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How To Enclose A Porch With Plexiglass | Ultimate DIY Guide

DIY Guides - How To Enclose A Porch With Plexiglass

In recent times people have come to realize the true value of their homes. If you have a space that’s already structured, like a screened porch or deck, there’s a really inexpensive alternative to room addition, which is enclosing that area. It’s really the easiest and least expensive way to add a couple of hundred-quart feet of living space to your current home. If you have the right tools you can make that adjustment on your own. 

To enclose a porch you’ll need to build a wood frame with 2/4 or 2/8. You can add windows and doors in the area. Then use some kind of wrapping material kine vinyl or plastic or lattice or screens or plexiglass to cover up the open areas, so you can use more privacy. 

But there are more details to it which you need to learn to make a successful and beautiful enclosed porch or can also turn it into a living space or a room. 

What Is Plexiglass? 

Plexiglass was first developed in the 1930s, simultaneously in England and Germany. The main material of plexiglass is methyl methacrylate. This is actually a specific brand name for acrylic and pc. They are not names to generalize with all pc or acrylic. Meaning plexiglass is a brand name of acrylic produced by the Evonik corporation. 

Today of course plexiglass is used all over the place such as in the glass around hockey rings, toilet seats, and many other things that are actually made of plexiglass around you that you didn’t even realize. 

Plexiglass Vs Glass  

When it comes to choosing the right kind of glass for your construction work it is very important that you are aware of the material and the products capability, longevity, price, maintenance, etc. so if you are confused about choosing between glass and plexiglass you should look down below at the comparative facts:

  • Material: any regular glass is made of a combination of sand, limestone, and sodium carbonate. Plexiglass or polycarbonate glass is a petroleum-based thermoplastic. 
  • Transparency: Glass is more transparent and clear than Plexiglas as plexiglass has a slight tint on it
  • Flexibility: When it comes to flexibility plexiglass is undoubtedly more flexible than any regular glass as it can shatter very easily
  • Usability: As plexiglass can hold pressure more than any other material it is used for military purposes and safety constructions. But glass is only used for regular household items
  • Scratch: As plexiglass is made of plastic materials it is more prone to get scratched and dull over time. But glass can very much resist scratch and needs low maintenance
  • Cost: the way plexiglass is made and because of its capability to hold pressure it is very much more expensive than any kind of glass 

Plexiglass Vs Acrylic 

TopicPlexiglass Acrylic
Reliability When it comes to inside they are pretty safe and stable to use. But for the outside when the weather is extremely hot and long hours of sunlight then it can be tricky as it will shatter its warp with the heat. So it is not safe under UV lightingAcrylic is pretty safe to use both indoors and outdoors and is weather friendly and also performed well under UV light
ClarityIt tends to have a very slight tint to it and is not equally comparable in terms of clarity. Then she’s will look dull and gloomy even if you polish itWhen you are looking for see-through clarity of the material acrylic probably will win because. Acrylic edges can also be polished completely clear
RangePc is usually limited up to a maximum of 15mm in thickness and it doesn’t go thicker than that. In terms of thickness, acrylic can be produced in very high thicknesses from 100 to 500mm. In terms of the range of color, acrylic is clearly better than pc
Strength It is 100 times stronger than glass Acrylic is 10 times stronger than glass
WorkabilityMuch more workable and can be drilled through holes into the corners. Almost all kinds of drill bits can be used on plexiglassThere are certain drill bits that can be used on acrylic to prevent it from shattering 
FlexibilityExtremely flexible and there is no limit for pressure forming or molding It is flexible to a certain limit depending on the thickness and if you go over that limit it will break
Fire certificationIt is slightly better than acrylic when it comes to resisting fire break outLess fire-resistant than plexiglass
Bonding There are not a lot of hours available for bonding plexiglass so it is very difficult to find good stable gluesMany options are available for chemical bonding or polymerize bonding
PriceVery expensiveComes cheaper than plexiglass 

How To Enclose A Porch With Plexiglass -DIY Guides

Installing an outdoor patio enclosure can protect you, your family, and your guests from foul weather, bugs, and canceled plants. In just a few steps you can have your own clear vinyl porch enclosure. 

Step 1: Once you’ve removed all curtain tracks from the package and made your measure it is time to begin the installation. When rigging for an inward rolling curtain, the extent 12-inches from the zero dots on the backs of the curtain tracks is less than 72-inches long. And 18-inches for curtains bigger than 72-inches. 

