If you love the outdoors but not the bugs and mosquito bites that can come with it, you may have fantasized about having your cake and eating it too. A screened-in porch allows you to enjoy nature’s beauty without succumbing to its drawbacks. The national average cost to screen a 200-square-foot existing porch is about $2,085. Most homeowners typically pay between $1,680 to $2,490. It can cost as little as $450 on the extreme low end, and as much as $2,885 on the high end.
If you’re considering adding a screened-in porch but don’t know where to start, keep reading. This article tells you what determinants affect the cost, and gives you average prices to help you get started on your budget for your screened-in porch project.
- Average costs
- Cost estimator by size
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- Pro cost vs. DIY cost
- Cost by location
Average screened-In porch costs in 2023
|National average cost||$2,085|
|Typical price range||$1,680 to $2,490|
|Extreme low end cost||$450|
|Extreme high end cost||$2,885|
|Materials per Square Foot||$3.05 to $4.90|
|Labor per Square Foot||$5.35 to $7.55|
|Materials and Labor per Square Foot||$8.40 to $12.45|
Adding a screened-in porch gives you a bug-free space to enjoy the outdoors. Even if insects aren’t a problem for you, a screened-in porch still provides additional living space, shade from the sun, and an entertainment zone that keeps the rain from destroying your outdoor plans.
In addition to material costs and labor costs, other key factors that affect the project cost are the size of the porch, porch location, zoning and permits, and any features you add to make your space cozier and more inviting.
You can save money by building during the colder months. Since most homeowners build during warmer seasons, contractors may have more availability and offer discounts to bring in more business.
Adding a screened-in porch cost estimator by size
The larger your porch, the more materials will be needed. So the size of your screened-in outdoor area can have a rippling effect on overall costs. Materials and labor combined range from $8.40 to $12.45 per square foot.
A small porch that is about 144 square feet will average approximately $1,500 for the overall cost. A medium-sized screen-in area is about 224 square feet and will total around $2,335. A much larger porch, measuring around 300 to 400 square feet, costs about $3,400.
|Project Size||Average Overall Cost|
Other factors that affect cost
If you have an HOA, you’ll have to get approval to screen in your deck or porch, and they may have stipulations to ensure your property maintains a design consistent with the other homes in the neighborhood. Likewise, some neighborhoods have covenants that may prevent the addition of a screened-in porch or dictate a particular style or design. These requirements will affect your budget.
Here are some other determinants that affect how much adding a screened-in porch will cost.
- Porch placement
- New screened-in porch
- Railings, posts, and beams
- Screen door
- Zoning and permits
You have some options on screen fabrics, and each has its pros and cons. If you’re looking to experiment with different colors, you may want to install fiberglass screens. Aluminum screens are great for windy areas, but they may corrode. Panels made out of solar material decrease the sunlight that comes through the screen, giving more of a shaded effect. If price is a major component in your decision, you may want to select the more commonly-used fiberglass or aluminum panels.
|Material||Average Price per Square Foot|
The placement of your porch affects how complex the project will be and the total costs. Closing in an area on the second floor will cost more. Even if your screened-in area is on the bottom level, if there is a balcony over it, costs will increase.
New screened-in porch
For the most part, this article assumes that, like most homeowners looking to add a screened-in porch, you already have walls or deck posts to attach screen frames and an existing roof on your porch. And even more importantly, this guide assumes that you already have an existing deck or porch. If you do not already have an existing porch and roof, or they are not well-kept, the costs increase considerably.
Building a new porch costs between $4,800 and $24,000 or more. Some of the materials you will need are framing, roofing, and flooring. Add the screening service, and you can expect a total bill between $6,480 and $26,490.
If you’re adding a new porch and roof, you’ll also need to factor in the costs of framing and roofing materials. Here are two options for framing and how they will impact your budget per square foot.
|Material||Average Price per Square Foot|
|Steel||$2.00 to $4.00|
|Wood||$1.00 to $5.00|
Most roofs for screened porches are made from asphalt or an aluminum patio cover. Asphalt shingles are $16 to $30 per square foot. An aluminum patio cover is between $14 and $22 per square foot.
Some of the most commonly-used floorings for screened porches are poured concrete, concrete pavers or stenciling, and floating wood or tile. Poured concrete is the least expensive, ranging from $4.25 to $6.25 per square foot. You can find concrete pavers or stenciling for as low as $4 per square foot, but they can run as high as $20. Floating wood or tile is the most expensive, costing between $20 and $60 per square foot.
The size of your staircase will affect the price. How your porch is laid out in relation to your home also impacts costs. A simple concrete staircase can cost as little as $300, with a more complex set of steps costing as high as $1,900.
Railings, posts, and beams
If there’s a staircase, installing a railing is a safety precaution. It’s also aesthetically pleasing. Here are some of the different materials for railings and their costs.
|Material||Average cost per linear foot|
|Wood||$6 – $30|
|Vinyl||$15 – $50|
|Aluminum||$30 – $120|
|Wrought Iron||$40 – $60|
Screened-in porches also require posts or beams. Just as with railings, wood is the least expensive. Treated wood and hardwood cost more. Treated wood is an average of $40 per post and hardwood is an average of $50 per post. For a more decorative look, you can install stone columns for an average of $665 per column.
|Material||Average cost per post|
Some homeowners want two doors to enter and exit their screened-in porch from their yard. Having only one door will, of course, save you money. Doors cost an average of $300.
