Screened porch without roof?

jenswrensAugust 24, 2012

This may sound like a crazy question, but can you have a screened "porch" without a roof?

I don't think I've ever seen such a thing. But, it's really what I want when I envision lounging in my imaginary screened room. I sit on my deck now in the sun and wish that I could leave the house door open, so the cats could come outside and lounge in the sun without my having to watch them every second, and the so the bugs can't get in. But there's no roof up there to block my sun, or block my view of the open sky, or to decrease light inside the rooms connected to this pseudo-porch. Like a deck with screens. Or would that just look super silly?

I want to feel completely outside yet secure. Is this a weird pipe dream or can you make it reality for me? Has anyone ever done this?

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Sophie Wheeler

I know people who have dome something like that for their cats to have a safe environment to go outside. It looks like one of those free standing chain link dog kennels, except for the screening is finer.

Similar to this.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 4:12AM
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Sophie Wheeler

They also do that quite often in Florida as a pool enclosure. Not cheap.

IMHO, it's a much better and more integrated look if you can manage to create a traditional screened porch as a continuation of the home's living space. Most "screen enclosures" look incredibly commercial or like giant dog pens for people.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 4:33AM
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Circus Peanut

We screened in our back deck to about 6 feet so that we can let our cats run outside onto the deck with impunity. We used invisible screen wiring and the same wood as the deck for the uprights, but it's still got a certain effect that you either love or don't.

I don't mind it, but my guy calls it Catschwitz. ... your mileage may vary. :-)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 9:00AM
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"my guy calls it Catschwitz."

My friend calls her the Catio.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 2:06PM
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LOL circuspeanut! Do you have any pics to share?

And oh my, hollysprings, I have never seen such a thing as those Florida "rooms." How utterly fantastic! Of course, it would never fit here in NJ, with what I have in mind. But wow. I love those!

Now I'm thinking of maybe a porch/deck with a pergola roof that is screened. But there must be some technical reason more people don't do this. Snow-load, maybe, would be one reason. Others?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 3:46PM
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the main reason i can think of is snow and especially ice. It is just not a good idea up here, I have thought of the same thing. Your best bet is a regular roof with skylights.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:44PM
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If you did a pergola with screens, just make it so you can remove them so when the season allows you can use them.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:56PM
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Ooh--finally a post I can contribute to! :-)

We actually just sold and moved out of a house that had a 'fake porch' as I liked to call it. I don't know the company that did it since we did not put it on the house, the previous owner did that, but I personally would MUCH rather have a porch with a roof. I want to go sit out in during a rainstorm, and turn on lights at night and read a book.

So think about all the pros and cons before doing it. One pro is that it doesn't make your house as dark inside because it is so open on top. But our next house that we are building WILL have a roof with a fan and lights.

This isn't the best pic of the roof, but this is what the porch looked like. We did take the screens off every year for the winter(we're in MN). Good luck with your decision!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 3:47AM
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We have the typical dog kennel outside a window in the back yard for the kitties to access from pet door in the window. They love it. It is not pretty. I put two kennels together so it is about 6 by 20 foot long.

Addressing the snow. It is a job to keep it off the top. I have a heavy duty 6 by 20 white tarp as a roof. I have an Avalanche snow rake to drag the snow off the top and I have to do it as soon as the snow starts to be about 6 inches (the kennels are not structural supporting).Then shovel it out over the dog yard fence. We usually get three to four foot of snow here. Kind of a pain but the kitties love it so much and do go out there in the winter.

Our kitties have never tried to climb the chain link but I know they can. A roof of sorts is needed.My set up is really ugly but since it is in the back yard (dogs yard)and the kitties love it so much we are ok with it. I am trying to landscape around it. The metal panel has now been painted white. I am adding to the width of the paver walk way.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Our floorplan just didn't work with a screened porch, must to my disappointment. I'm thinking about doing either a pergola with a retractable "roof" like this:

Or, if I can convince my husband, putting a screened patio area underneath our deck, like this:

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 5:29PM
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