Step 2: Install the pulleys at the pre-marked locations below the curtain track. Dual pulleys are nestled inside and outside the cleat. When rigging for an outward rolling curtain install the pulleys above the curtain track and outside or directly above the cleat. 

Step 3: The rope must be started behind the curtain track with the knot sitting on top of it. Make sure to follow all the directions for pre-drilling curtain and weather flap tracks, Velcro straps, and rigging pulleys with rope for curtain and d ring installation. 

Step 4: The tie-down finger strap should face inward. Starting on the left slide the welding into the curtain track and adjust the zipper chain if necessary. Make sure the zipper’s bull nose is facing downwards. 

Step 5: For whether flap installation engages the flap zippers and installs the weather flap track. The pole hook then be used to unzip and open the curtains 

Note: Remember, all outdoor enclosures have unique requirements. If you have a custom setup be sure to follow the product’s instructions and suggestions by the representatives 

How To Enclose A Porch Cheaply 

There are many DIY ways that you can use to enclose a porch without wasting money. Like you can over the porch with inexpensive plexiglass, shower curtains, glass, etc. the hack that we are about to explain here is also another way to enclose a porch cheaply that you can follow easily and it will be effective at the same time:

  • Get rid of all the rotten wood underneath and replace with new ones. So you have a nice and strong base. Then you have to determine whether the header beams are level before you catch any post. So do any repairing and replacing to level the porch base, posts, and beams
  • You’ll need two 2/4s for the door and six 4/4s for support beams. Now you need to frame out a 20-inch tall kicker wall and nail them down to the base
  • You can also install a pressure-treated floor right over the old one and paint that out so everything looks new. Frame the kicker walls which are going to the lap joint of the siding. One thing to note here is, that the bottom board will require rabbet joints 
  • Now sand down the whole construction and paint it if you want. If you want you can install a door in the middle or just leave it like this
  • Lastly, install plexiglass on the side walls to give it a more secure look or you can also cover the walls with fencing nets

How To Close In A Porch To Make A Room 

To turn your porch into a room or living space start by designing the wall framing plan and include details like the spacing of the windows and structural consideration. You need to start this project by creating frames with 2/4s to stick the 2/6 lumbers for the wall. So measure the cut of the wood boards accordingly. 

Place the pressure-treated 2/6 on top of the concrete anchor bolts, and tap it over the bolts with a hammer to make indentations. Use a concrete drill to drill holes and take the board out to apply a foam seal barrier with a staple gun. Position the board in place, and secure it with galvanized washers and nuts. Repeat this process for all the remaining walls. 

Next, place 2/4 top plate adjacent to the floor plate to mark out stud locations. Mark all the full stud, jack stud locations, and also the edge of the window opening. This step is very important and crucial because this will be the final layout of your plan. 

Use 2/4s for the top plates and use several stainless Stella screws to fix it in Place. For the first wall lose fit all the studs before attaching so that if there is any problem you can fix it. Also, cut the header for the window opening and aggressively shim out the header to keep it level. Secure the window jack studs using 3-inch screws toe nailing into place. Next, attach the king stud securing them to the top and bottom plate screws then place the wall studs. 

When you’re done with the framing it’s time for the wall installation. Start by installing full 4/8 sheets of plywood vertically. Leave a quarter-inch gap for expansion. Fasten the shearing using a nail gun. Cut sections to cover small spaces. Cut the sheet for window openings and use a circular saw. Use a fire blocking to seal any cavities. 

Now it’s time for the house to wrap over the sheathing. Enroll a spool of wrap around the walls and staple them to the sheathing. Add window tape around the opening. Apply a healthy bead of sealant around the perimeter nailing thin to install the windows. 

Cut corner trim boards to length by scoring with a razor knife and snapping and primer the cut ends. Assemble the corner boards first and use trim head screws to fix them in place. To install the first lap board you need to create a bump-out. To do this, glue pre-primed ripped pieces of Hardiplank to the underside of the lap board. Position it in place so it overlaps the concrete floor and screws it in place. 

Now overlap the second board on the first one and secure it in place. This way, finish boarding all the walls. After completing the installation paint the walls with primer and then apply a couple of coats of high-quality exterior paint. And your new room is ready to be used. 

How To Enclose A Porch DIY 

It’s so nice to be able to come outside on your porch or patio and relax and enjoy a nice cool breeze. But if your relaxation in benignness is interrupted by insects bugging you, you might want to consider enclosing and screening that area. For this project, you can use the screen tight process which is easy to install and you can do it yourself. 

