The average cost for a 270 square feet screened in porch with regular materials will cost approx. $4.50/sqft, which would bring you to a total of $600 (for a small porch with entry level materials) to $3,510 (for a bigger wraparound porch with premium materials). The national average cost for the project is approx. $1,215. Get free instant estimates from local porch contractors near you.
The average porch is roughly 270 square feet. Screening it in with regular materials will cost approx. $4.50/sqft, which would bring you to a total of $600 (for a small porch with entry level materials) to $3,510 (for a bigger wraparound porch with premium materials). The national average cost for the project is approx. $1,215.
|Screened In Porch||Cost|
|National Average Cost||$1,215|
|Average Range||$600 to $3,510|
For a high end screened in porch, the materials will cost between $1,061 and $3,210, with installation costing an additional $300.
A porch is generally built on the front and/or along one side of the home during the initial construction, and, quite often, the roof of the home extends out to cover it, creating a portion of the home for sitting outside. A porch can be built as an addition to the home later, but at the back of the house—so as to not alter the appearance of the front of your home. It would have its own new roof and would end up being more of what many would refer to as a sunroom.
If you dont already have an existing deck, the construction for a new screened in porch is much more expensive. The average cost to build a deck starts at $25 per sq. foot with most homeowners spending around $4,380 to $10,080 total.
Of course many factors go into your final cost, but an average construction estimate to build a brand new screened in porch will cost around $30-60/sqft. This is for a basic setup, if you plan to add additional screened in porch features such as lighting, fans, furniture, and fireplaces, the prices increase accordingly.
The main reason people elect to screen in their porch is to keep out bugs and insects. The second is to create shade. With both the intense heat from the sun reduced, and bug and insects all but taken care of, you can even consider some outdoor entertaining in the summer months out front if you have a deep enough porch.
Screening in a porch will have a moderately positive effect on the heat temperature inside the home, but on the other hand, it will also marginally darken any rooms that have windows opening to that porch area.
Your screen material options are listed below in order of their cost for materials alone, starting with the most expensive. Your contractor will let you know about the most suitable options for your area because of the climate, etc., but pay particular attention to selecting materials that will stand up well to the elements.
|Screen Material||Average Cost|
|Stainless steel mesh||$1.00/sqft|
|Vinyl-coated polyester mesh||$0.58/sqft|
The appearance of your copper mesh will change over time from its iconic look to more of a green or blue which will eventually turn black, due to exposure to the elements. Despite being one of the most expensive options available for screen mesh at $6.50/sqft, it is not the strongest material. Softer than brass, it is quicker to install because it is easier to cut with hand tools and bend into shape.
Being made up of around 70% copper and 30% zinc, brass is referred to as an alloy, and because of the copper content, it acts somewhat similarly to copper in respect to how it will tarnish over time from weathering, called “safe corrosion.” The darker black and brown appearance is from a normal process called oxidation when it is out in the open. This alloy is better than copper alone because of its ability to resist abrasion and the resulting strength from the combination of the two metals.
However, it’s not a wise choice for homes near saltwater areas because the salt will cause active corrosion with brass, leaving a green powder or bright, white and green spots often referred to as bronze disease. While it is a stiffer metal than copper, the mesh can still be bent by hand, but unlike copper, it has some spring back whereas copper does not. On average brass mesh screening will cost you $6/sqft.
Stainless steel has always been used for its incredible strength, and it will not rust or tarnish, or be physically damaged from impact. This is an ideal porch screen material in coastal areas since salt has no effect on its appearance or structural integrity. Also, it's price tag is attractive, coming in at $1/sqft on average. It will require very little maintenance once installed, but given that it is stainless, its shiny surface will reflect a little sunlight on each strand of the mesh, and as a result, it will bounce in more light and heat than other options like brass and copper, once they are discolored.
Another metal in the alloy category, this is a combination of copper and a number of other metals including aluminum, manganese, zinc or nickel, and tin. Like brass, the same discoloration will occur over time, but it is not affected by exposure to salt, making it another option for coastal homes and businesses. When bronze is new, and before any discoloration has changed its appearance, it is the same color as a new penny. Bronze is also much tougher than brass and copper and is quite stiff, which makes it more challenging for the installer when it is used for screening a porch. Bronze screen mesh costs on average $0.85/sqft.
