in bright days or bad weather, then open at other times? The concept reminds me of Jamaica..the resort had such drapes. And someone in Texas who I follow installed the same thing. Good luck to ya!

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