Step 1 

Before you can screen up you need to frame out the porch area. The first step in framing the patio is to attach the bottom plate. When you put that in place make sure the ends are flush with the outside of the support post holding up the patio cover. Here you need to measure, pre-cut, and paint your boards. Use a hammer drill to the bottom plate to the concrete slab of the patio and use tap con screws to attach it. 

Step 2

Attach the top plate the same way you attach the bottom plate and now it is time to put the studs in place. If you have backing you can easily attach the studs but if you don’t you need to drill the same way and use tap cons to attach it. Tap the studs in place and flush. Use an impulse nailer to nail the stud in place. You can place the studs depending on the look you want. Make sure the studs are level and flush. 

Step 3 

Once you’re done with the whole patio framing you can add a chair rail and the vinyl base strips. Screw them with the studs. Also, install the horizontal strips the same way.

Step 4

Now you can add the screens which are made of Fiberglass and come in different sized rolls. Make sure you are using a piece that is larger in the opening. Use a roller knife to cut the screen. Hold the screen so that it’s square over the opening and then take this rubber spline and use your roller to push it down into the channel. This will hold the screen in place. 

Step 5

Now that you have the screen in place you can add the vinyl cap as a finishing touch. Use a rubber mallet to pound this into place. You can also use a door covered with the screen to finish your porch enclosing. 

How To Enclose A Porch With Plastic  

You can use the outside mounting system. You can find ready-made plastic panels for patio enclosures which will save you a lot of time so you should buy those. Make sure not to remove the plastic spacers until the insulation is complete. 

  • First, dry fit assembled unit into the opening to check the firings 
  • Remove the plastic unit and apply an approved sealant to the outside perimeter of the opening
  • For the vertical unit installation, open the vents so that they’re all stacked at the bottom. Square the unit in the very opening and tighten the top corners through the front flange to the substrate 
  • Square the unit and attach the remaining corners. Now locate the top rail of the bottom vent and place a fastener through the front flange adjacent to that rail on each side. Raise all the vents one at a time until the bottom rail is even. Attach all the vents with fasteners
  • Then remove the plastic vent spacers and discard them. Install all the vents this way on the front and the sides to enclose that space 

How To Enclose A Porch With Windows

Wrap the walls with a Vapor barrier. Basically, just lay this out and staple it up. Then cut the window holes out for each window. Wraps it around the framing. Now tape the window opening both inside and outside. 

Now put silicone in the back of the windows and place them into position and fix them off with roofing nails. Make sure the windows are level. Then you can just install the backing birds over the side of the windows to finish the rest of the installation. 

How To Enclose A Porch With Lattice 

If you have a porch that you want to enclose with a lattice, that means that you are looking for some privacy around that area. And that is a good way to enclose the area without breaking your bank. For this, you will need to have support beams where you would create the frame for the lattice to install. 

Step 1: In order to make the frame you’ll need two eight-door treated 2/4s. Now place the piece on the table saw and rip them in half to make the top-bottom rails for the panel. You also need to rip the birds for vertical panels. Cut all the wood boards according to your frame measurements. 

Step 2: Now cut the lattice panels according to the frame measurements so they sit perfectly in the gaps of the frame. Also, make sure to cut some grooves or dado to accept the vinyl lattice you’re going to install. 

Step 3: Sand and Varnish all the pieces that you cut earlier so that all the things look nice after installation. Now measure across the porch posts to understand the height and length of your frame. Make sure you have enough room to raise and lower it so there is a gap left on each side. 

Step 4: Cut an L-shaped wedge from the treated lumber and screw that into the column and then screw it into the frame. After the frame is complete, you can install the lattice pieces. You can screw them or dry-fit them to install with the frame. 

How To Enclose A Porch With Vinyl 

To enclose a porch a 20-gauge clear vinyl works best. When you are done constructing your framework you can enclose the open area with this kind of vinyl and you only need high-quality ducktape to attach it to the framing. For this project, you’ll need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Scissors 
  • Grommet tool 
  • Hammer
  • Deck screw- inch and a half
  • Screwdriver 

Step 1: Measure according to the size of your openings with the tape and cut the clear vinyl sheets with a scissor. 

