Thursday, December 05, 2013

Simple Cabin Porch Enclosure

Winter is here. Wayne and I love to use our porch in all seasons, but when it rains, or is breezy, it's hard to do. The roof keeps rain off, but cold seeps in underneath. Restaurants extend outdoor seating by enclosing their porches and installing propane heaters.

We figured we could do something similar at our cabin. We purchased a sheet of heavy weight polyethylene greenhouse plastic at Rona. Because the package was open, and it was the last one on the shelf, we got it for $2 a square foot, or a total of $32.

We purchased four 8' 1x2s for a total of $4.50 (with Wayne's senior discount). We measured twice, and cut once. We had green wood stain left from painting our cabin two years ago. We tried to get it to dry outdoors, but rainy weather made us bring the boards indoors to finish drying in the kitchen.

We rolled the cut plastic around the boards and tacked it down. As you can see, we didn't beat the rain.  Because we get heavy winds on the front of our cabin, we designed the porch enclosure to be easily installed and removed for periods of heavy winds.

Boards at the top allow us to hang the plastic sheets from nails on the porch beam.  Boards at the bottom hold the plastic down on the deck. Small blocks of wood nailed to the deck next to the picnic table help hold the plastic in place at the bottom.

Clips along the sides hold the plastic sheets in place along the porch posts. These help keep the sides closed in a light breeze. But if the wind gets strong, we can remove the panels and roll them up for safe keeping.

Under the picnic table we have a Mr. Heater "Big Buddy." He's attached to a 20 pound propane tank just outside the enclosure. He provides plenty of heat, and now the enclosure will contain more of it.

We tried our new porch enclosure and heater for our Thanksgiving feast at the picnic table. We had plenty of heat to enjoy our dinner outdoors after dark, in a light rain.  What a nice way to spend a special day together up the lake. -- Margy


  1. So ingeneous! Sounds all nice and cozy. I can just see the pair of you grinning at each other in satisfaction out of the weather. Enjoy!!

  2. What a great idea to extend the time outside.
    Daughter in Sooke says they are getting snow today.

  3. You guys are so inventive, great idea!

  4. A clever idea - such a good space extender. We are working on plans for doing something similar - but more permanent, since we rarely get any wind at all up here in the woods on top of Alabama Hill - for our new deck. I'd love it to be useful in the summer rains as well as the chillier part of the year.

  5. Thanks all - it was a fun project to plan and build, especially since it worked so well. A light breeze isn't a problem for it, but if there is a forecast for a strong blow, Wayne just lifts it down and rolls it up. So simple. - Margy

  6. Stunning extension for a cabin. A little work to build it but a clever idea for the extension can be pulled up or down in case the weather is not going to be good. In addition, you can put a Christmas lights on corners with different colors to illuminate the plastic wall. Thanks to this idea, I can write my new blog