If you wondered why I didn’t post at the usual time on Sunday night this week — it was because I was out in the yard raking, weeding, planting grass seed and putting up the screen porch from morning until night. After a day like that, all I could manage was a hot shower, some Advil, a few squirts of icy hot and a nice long nap. I’m feeling much better today and ready to fill you in on the somewhat mysterious conversion between chain link fenced yard and cool mid century screened porch that takes place twice a year at the retro ranch.

In all my excitement — I forgot to take photos until we had already put up a few screen panels and the door (in the photo above) but you can still see that the fence is in place, bisecting the porch and preventing a certain Border Collie mix from exiting the yard in hot pursuit of that bunny he’s watching…


This panel of chain link is used to keep the dog in during the winter months when we bring the screens into the garage to avoid them suffering damage from ice, wind, snow and the soggy spring melt.


On one side, the piece of chain link fence is bolted to the secure, set in the ground with cement end of the fence. It takes a few cranks of a wrench to set it free.


On the other side, the fence is hooked to the garage wall with two long bolts — one at the top and one at the bottom of the panel —  that go through the wall and are tightened with nuts to hold the fence in place.


In the photo above, you can see we have put in all the screen panels on the yard side of the porch…


The screen buts up against the chain link without a gap making it safe to let the dog out once again…


There are three more panels of screen left to insert…



As each panel goes in, they are secured with these screen clips — the largest screens have three on each side that hold the panel in place.


Ta-da! The Tiki room is back for another summer of service — all that is left is to move the furniture back in and hang up the tiki decor.

Hopefully this helps you to understand how our amazing screen porch — a.k.a. the Tiki Lounge — my favorite spot in the house during the spring, summer and fall months makes its transformation.





  1. Goodness, I live in Texas where we can use a screened porch all year. Boy, does that seem like a lot of trouble to go through taking it down and putting it back together. Good for you!

    • It isn’t that much trouble. It only takes us a few hours each year and it protects the wood from rotting over the winter. It would be nice to be able to leave it up year round, but in Wisconsin, that really isn’t an option! 😉

  2. Is there any jeopardy Leo could burst right through the porch screen if that bunny were in sight? I know my {admittedly ill-trained} dogs would not be stopped by that mesh and I’d have to keep them out of the tiki lounge.

    • Leo is pretty good about not messing with the screens…and even if he tried, it would take him several attempts to break through, and we would likely notice and be able to stop him. Usually we don’t leave him in the tiki room unattended…and when he is in the yard and sees a bunny, he just barks at it through the fence. 🙂

  3. I’m not sure until I read your comment above that I knew you’re in WI. Hello northern neighbor!

    I remember being so fascinated last year about this porch and how you set it up. So neat. One of the ranches we looked at when we were house hunting had a screened in room (they were calling it a “Florida room”), but being about 12 feet from the neighbor’s above-ground pool, we decided (among other reasons) we much preferred the house we bought with a big open deck and no next-door pool. lol But I do like that it at least has a small covered portion where it connects to the house, since the downfall is the open part is too hot a good portion of the summer. Not an issue with your awesome tiki setup!

    • Yes, I’m just a little “up the road” from you! My husband’s family is from the Chicago area so we go down often to visit. 🙂

      We have a nice tree shading our Tiki Lounge, so it isn’t ever too hot and stays nice and shady. Good choice about not taking the house with a pool right next to the porch! I can imagine that would be anything but relaxing in the summer months…that is, unless the neighbors had you over for a swim!

  4. It makes sense to do what you are doing to preserve your favorite for a long time! it’s a job setting up and cleaning, but it’s a sure sign of lovely weather and fun times in the Tiki Lounge yet to come!!!! Really nice!!!!

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