A lanai can be a wonderful place to relax on weekends or after work. Having a lovely outdoor place to chill out and visit with family and friends really takes your home up a notch, not to mention potentially increasing its value. But how much does it cost to build a lanai, specifically in Florida? We've done some research and have gathered some excellent information for you!
The cost to build a lanai in Florida will vary depending on several factors, such as whether or not you have an existing porch you're converting, the finished size of the lanai, what type of materials you'll be using, and whether or not you'll be hiring someone to complete the project or do it yourself. The range can be anywhere from about $800 up to $3,000, depending on all the above factors.
Now that you have a ballpark idea of how much it would cost to build a lanai in Florida, let's discuss all the factors involved in the project's pricing. We'll answer some additional questions you might have as well. Keep scrolling to learn more!
Cost of Materials
A huge difference in cost factor will be if you already have an outdoor space you want to partially enclose or if you'll need all the materials to start a brand new structure. If you already have a patio or porch, your price tag will decrease significantly as it can be worked into a lanai.
Of course, if you have to scrap all the existing outdoor materials first, this could actually add to your cost if you're paying someone else to remove the old materials. Be sure to take all this into account when planning your project! The cost of materials will vary depending on what you plan on using to build your lanai.
We all know some wood is more expensive than others. The best wood for outdoor projects is arguably teak. Teak is a type of wood from the southern part of Asia. It's rot and water-resistant and can be stained in many different shades. It doesn't warp over time, which means your lanai will keep its shape.
Teak is so great with moist environments that it's used for building boats. The only downside of teak is that it can get rather expensive. Also, it's become so popular in recent years, which added many restrictions to the harvesting. This, in turn, makes teak wood even more expensive. Teak can run anywhere from $7 to $40 per board. That will add up fast.
Cedar, which is also highly sought after for decks. It runs around $4 to $9 per linear foot, so it is much more affordable compared to teak. Cedar is also durable and resistant to moisture.
Want some tips on how to paint your outdoor space? Check out our post: How to Paint an Aluminum Patio Enclosure or Lanai.
PVC or Composite
PVC or composite decking is generally around the same price or a little bit less than the most expensive woods used for outdoor spaces but doesn't come with the same issues as wood, such as distorting or rotting over time. No matter how careful you are and how often you maintain your wood, it will eventually deteriorate if it is in an outdoor space.
PVC and composite are synthetic and made to ensure it lasts for decades upon decades. It won't splinter or crack,.. It costs about $8 to $18 per square foot.
Glass Vs. Screens
Using glass to enclose your lanai is going to be the more expensive option. Not only is the material itself going to be more expensive, but since you've enclosed your space and basically made it an extension of your home, you're likely to want to decorate it as an all-seasons room. This means upholstered furniture, tile floors, or maybe even rugs and pillows. All of these things are going to add to your overall cost.
Tempered glass will cost around $12 to $14 per square foot. Tempered glass is impact-resistant and makes it good if the space you're enclosing contains a pool. If you wish to have laminated or insulated glass, expect the price to go up a few dollars per square foot.
In contrast, a stainless steel screen will cost around $1 to $2 per square foot. This is a huge difference!
Consider, when planning your lanai, if you want to experience the elements without the bugs, or if you want to keep yourself completely separate from the outdoors but still enjoy the view of it.
Cost Per Square Foot
Of course, the exact square footage of the lanai will help determine how much it will cost. If you're just looking for a small sitting area, you can likely get away with only spending around $1,000 to get the area enclosed with screens. A small lanai could be as little as 70 square feet and potentially cost even less.
If you want an extra-large space, this is where you're looking at spending closer to that $3,000 range. Think about what you want to be included in your outdoor space when planning for size.
Does a lanai include a pool?
Some lanais even include pools, especially in Florida! Having a pool enclosed in a lanai keeps bugs and debris from being a problem in the pool. It also keeps the pool closed off from animals or children who might fall into it and become injured.
A lanai is a perfect place for a pool! Of course, if you're building your lanai to fit the pool within it, you'll need a large one constructed. You're likely to spend anywhere from $1,700 to $2,500 to get the pool enclosed.
Cost of Labor
If you're handy and want to complete these as a DIY project, you're going to be saving hundreds of dollars. Contractors generally estimate their charges by the square foot and the timeframe they think it'll take them to complete the project. Plan on adding at least $500 to the overall cost of your project if you're having professionals do the work.
Check out this video of a lanai construction:
What is the difference between a lanai and a porch?
A porch and a lanai are extremely similar. Both are places at least partially enclosed but also exposing a person to the outdoors. A porch is always connected to the home, whereas a lanai can be constructed independently of the home, such as an enclosed pool area not connected to the house. A lanai is also most often found in the backyard of a home, whereas a porch is most often in the front.
What is the purpose of a lanai in Florida?
A lanai serves many purposes in Florida. It's a place to enjoy the outdoors while being protected from bugs and the sun. Not only that, but it gives the homeowner a peaceful place to unwind, meditate, or simply be a part of nature without all the prep work of applying sunscreen or insect repellent.
It's a great space to grow plants that need limited sun. Basically, there are no downsides to a lanai! It's an extension of your home that can be enjoyed with friends and family alike.
Can I add a lanai to my house?
A lanai can be added to any house, not just one in Florida. The word itself actually originates from Hawaii. In Hawaiian, it means porch or balcony. You don't have to be in a tropical location to add one. If you live in a colder climate, consider adding a lanai to your home using glass enclosures and adding heaters. Decorate it with a tropical theme and imagine yourself at the beach!
Need some help choosing furniture for your outdoor space? Check out our post: 11 Amazing Porch Chair Ideas to Check Out.
How long should a lanai screen last?
The amount of time the screens will last on a lanai depends on the quality and material used in the screen. The environment to which the screen is exposed weighs heavily on its lifespan as well. On average, a screen should last about 10 to 12 years, but a more expensive screen made of stainless steel or copper could last up to 20 years.
Building a lanai in Florida can be more affordable than you'd think. As with any home improvement project, make sure you have all the facts before getting started. Take your time to plan and research, and you'll be relaxing in the lanai of your dreams in no time.