Would you like to add a covered porch to your property for a light-filled, breezy, and bug-free place to relax? Join the club! But before you start building, you may want to consider what the renovation will actually cost. According to 2023 research by Angi, A wraparound porch with windows and screens can run up to $40,000—if you’re starting completely from scratch, with no balcony. The good news: There are a few designer tricks of the trade you can use to help keep the monitor down for a lower cost (or higher, if you’re looking to make it big and fancy), and it can be well priced as an investment.
Below, learn about the three factors that influence the cost of a screened porch, from the labor involved for installation to design elements and property taxes.
Location and taxes
Adding a covered porch can increase your property taxes. In fact, this is the biggest long-term expense to consider before calling your contractor. “It depends on what state you live in,” explains the design and renovation consultant Meredith SteeleAnd if a furnished porch increases your property taxes, it will be calculated on a square footage basis. Since taxes vary so much from state to state—and even county to county—it’s best to do your homework on regional codes and restrictions first. (Yes, even if you’re just adding a screen to an existing porch.) The bright side? “I know it provides a return on your investment if you ever intend to sell your home,” says Steele.
The smaller the porch, the more affordable the project will be because the cost of materials will be lower. Small size is one way to reduce costs. If you are checking in the balcony as it really is, home advisor Reports indicate that installation can cost around $2,000. “Total costs are $3 to $5 per square foot for materials, and $2 per square foot for labor” for an add-in like this, according to Home Advisor. On the other side, “If you want to build a completely new porch with a screen, you’ll pay anywhere from $25 to $120 per square foot for the entire project.”
materials and decoration
If you’re dead set on a certain amount of space and comfortable with the potential hike in taxes your furnished porch addition will incur, swapping affordable materials is another way to stay on budget.
According to Still, the best way to decorate is to stand up to the elements ipe wood, which is very hard and insect-resistant, but will be a bit more expensive. Tile is also great, but it can also be very expensive. Since there is a wide range of materials and prices, you can Expect tile or common wood to cost $4 to $32 per square foot in the middlewhile exotic hardwoods and fine stone run between $11 and $20 per square foot. If you’re budget conscious but love the look of wood floors, composite can be a great alternative. Concrete is the most affordable option at $4 to $8 per square foot (If it’s too cold for you, it’s easy to hide under a warm area rug.) Brick might be a good budget-friendly option if you really want to avoid concrete.
Pre-cut screens are the least expensive option, so mention their use to the contractor and architect before they begin designing plans. If you want any kind of specialized screen (such as windproof if you live in a very windy area or hypoallergenic if you sneeze), it’s a bit more expensive.
The screen material will also affect the cost. “There are many different types of screens: fiberglass, aluminum, premium metal, and sun blocking screens. Fiberglass is the cheapest option but not the best. He says still. “To ensure the longevity of the interior of your porch, it’s best to invest in a screen that prevents insects, dust, pollen, and UV rays from infesting the space.” She recommends shopping around a brand like the Porch Enclosure System, PollenTEC, and Eze-Breeze to see what options there are.
According to Angie, Aluminum screens cost $5 to $7 per square foot, while fiberglass costs $4 to $5.50.. You’ll also need to re-inspect your porch every six to eight years on average (if you maintain it well). You need to factor this into your project budget, because torn or damaged screens (caused by storms, accidents, or even sharp pet claws) can defeat the purpose of an enclosed outdoor living space.
To keep your budget low, choose affordable outdoor furniture instead of custom upholstered performance fabrics and high-end pieces. (But if you can splurge on those at first, then they are We are A good investment and will last longer!) You can also hunt for antiques or look at a flea market to find old but good things to decorate your porch with; Estate sales are another sneaky way to get a bargain on designer pieces.
You should also take steps to protect any furniture from the weather. After all, screens won’t keep out rain and moisture. It is recommended to use a waterproof fabric spray to prevent the pillows from retaining water. Build.com project expert Maverick Watson suggests. This will help ensure that your outdoor furniture lasts as long as possible.
DIY installation can help you save money and can be a great idea if you’re affordable—especially if you’re starting with an existing porch. As always, you will invest what you save in your budget with your time.
Do it yourself
If you already have an existing porch that you want to screen and you want to do it yourself, you will save a lot of labor and just need to budget for the cost of materials. In terms of supplies, you’ll need a stapler, pre-cut screens, a level, and a steady hand. Learn more about do-it-yourself porch screening in our guide to do-it-yourself porch screening.
Of course, build rates will vary from region to region and team to team. But if you’re doing anything more than a simple screen installation, you’ll definitely want to bring in a licensed contractor and possibly an architect. If you’re watching costs, try to keep the scale of the project manageable—the smaller the porch, the less time it takes to build, so labor costs will be lower—and consult them on creative ways to cut costs. A good build team will know how to become proficient without compromising on quality.
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Hadley Mendelsohn is the co-host and executive producer of the podcast dark house. When she’s not busy writing about interiors, you can find her wandering antique stores, reading, looking up ghost stories, or stumbling over that she may have lost her glasses again. Besides interior design, she writes about everything from travel to entertainment, beauty, social issues, relationships, fashion, food, and on very special occasions, witches, ghosts, and other Halloween haunts. Her work has also been published in MyDomaine, Who What Wear, Man Repeller, Matches Fashion, Byrdie, and more.
Kate McGregor is the SEO Editor at House Beautiful. She’s covered everything from curated decor tours and shopping guides, to glimpses into the home lives of inspiring creators, for publications like ELLE Decor, Domino, and Architectural Digest’s Clever.