Nothing can dampen spirits more than a rained-out barbecue -- unless it's fighting off pesky insects that arrive rain or shine. A screened enclosure is a great idea for taking the edge off the less desirable aspects of deck living while still providing pleasurable breezes, sights, and sounds. It makes an ideal playroom for house- bound kids on a rainy day and a welcome place to camp out on hot summer nights.
Screened-in porches were common features on homes built earlier this century, especially in warmer regions of the country. Once the deck and patio replaced the lawn as the primary outdoor living space, though, the screened porch often gave way to an additional interior room. An existing porch can be easily screened in; if it sits at the side or rear of the house or near the kitchen, it can serve as a truly private outdoor room for dining or entertaining. Enclosing a portion of a deck that lies close to the house is another option and a way to enjoy the safety of screening just steps away from the great outdoors.