We encountered more than a few obstacles while working on this screened porch addition in East Nashville, TN, but everyone agrees the results were worth the extra effort. When we arrived, the home had a small, weathered deck on the back of the house. When we left, well, you can see from these pictures the gorgeous and extremely functional screened porch we designed and built with love.
Do Not Let Trouble Get in Our Way
The first obstacles were the electrical lines entering the home near the roofline where we were going to tie the porch roof in to the home’s existing roof. We couldn’t work around that! These lines had to be moved because you can’t run electrical lines over the porch.
Next, the homeowners wanted to have the back yard leveled out. In addition to our screened porch project, they were having a paver patio installed. The entire back yard was on a slope.
Also, in designing the porch roof, we had to work around the dormer windows on the roof at the back of the home.
Altogether, to design and build this porch we dealt with electrical lines, a backyard slope, dormer windows and a shed roof tacked on during a prior addition. WHEW!
As usual, The Porch Company tackled these issues with design and functionality in mind.
Screened Porch Interior: A Wood Lover’s Paradise
For the porch floor, we installed our beautiful tongue and groove cypress flooring. The high, open-rafter ceiling is built using yellow Pine rafters with spruce roof sheathing. We added a cedar wall at the back of the porch to cover the siding that had been the home’s exterior before we enclosed the porch. For this cedar wall, we milled our own tongue and groove boards. You can see this wall in the image where the decorative pottery base shows the wall as a backdrop.
We installed a low beadboard wall (24″ high) along the perimeter of the porch with screen running from this 24″ point up to the ceiling. On the inside of the porch, the beadboard wall is natural wood color, while on the outside of the porch, it’s painted white to match the exterior trim. Similarly, our 6×6 laminated posts and horizontal transom lines that we use for extra-tall porches are natural on the interior and painted white on the exterior.
This porch features one of our PorchCo barnwood mantels; however, the homeowners are not currently using it to house TV components simply because they don’t have a TV on the porch. They will always have the option to utilize the invisible cord storage in this hollowed-out mantel if they ever decide to add a TV. They chose the barnwood mantel purely because they just liked the look of it…
And speaking of barn wood, the homeowners requested one of our barn wood custom bed swings. This has been a very popular item. A similar version in pine is currently available for sale in the PorchCo store.
Finally, in the wood department, the beautiful wood table supplied by the homeowners is made out of old warehouse flooring and is perfect for the space. The clients’ other porch furniture pieces—dining chairs, cushioned chairs and a cocktail table—are all finished with natural wood as well.
Doors In, Doors Out
Did you notice the red screen doors leading from the patio and walkway into the porch? The homeowners used red as the accent color on their house, so naturally, they chose red for the screen doors and for the band around the base of the porch, below the floor.
If you look closely at the exterior door images you can see how we designed the doors to match our walls. Whatever the walls look like, we mimic that in the door design. In this case, the lower 24″ of the screen doors matches the low beadboard wall around three sides of the porch.
Our doors are always full height, up to the transom. We never use stock doors because they usually leave an awkward space to fill. If the transom is 84″ high, we will make the door 84″ tall, for example. We make sure the door fits the porch as opposed to making the porch fit the door!
Inside the porch, there is also a door (behind the bicycle) that leads to a hidden storage area. Originally this was a little hallway that led to the old deck. The space is usable now as a storage room for gardening supplies, etc. We added a beautiful vintage door that helps enclose the area.
Creature Comforts for a Screened Porch
We installed a beautiful stone fireplace framed with floor-to-ceiling timbers and featuring one of our rustic barnwood mantels as mentioned above. The fireplace is gas, and ventless, not wood burning. Please note, the fireplace is for ambiance, not for warmth. A fireplace cannot keep a screened porch warm when it’s chilly outside here in the Nashville, TN, area. (See below for our porch heating solution.)
You may notice the flowing, diaphanous curtains covering the screens on one side of the porch. The homeowners wanted a bit of privacy because they have a neighbor close by on that side. The curtains are just sheer enough that they allow plenty of filtered sunlight to flow into the porch.
Instead of ceiling fans, the clients chose smaller, black oscillating fans. These are installed up at the point where the wall meets the ceiling rafters.
If you look up to the rafters, you may also notice the Solaira infrared heaters we installed there. We love these infrared heaters and have mentioned them before. They give off heat without heating the air. They send out waves that warm any objects in their path, and that warming effect is instantaneous. They are more energy-efficient than traditional space heaters. They do not require special venting; they are quiet and, because they don’t use a fan to blow heat into the room, they don’t stir up dust that would bother allergy sufferers.
How can The Porch Company transform your outdoor living space? Are you interested in adding a porch, either a screened porch or open porch? If you’re in the Nashville area, call us at 615-663-2886 or come by our design studio. We would love to design the perfect screened porch for you. We look forward to doing business with you.