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Gray Composite Decking & Screened-In Porch Ideas

Now, this is not a normal DIY post because we hired a professional to build this screened-in porch and large composite deck. Come along as we explain the products we used to add to our outdoor living space.

Screened-in porch idea

Our Deck & Screened-Porch

Before we even decided on a screened-in porch and large deck we debated about building all sorts of outdoor spaces. Ultimately we knew that a screened-in porch was the right idea for us!

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Design Ideas & Products

The screened-in porch and large deck were DIY design ideas, but we actually paid up. This was one project that we did not want to try to DIY. We let professionals complete this home improvement project.

Building this screened-in porch and deck did take a team of professionals several weeks. We are very happy that we did not attempt this on our own.

A year later, my backyard would still be dug-up and a muddy mess. Instead, we got to focus on DIY projects like building our own DIY backyard playground and raised planter boxes.

How To Decide On Your Design

  • Look at the profile of the back of the house or where you are putting your deck and/or porch.
  • Where will you have the steps? Do you need steps to get to your yard?
  • What will the rest of your landscape look like?
  • What materials do you want to use? Colors?
  • What building codes do you need to follow?
  • What type of doors? Sliding doors? Screened doors?

Our Design

We knew that we would be doing composite decking. Also, we knew that this composite deck was going to large! It was tough to figure out exactly how large it would be.

DIY screened-in porch and large deck design

Because our house is a little awkward with different parts sticking out of the back, our screened-in and deck design pretty much had to expand the back of our house.

Replacing Windows With Sliding Door

Our original deck did go along the back and we had 3 windows in our family room. The most logical place for us to put our screened-in porch seemed to be off the family room. Therefore, in our screened-in porch design and plans, we decided to take out the three windows and replace them with a sliding door. 

Sliding doors to large deck

While we were nervous that we might end up losing light, it actually ended up making our family room appear much bigger and brighter. Here are the other doors near our kitchen that we replaced going out on to the deck.

With the screened-in porch started we were then also prompted with other DIY projects like updating our mantle and fireplace and mounting our television in the corner with a DIY corner shelf

What screened-in porch and decking materials did we use?

Screened-in porch idea

Decking Materials: Timbertech Azek Island Oak review

This medium gray Timbertech composite decking has enough texture to make it look a little richer than the base Timbertech model.

close up of gray composite clean deck boards.

While this product is more expensive than regular pressure-treated wood, we are hoping it will last us for years to come. We love this rich color, but it does show dirt easily.

I think any darker color would show dirt as would any other lighter color.

We recently found made a homemade deck cleaner for composite decking and it worked wonders on that dirt and mildew.

Why did we choose gray?

In our home, we have been working on getting rid of browns, painting oak molding, and beiges in our house. Therefore our deck had to be gray and not brown. I was nervous that with our cream-colored siding, it would not go.

But I truly love the gray Island Oak color!

Screened-in porch Railings: Fairway V110 Vinyl Railing with Round Aluminum Balusters

One thing I learned is that if your screened-in porch is high enough off the ground then you will also need railings that go around your porch. I didn’t realize this at first, but it makes total sense since a screen really can’t stop someone from falling out. 

Check with your local building codes to make sure you are following all rules and guidelines.

White vinyl railing with black metal spinders

Having black spindles instead of all-white vinyl really worked for our backyard.

It is so much classier looking than just having this all white. When you look out our windows the black blends in with our backyard and does not seem as obtrusive

However, we have round black metal poles in this railing and I wish that my young children would not be able to spin them. Again, this screened-in porch and deck design is meant to last, so hopefully, the railings will too!

Tongue and Groove Ceiling

Our contractor was phenomenal and made sure to use classic tongue and groove wood for our ceiling. Just like our ceiling makeover in our basement, I guess I am learning that ceilings can really transform spaces.

This rich stain and tongue and groove boards add warmth to this screened-in porch.

This is our favorite stain color. We have used it on our DIY bathroom shelves and DIY art displays.

Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Tongue and Groove Ceiling

At first, I thought this fan was way too expensive for what it was. I absolutely love it after I saw it put up, felt the wind it gives off, and saw how bright the light can be. You can also put the light on a dimmer.

My husband was completely right when he said that we need to buy a nice outdoor ceiling fan and light. While this was more expensive than I thought an outdoor fan would be, it was still a lot cheaper than other models out there.

However, if a new fan is just not in the budget you may want to consider painting your existing outdoor fan like my DIY blogger friend of Tag & Tibby did.

Screeneze Screening System

The contractors that set up our screens said that this system was amazing. They noted that we could even watch a video of a full 5-gallon bucket on this system and the screen would not budge.

ScreenEze Screened-in Porch system

Everyone has commented on how tight the screens look and supposedly they are easy to replace if need be (but we shouldn’t have to do this).

The only negative, but I would think is the case with any screened-in porch would be that screens seem to collect wonderful pollen. Occasionally I have had to wipe or spray them down.

Future Decorating Ideas

Now here is where some DIY projects really came into play after we let our contractors finish building the deck and adding sliding doors.

Because our composite deck ended up having a lot of square footage I was able to add our fun playhouse, DIY large outdoor tables and benches, and fun DIY marbled pots to help enhance our space. 

Amazing Outdoor Living Space

This Spring and Summer, I am sure I will be coming up with more DIY projects once we decide on what we might need. 

Outdoor Furniture in Screened-In Porch

Inside the porch, we had darker brown resin wicker furniture which complemented the red mahogany stain of our tongue groove screened-in porch ceiling.

Brown Wicker Outdoor chair in screened-in porch

This furniture is great for now (because I already had it and therefore was FREE), but eventually, I may look to upgrade to an outdoor sectional like this one (or this one)!

I love DIY projects, but I am always a little indecisive when it comes to shopping!

The dark brown resin furniture matches the outdoor stain on our table and benches as well. 

More Screened-In Porch Ideas

We just love our screened-in porch and large composite deck so much. If you are like us, then you are constantly looking for DIY inspiration to help your outdoor living space. Here are a few other DIY backyard inspiration ideas for your outdoor space.

Follow us on Pinterest, Youtube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

We plan to spend a lot of time enjoying our outdoor space. Our screened-in porch and large deck design ideas have really added more livable space to our home.

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Tuesday 25th of May 2021

That came out great. I am in the process of installing a composite deck with plans to add a screen enclosure in the future. What was your footer? Was it posts into the ground within concrete , or was it a slab??


Tuesday 25th of May 2021

Hi Anthony. Our composite deck posts in the ground and we also have rocks for drainage.

Mike Auburn

Wednesday 17th of February 2021

I really loved this article about composite decking! It gave me some new insights that I never really thought of before.

Stephanie Augmenshaw

Sunday 14th of February 2021

I actually have some fans on a Facebook page related to this stuff. I'll share your post about wood decks with them and see what they have to say. I'm sure they'll love it though.


Monday 15th of February 2021

Thanks, Stephanie! We love our screened-porch with composite decking!


Thursday 6th of February 2020

Love it. We have a room that was going to be a screen room but we decided to put very large windows instead. We also put a wood burning stove in it and we use it all year only on weekend in winter cause it does take some time to heat up. We did it all ourselves in sections and it was became our favorite room in the house. Enjoy your new room, you're going to love it!


Friday 7th of February 2020

Hi Kathy! Yes, with little kids we knew we needed an outdoor room to lounge around while they played outside. We are so happy that we added this screened-in porch and large deck on to our house.

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