Step 2: Pull out the tape and lay it on the floor just along the edge of the vinyl, lift up the vinyl, position the vinyl under the edge so that it’s exactly halfway under the, and fold the top of the tape to cover the edge of the vinyl. So do the same thing for all of the edges. 

Step 3: Now take your grommet tool and install them on the corners. 

Step 4: Now it’s time to mount the prepared sheets on the porch exterior. Fit the screw on a drill and mount the vinyl drilling through the grommet holes that you created earlier. Make sure you are mounting the vinyl as tightly as possible so there is no open space in between or it will sag. This is the way the rest of the porch enclosing process. 

How To Enclose A Porch With A Screen

Use a tight screen system to install screening to your porch to enclose it. So first, attach the base of the wood and roll the screen into the base strip and finally snap the cap on top of the base. Sketch out a diagram of your porch to calculate the amount of material you’ll need.

The base and the cap come in eight-foot sections so measure and calculate for both horizontally and vertically.  Whim by attaching the base strips onto the wood frame of the porch. Use one-inch wood or sheet rock screws. Insert a screw into each slot. On the corners, the base strips butted up against each other. 

If you are using a Fiberglass screen you’ll need to use a 1.75 diameter spline. For aluminum screens use a 1.60 diameter spline. With the knife cut, a section of the screen was slightly larger than each opening. Roll the screen into the top horizontal base first using the spline and the screening tool. 

Finally roll in the horizontal base pulling down slightly on the screen for a tighter fit. Then trim any excess screen from the sides, then install the cap onto the base strip and tap it gently with a rubber mallet. 

Final Verdict

If you want to enjoy the nice summer sunlight or fresh breeze there is nothing more suitable than an enclosed porch or patio. You can also decorate it by furnishing if your Porsche is enclosed with vinyl, lattice, plastic, or screens. So if you have read the whole thing, you surely have found an idea to make yourself one.

See Also:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Plexiglass Plastic Or Glass?

Plexiglass is also reddened as acrylic glass is a petroleum-based thermoplastic often used in window panes, greenhouse panels, furniture, signboards, bathroom enclosures, etc. So it means it is a sort of plastic with high resistance and impact. 

What Is Plexiglass Used For?

Plexiglass is fire-resistant and stable which makes it hard to shatter or destroy. That’s why plexiglass is mainly used in the military and other construction work where protection is a must. You will also see plexiglass planets in the bank, hospitals, stadiums, etc. 

What Is The Difference Between Acrylic And Plexiglass?

Acrylic is cheaper, typically more clear, comes in different thicknesses, and is easier to work with. On the other hand, plexiglass is more durable, expensive, strong, and used mainly for protection purposes in the army. 

What Is The Difference Between Glass And Plexiglass?

Glass is made of sand, sodium chloride, and limestone. It comes in many thicknesses, and its colors are easy to recycle, scratch-resistant, and easy to shatter. But when it comes to plexiglass it is more durable, long-lasting, has a light tint on it, is used for protection purposes, can be easily scratched, and is made of petroleum-based thermoplastic.

How Can I Enclose My Porch Cheaply?

If you make a wood frame and enclose it with a lattice with 1 or 2 windows you can easily enclose your porch without spending much money. Also, DIY projects like this save a lot of money. 

Do You Screen Porch Enclosures?

Using screens is a good way to enclose a porch or patio and turn it into a living space. All you need is to create a wood frame and then you can easily install the screen over the frame. 

How Do You Enclose A Plastic Porch?

First, dry-fit the assembled unit in to the opening to check the firings. Remove the plastic unit and apply an approved sealant to the outside perimeter of the opening. For the vertical unit installation, open the vents so that they’re all stacked at the bottom. Square the unit in the very opening and tighten the top corners through the front flange to the substrate. 

Square the unit and attach the remaining corners. Now locate the top rail of the bottom vent and place a fastener through the front flange adjacent to that rail on each side. Raise all the vents one at a time until the bottom rail is even. Attach all the vents with fasteners.

Then remove the plastic vent spacers and discard them. Install all the vents this way on the front and the sides to enclose that space 

How Do I Enclose My Porch?

To enclose your porch, make a frame with wood, add windows, and doors, and use a screen or lattice or glass, or vinyl to enclose the framing. Floor the instruction process of that particular material according to the manufacturers.  

How Cheap Can You Build A Screened-in Porch?

If you are enclosing a screened-in porch it can cost around $2000 to $2500 or 3 to 5 dollars per square foot. But if you have hired someone to do this for you the labor charge will also add up with the total cost.