With an enclosed porch, you can enjoy all the benefits of spending time outside while keeping out the unpleasant stuff. Most homes don't come with this feature, though, so if you want a sheltered porch, you have to make one yourself. If you're considering taking on such a project, you'll want to know how much money to save to make it happen.
So, how much does it cost to enclose a porch? On average, about $2,000 for supplies. This number varies based on:
- The size of the porch
- What material you use
- Whether you intend to pay someone else to install the screen
Home improvement projects can often feel like biting off more than you can chew. Luckily, there are resources like this one to help you plan every step of the process, from the saving to the execution. The first step toward the porch of your dreams is reading on.
Step One: Obtaining Documents
Surprisingly enough, the first step in the process should be applying for the proper permits. You may not need one in your state, but it's better to look into it at the start of the process than to find out you need one once renovations are already underway.
Visit your city's department of planning government website, like this one, for more information. Once there, you can determine if the structure you're planning to build requires a permit and, if so, apply for one online. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a small fee.
Step Two: Getting Materials
As with any renovation project, there's a trade-off when it comes to materials. You can get the most readily available and cheapest material to save money, or you can get higher-end materials that have the potential to pay off later. Enclosing a porch is no different.
Taking an average, 200 square foot porch as the baseline, you will run into the following options:
- Aluminum mesh at an average of $6 per square foot
- Fiberglass at an average of $5 per square foot
- Solar screens at an average of $7 per square foot
Thankfully, the most common materials can be found on Amazon, which makes obtaining materials a little easier.
If aluminum mesh appeals to you, consider this roll of supplies.
If fiberglass mesh is more your speed, check out this product.
Of course, if you want to make enclosing your porch simple, Amazon has something for that, as well. This low-tech curtain is easy to install and allows you to control your exposure to the sun.
Step Three: Factoring in Labor
Depending on the materials you've chosen, installation may be more involved. It's up to you whether you pay someone to do the work for you or take this on as a DIY project.
If you intend to pay someone for their services, know that the industry standard hovers between $5 and $7 per square foot of material. Going off the average 200 square foot porch, that's about $1,500 at the high end.
How Much Does it Cost to Screen In an Existing Porch?
Now that we've covered the cost of materials and labor, you can see how it all adds up. Let's use our sample 200 sq. ft. porch and fiberglass mesh to do the math.
Adding the $1,000 for materials to the $1,500 you'd pay for high-quality installation, you get an overall cost of $2,500.
Does a Screened-In Porch Add Value to Your Home?
The offset of the cost is how much you might be rewarded for your renovation. There's no denying that having a well-maintained enclosed porch adds something to the overall value of the property. Though it hasn't been quantified, these spaces are proven to add curb appeal to properties on the market.
Enclosed Porches vs. Sunrooms
Your new-and-improved outdoor space doesn't have to be an enclosed porch, of course. Sunrooms are another option. Since they traditionally have more in common with a living room than a porch, though, they take a bit more work and money to get them set up.
The plus side to the additional cost, time, and labor is that you can have a temperature-controlled space with a gorgeous view when you finish.
To learn more about the different types of porch and porch-like structures available, check out our post outlining the appeal of four-season porches. Picking the right one for your home is essential to getting the most out of your outdoor space.
How Much Does it Cost to Turn a Screened Porch Into a Sunroom?
One way to go about the enclosed porch vs. sunroom debate is to start with the former and upgrade to the latter at a different time when you have the money.
It's complicated to convert a porch into a sunroom without first demolishing the porch. Since sunrooms are typically attached to the house and have electricity, you can't exactly build over any existing structure.
Given that, the cost of demolition can range anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot. Once that's taken care of, you're looking at a minimum price of about $10,000 to construct and outfit a sunroom in the porch's place.
As such, it takes approximately $12,000 to take down a 200 square foot porch and erect a sunroom in its place.
How Much Does a Sunroom Add to Home Value?
Since they're generally considered a step up from enclosed porches, sunrooms do add even more to your home's property value. These spaces hold about a 72 percent return in resale value.
In other words, it can pay to renovate your enclosed porch into a sunroom. Additionally, it can be helpful to build a sunroom from scratch, as this adds to your home's total square footage—something to consider when you're choosing between an enclosed porch and a sunroom.
If you're looking for other projects to take on to bump up your home's property value, consider these tips.
Getting the Most Out of Your Enclosed Porch
To capitalize on your home's new feature, you'll want to put your decorating savvy to the test. Once your enclosed porch is all set, check out our article on design ideas for front porches to get inspired.
No matter how you dress it up, though, you're guaranteed to have a place to enjoy some mosquito-free sunshine!