Zoning and Permits
Some local governments may consider a screened-in porch with a roof an addition and require you to have a building permit. Be sure to inquire with your contractor or local officials about this requirement. A permit typically costs about $190.
Now for the really fun part. You can add optional features depending on how you plan on using your additional living space. Motorized screens allow you to invite the outdoors completely in with ease. A motor raises the retractable screens. Here are some other bells and whistles you can add to your outdoor living space to make it homier.
|Motorized Screens||$3,000 per unit|
You could even add a hot tub. Prices range from $4,500 to $10,000, depending on if it’s above ground or in-ground.
Here are some other services you may need related to your screened-in porch project, or some ventures you may be interested in to meet your home improvement goals.
Nothing is worse than discovering you have unexpected expenses. If you have a wooden deck, leave room in your budget for the possibility of termite damage. You will want to take care of wasp nests or fire ants near the work area to ensure that you and contractors are safe.
Pest control costs depend on the type of insects and the degree of infestation. Services for termites are about $560. Pest control for wasps is about $385 and $185 for ants. It costs an average of $445 to remove a beehive.
Your current porch or deck may need some maintenance. A damaged foundation, rotting wood, crumbling concrete, and other problems will have to be addressed. Depending on the nature and extent of your issues, a porch repair costs an average of about $2,365.
Building an extension to your home
Although a screened porch gives you additional living space, it’s not the same as adding another room to your property. If you want to enjoy some of the same comforts as the rest of your home, like your cooling and heating system, you may want to consider adding an extension to your property.
The type of room, style, size, materials, which floor the room is added to, and the bells and whistles or special features you choose all factor into the final price tag.
Leveling your lawn
If your yard is on a slope, uneven ground, or a hill, you may need to level or grade the land. Uneven ground can prevent water from draining properly, causing lingering water puddles or your basement to flood. Land grading is the process of leveling the surface of the land, but land can be graded sloped or flat.
Land grading costs depend on several factors, including project size, soil type, and the current slope of the property. It costs about $0.08 to $2.00 per square foot. Land grading the area for a porch that is 200 square feet costs about $16 to $400.
Pro cost vs. DIY cost
If your existing porch or deck needs a roof, or wall or posts to attach screen frames to, you may want to hire a professional. Otherwise, the good news is that you can tackle this project yourself.
You’ll want to make sure your existing posts are sound. Consult with a handyworker to find out if your current posts or beams are screen-ready. If they are, you’re ready to go. As a matter of fact, you can buy a screened-in porch kit that will have everything you need. You’ll just have to grab all the necessary tools. To save money, you can borrow what you don’t already have.
Some factors that affect kit costs are the size of the porch you are screening, screen material, and even color. A kit can cost an average of $250.
Tools and supplies may differ depending on whether you use a porch screen kit, purchase the screen panels for porches separately, or buy pre-framed screens. The following will give you an idea of some of the tools you may need. For example, you probably won’t need the stapler if you’re securing the base strip with a hammer and nails.
|DIY Tools||Average cost|
|Heavy duty stapler||$15|
|Carpenter square or level||$35|
|Total DIY cost||$220|
If you have all the tools already, it will only cost you about $250 for the kit. Tools plus a kit will be about $470. With labor and materials costing approximately $8.40 per square foot at the low end, hiring a professional for a 200-square-foot porch would cost around $1,680.
Although it costs less to DIY, your lack of skill may create extra expenses. Keep in mind the costs that can accumulate from mismeasuring or accidentally damaging materials, your current porch, or the wall that your home is providing for the screened-in porch.
Cost of adding a screened-in porch by location
Like with many goods and services, where you reside affects total costs. A company in Kansas City may not charge as much as a company in Bethesda, Maryland. Labor fees are different geographically, and access to or proximity to trucking or shipping hubs also impacts prices.
FAQ about screened-in porches
Adding a screened-in porch can increase the value of your home. But where you live may play a role in whether this is the case.
If you live in an area where bugs are a problem, like the Midwest or Florida, a screened-in porch adds value. However, you may or may not increase your home’s value, and you may even reduce it if you live in an area where people can enjoy the outdoors without a screened-in area.
But don’t let this deter you. Do your homework and weigh the pros and cons of a screened-in porch. Your comfort and enjoyment are what matters most.
A sunroom has walls and is more like a room. Both a three-season sunroom and an all-season sunroom are more expensive than a screened-in porch.
A three-season sunroom is defined just as it sounds. It’s meant to be used for three seasons, usually spring through fall. It has minimal insulation if any, so it doesn’t protect against extremely hot or cold temperatures.
Whether it’s a three-season or all-season sunroom, they both offer more protection from inclement weather than a screened-in porch. You can close the windows in a three-season sunroom to guard against wind and rain, and there are walls beneath the windows.
While a screened-in porch gives you additional living space, it’s not counted in the square footage of your home. To count an area in the total square footage of your home for a real estate listing, the add-on must be insulated, cooled, and heated like the other rooms in your house. Even if you heat your screened porch with heaters or a fireplace, the space cannot be counted in square footage.
A screened-in porch adds to your living space and allows you the mental health benefits of being outdoors. Not being completely outdoors while you’re enjoying the night air can also provide a sense of security. While you could do this project yourself, it’ll be faster and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing it will meet your expectations if you leave it to a professional contractor. If your existing porch or deck does not have framing or a roof, or you need to have a porch or deck built, you’ll definitely want to contact a professional near you.
Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.
Main Image Credit: LakeMartinVoice | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0