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How To Plan Your DIY Porch Enclosure Project

by | Nov 22, 2022 | Memory Vinyl Windows, Planning, Porch Conversion

If you are building a home, a garage, a gazebo, a lanai, or other projects that require building materials then you have likely slammed head-first into a barrier in getting things done: limited supplies.

You are not alone.

Custom furniture resellers are quoting 6-10 months on a single hardwood chair or couch being made in North Carolina. Office furniture companies are quoting 4-6 months for delivery of catalog products that can not catch up to demand. Electric vehicles are awaiting semiconductor chipsets and other crucial elements to battery operation that are keeping them from being scheduled for production. Ford quoted 22 weeks last fall for their electric SUVs – they are nearing 35 months now and buyers are just receiving their automobiles.

How much longer can this go on? Well into 2023 is what they are predicting. COVID-19 has continued to snarl up supply chains beginning with how materials and items are sourced. Many manufacturing facilities, both in the U.S and abroad, have enacted socially distanced workstations which reduce the workable footprint of the facility, thus slowing supply even more. It’s better than the entire place getting sick though, which happens, and they have to shut down.

Still today, many people don’t understand this or even believe that it is true. It’s true… we now live in a world where COVID has permanently changed the supply chain.

Plan For Your Porch Enclosure Project

The reality is that we are helping our customers plan out their projects much longer-term than we used to. Four years ago or less, you could take measurements, submit an order for your memory vinyl windows by Porch Life and you’d have them within 5-6 weeks. Today, our production timeline from Porch Conversions is 6-8 weeks after your order is accepted. We then need to ship them to you. If you’ve had any contractor tell you that they can’t start a project for about 8 weeks, its not because they can’t fit you into the mix – they can’t source the products needed to complete the job. That’s where we are at.

So plan ahead. Thinking about getting started on your winter outdoor living project in non-midwest states right now? You may behind the 8 ball. Right now is the time to order your winter project materials and start planning for spring project. Hit the ground running int eh spring or summer by having your materials ready to go – just in time…

family enjoying their new memory vinyl windows on their extend porch

According to the National Association of Home Builders, windows and doors the second hardest item to find behind lumber. Its survey found that 65% of respondents reported a shortage, with 46% reporting a serious shortage. Rightfully so, there are not many window and door manufacturers in the United States. Think of the names.. Anderson, Larson, Porch Conversions, Cascade, Marvin, Pella. We may have just covered them all! They are not likely to invest in new factories that will be unable to place human workers or be a temporary crush of orders that dies off with our inflation rates.

You are not alone… We are not alone. But your project just needs some diligent planning. That’s all!

Consider Memory Vinyl Windows

Our best advice is to join the growing list of people planning their spring/summer 2023 projects. We have many of those orders in cue and they’ll be ready in plenty of time! Replacing your windows comes with many decisions, one being which type of material you want to use for your window frames. Using vinyl for your windows has many benefits and at Porch Life, we offer a variety of customizations for your vinyl windows. But first, you may be asking “why Porch Life”? Let’s answer that basic question first.

Memory vinyl windows on Porch conversions project
Memory Vinyl Windows on a Porch Conversions Project

Why Porch Life?

Experience. When placing your order for your porch windows or outdoor living conversion project, you will have some questions and concerns about the process. It requires measuring and some math. Your order is custom-made for your porch or home project – refunds are not an option once your order is underway. How will you know you’ve ordered the right product, the right color, or the right size?

Simple- experience.

Porch Life has many years of experience working with vinyl windows directly from our manufacturer. Your custom porch windows are manufactured by Porch Conversions. They are made in the USA in some of America’s top furniture manufacturing markets, such as North Carolina. Having worked with Porch Conversions on the sales side for years, our official distributorship relationship has offered us knowledge that you can’t find anywhere else.

And we’ll be honest with you. It will probably be 10 weeks or more before you see your order. But ordering from someone else won’t speed that up for you – we’re a top-tier reseller for these companies and our orders are handled with the best timelines they can offer.

A few benefits

  1. We know the Memory vinyl windows and doors products inside and out
  2. We are skillfully versed in the measuring techniques
  3. We have helped thousands of customers with the right selections for their home project
  4. We offer help over the phone to get your measurements and order put together.
  5. We can manually prepare your order and invoice you. You don’t have to submit your order on our website.
  6. We can add expedited production to orders to ensure production of your products is done within 15 days. Your shipping estimation will happen after that. We are one of the few window/door supplier offering this option for 10% of the order price.

At Porch Life, your quote is free, help with measuring is free and we’ll even put your order together for you.

Start by measuring your space

Vinyl windows are a top premium choice for home remodeling and home improvement projects. In and of themselves, vinyl windows offer a thermal break, minimizing heat transfer from the outside of the home to the inside. Porch Life’s Vinyl windows look great and require very little maintenance. You can extend your outdoor enjoyment further than 3 seasons, especially with a blanket or fireplace in the room. As a result of their aluminum frame and composition, there is also no need to repaint or re-stain vinyl windows since they are the same color throughout.

However, before placing an order for a memory vinyl window, the first critical step is to determine the right measurement for the new window.

How to measure your windows

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure that the window is level. Equally important is checking to make sure that the sides are plum.
  2. The next thing you’ll want to do is check across the width in three locations and make note of the dimensions.
    1. Measure across the bottom.
    2. Then, measure across the middle.
    3. Also, measure across the top.
  3. Equally, you’ll also want to check the height of your opening in three locations – Left, middle, and right.
measuring your porch for vinyl replacement windows
Measure your space carefully before placing your order.

