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While many modern homes feature porches built when the house itself was constructed, others may need the structure built after initial construction. A homeowner can build his or her own porch from scratch with a bit of carpentry knowledge and some planning; an easier way to build the structure is to buy one of many porch kits, which generally include all the materials necessary to build the porch as well as instructions for completion. Porch kits may include materials to build the structure entirely, or they may only include materials for modification of the porch.
Porch kits for screening in a porch, for example, will include the materials needed to enclose the porch space with screens that will protect users from bugs and debris. These kits tend to be fairly simple and can be altered to accommodate porches of various sizes and designs. Some porch kits for screening feature screen panels that can be installed and removed easily as necessary; others may feature materials for permanent screening that cannot be removed at will. If protection from the elements is necessary, kits may be purchased that feature windows. These windows are usually adjustable to allow air flow or to prevent cold air from coming in.
If a builder needs to create the entire structure from scratch, he or she will need to consider porch kits that include all structural materials and hardware. Various types of wood, sometimes pre-cut to specific lengths, will be included, as will the hardware needed to secure the wood. Vinyl porch kits do not feature any wood, but instead will feature supports made from a synthetic material known as vinyl. This material is relatively durable and can be attractive, and it is very easy to clean or otherwise maintain. The drawback to vinyl is the builder's inability to cut or modify the vinyl boards on site, as they will be manufactured to specific tolerances at the factory. This means the installation process can be a bit more difficult, as the boards and posts will have to be installed correctly so they do not work loose or warp.
Some porch kits are designed solely to enhance the beauty of the space, or to increase the usability of the porch. Insulation kits, for example, may be used to insulate the porch so it can be used during winter months. This is, of course, only useful for enclosed porches. Paint kits or other decorative kits can help a homeowner enhance or completely change the aesthetic of the porch and the house itself.
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