Every year Hj and I close the cloth porch at the end of fall. This year is no exception to the rule, though we did find it difficult to do it this year because of the rain! As my friend Colleen points out, we girls with curly hair could expand so much that we will take flight if the wind hits us! HA!
The problem with the rain though is that I don’t want to capture water in the porch before I close it up tight, because it is then difficult to get rid of the dampness, and it turns into a sort of green house. YUCK!
Though it does not look like a big deal, every year the job of closing up the porch is massive! Up and down the ladder getting everything perfect and closed so that the tarps do not billow, takes some head work as well at time. It is not a physically difficult job with the exception of moving and climbing up and down the ladder; just annoying.
So when Hj and I were fixing the porch this year, I was also executing a plan to use a new system for this as well.
What I wanted is a UV protected (to keep algae from growing), clear, reinforced, cover that can can be easily rolled up in the spring and then rolled down in the fall. For this I needed to purchase some items:
3x clear polyethylene 10×12 tarps @ $15.99 each =$32
1x box of 3 1/2 coated screws @ $9.99 = $10
10x 8 foot long 2×2 pressure treated boards @4.43 =$45
2x 12 foot long 2×2 pressure treated boards @ 2.00 (heavily discounted) =4
60x large heavy duty washers (already had these)
50 feet of nylon rope @$3.38 = $4
1x clear tarp tape @10. = $10
Should any of you also be considering closing your porch I will share my method. Over the door, I simply removed the panel that has the cloth in it and covered it with tarp, then Hj put it back in place. This was done with the remnant of the side tarps that had to be cut to size folded at the edge and taped using special UV and weather resistant tarp tape.
Once they were cut to fit over the existing boards (longer at the bottom and top, they were rolled onto the new 2×2 header boards and stapled on. Then the header board was screwed in place, paying attention to put the nylon ropes up that will tie them in place in the warm months.
After the header board and ropes are up then a base board is attached to the bottom being careful to roll this up on the OUTSIDE so that the tarp is against the wall tight, the bottom is then stapled on and rolled up then secured with large washers and screws when the tarp is both: tight against the wall, AND down all the way to the bottom board.
After the top and bottom are done, it is just a matter of cutting the 2×2’s to the right size for vertical edges, then use a screw with a large washer to secure these down. The washers are to keep the screws from going in too far and to create a larger surface tension to hold the boards so that the tarps will stay. We also put the screws through the grommets where these were available to us.
In the spring, the vertical boards will be removed and numbered… and the tarps will be rolled up tight against the roofline.
Next fall, they will simply be unrolled and screwed down again at the bottom, and the side boards will be put back in place. I estimate that opening and closing the porch now will be a half hour job instead of a two day ordeal.
With the cloth of the porch and the reinforcement lines of the tarps the porch is not really clear enough to see through (unfortunately); however, the porch is bright and wind free. In the sunny days it will be really warm out there as well. We don’t heat the cloth porch, but use it for cooking, and doing dishes year around. We also store our snow shoes there and use the room to take off our boots and winter clothing. It is a sort of “mud” room in the winter.
The only unfortunate thing is that I did not think of making roll up tarps much sooner!