When ordering your window, you’re going to want to use the smallest of the dimensions that we just took to make sure that your window is going to fit properly in the opening. You can downsize the window yourself, tell us what you want it to be, or you can give us a rough opening and we will downsize it a quarter of an inch. This will leave you with a nice eighth-inch reveal so you’ll be able to center your window up in the opening. If you have an opening that is out of square, we will have the information you can follow that will guide you on how to properly measure and submit for an out-of-square opening.

But what about my other materials

It’s true, Porch Life is only one aspect of the total equation. If you’re not just doing a porch enclosure but rather building an entirely new porch, a backyard lanai, or other enclosed structure, you have a lot of work to do before you’ll get the ball rolling. You’ll want to get realistic timelines from the concrete contractor, the lumber contractor, the carpenter, and the electrician, and depending on the scope of your project there may be others.

There are many ways to create a porch enclosure. In years past, many DIYers would create wood frames, and staple mesh or similar materials into the frames to create a porch enclosure to keep out bugs. It worked… but this method makes it difficult to create an aesthetically pleasing enclosure, keep out the dirt and weather, and repairs were expensive and cumbersome. Ultimately you probably want something that matches the design and flow of your home that will become a welcoming space for family and friends.

Today, there are so many screening and window systems that are affordable, easy to use, and help to create a lasting enclosure with excellent curb appeal.

Good luck with your projects. We’re here to help!

Geoff Corrado
Geoff Corrado
2024-03-05
We used this window system on a 3-Season Room project recently and they were great. Easy to order, quick to deliver and easy to install....and they look fantastic too! Already have had many people ask about them and will most certainly use them again.
Jeff Baumann
Jeff Baumann
2023-12-02
We love our new windows and would recommend them to anyone considering these windows. We contracted with another supplier for the doors but we’re not pleased with the lead-times and scheduling delays. So we contracted direct with Porch Life for the windows. The ordering process was easy and seamless. The windows were exactly what we wanted and expected. We installed the windows ourself as the installation is pretty simple. I would suggest careful measuring and measure multiple times to ensure the windows will fit as expected. We are very pleased with our purchase.
Juanita Golson
Juanita Golson
2023-11-25
We love the windows we purchased from Porch Life. We upgraded our deck to a sun room and the windows help the room look so open and inviting. When they arrived, they were well protected and no damage. The windows were made to the precise measurements sent to them and fit perfectly in the openings we had prepared. Great value for these windows. Their customer service is fantastic, too.
Frank G
Frank G
2023-10-21
Transformed our back porch into a great three season room. Just wish we did it years ago. Andrea was great throughout the whole process. Can’t wait to see how long we can use it with the north east winter coming. Installation was easier than expected; took two of us about half a day. Thanks for everything.
Michael Los
Michael Los
2023-08-17
Andrea was great to work with. She did all she could to ensure I had a positive experience from start to finish. After I discovered several pieces were damaged during shipping, Andrea helped me work through the claim process to obtain replacements. I am pleased with the construction and material of the 4-track windows. The installation steps are straightforward. The openings on my porch required 4 twin units. For wthat it's worth, if I were to do again, I would leave 1/4" per joined unit (or min. 1/2 total) rather than 1/4" per rough opening. In short, I'm happy with the product and very happy with the service I received from Andrea and Porch Life Direct.
Peter Oday
Peter Oday
2023-07-03
Andrea was outstanding working with me on the project all the way through! Materials arrived on schedule, well packaged with no damage. Measurements were exactly what I requested. Quality of windows and doors is exceptional. We are extremely satisfied with the products!
Glen Barbeln
Glen Barbeln
2023-06-23
The windows are perfect for our new porch at our cabin. The whole experience went well from the order to the delivery. I would recommend them to anyone! Glen
Scott Nelson
Scott Nelson
2023-04-04
Andrea has been very responsive to my needs and I love the product. We have gone from two seasons on the patio to three. Very happy 😊
Gittelson Jewelers
Gittelson Jewelers
2023-03-15
We ordered the 4 track windows for our back porch to enclose it. We needed help measuring and Andrea was super helpful with that and answered all of questions so we felt really good about tackling a DIY project with these windows. Everything came as described and we simply followed her videos to get them installed. I definitely give Porch Life a thumbs up for making our outdoor living space project super easy. Thankyou!
Buz Booker
Buz Booker
2023-02-28
1-30-2023 Andrea @ Porch Conversions- We have really enjoyed our “new porch windows”. We can sit out there when sun warms it up. The temperature outside might be mid-forties and with the sun it can be mid-fifties on the porch; and the space heater kicks in some extra comfort. We hope for the best weather when our kids ( and kiddos) come in February from NYC and the Netherlands . Our two man team got the windows installed in less than a half day; and they look GREAT! We’ve told a bunch of friends how easy it was dealing with you and your company - the best - quick and the price was right! Also, we were most pleased to get the replacement screens for two windows and our contractor got them installed in about 40 minutes. Overall you get a very high mark for service, friendliness, sense of humor and being so easy to work with - many, many smiles! Come see us in the mountains of southwest Virginia and see the handiwork. All the best Buz Booker Pulaski, Va