This is the first of the nonmetal solutions for porch screens, and it is made from a polyester mesh which has a bonding or adhesive agent added to it before it is coated in PVC—as the exterior protection. These two ingredients have been used for a long time to manufacture tarps. The only way it will change appearance is when it could eventually fade from exposure to the sun. It is an ideal screen material in most regions and performs really well in warmer climates, where it provides good shade. Coastal salt and water in the air will not damage it. While the material is available in a range of colors, black or the darker colors will be the best choice for reducing the heat from the sun. You can expect to pay around $0.58/sqft for this material.
Of the metal screen solutions, aluminum screen is a perfect blend of strength, and it’s still easy to work with because it is easy to both bend and cut with hand tools. Available in silver, black, and charcoal, it stands up to the elements—resisting corrosion from moisture, oxygen, and salt. It will keep its original color but reflect more light and heat than the other two options, and, as such, will be less effective in reducing heat during the summer months. Also, when compared to fiberglass, its strength as a metal will outperform it by a factor of almost 50%, which makes its initial slightly higher cost of $0.28/sqft a worthwhile investment for the homeowner.
This is the least expensive option for your porch screen material costing around $0.15/sqft. Out of all the materials available, it is the most easily torn and will always need to be treated with care. If you have young children in the home, this may not be the most ideal screen. On the upside, this screen material is made from glass yarn and is fire resistant. It will not rust or corrode like copper, brass, or bronze. Like the vinyl-coated polyester, it is available in a number of colors, and again, you should select the darker colors for the best sun control.
Once you have made a decision on the material for your screen, the second component your installer will use to hold it all together is the frame. Aluminum is the industry standard choice for installers, although some DIY warriors may choose to construct the framing from wood. This could be either for aesthetics or a cost consideration, but as with any wood used on the exterior, it will come with the need for maintenance and the potential for decay, if not treated effectively for the elements or for termites.
With wood, the screen can either be stapled into place around a frame that is then set into position, or, nail a piece of trim which has screen stapled to it into place, then pull the screen tight do the same at the bottom, and then take care of the sides.
With aluminum framing, it is typically assembled out of the combination of U channels and main frames and will be covered in a protective enamel surface, allowing for the use of different color treatments. The mesh is glued to the frame. Check out this PDF for more details.
There is no substitute for a genuine lack of planning. To do all you can to make sure everything goes off without a hitch, it is worth paying close attention to the following list and taking action where necessary. On average, a contractor will charge around $300 for installation, not including materials, doors, add-ons, and more.
The laws regarding permits differ at the state, county, city, and town level, and it is always wise to check with your local building department regarding any zoning ordinances or guidelines they have for screening in an existing porch. The work to add a screen to an existing porch should not alter the structural integrity or safety of the building, so while you may not need a city permit, this is an addition to the exterior visual finish of your home and might violate your homeowners’ association regulations.
If permits are required, they will always take a little time to secure, so don’t book your contractor to a date set in stone until you have the approved permits. Local officials might have to come out to your property to inspect the finished work. You can also leave the permit component to the contractor. Many pros provide the architectural drawings necessary for porch construction and obtain all the necessary permits.”
No matter if you go with wood or aluminum, the materials will be thin. Because of that, the strength of the aluminum option is something worth leaning toward, since wood will eventually sag as it expands and contracts each season. Over time, this will impact the screen in the door, as well as the door’s ability to close smoothly.
|Porch Doors||Average Cost|
|Simple 32” by 36” inch aluminum screen door||$93|
|A locking screen door||$138|
|Wooden screen doors of the same size||$50 for a simple door with a latch
$500+ for a more ornate door with a lock
While many porches will already have railing around the perimeter, either due to building codes or for the sake of appearance, that appearance will change once the screen goes up.
A common feature is a kick plate installed along the lowest portion of each screened section. Visually it looks better, and, as the name might imply, it prevents the screen from being damaged by being kicked or fallen or banged into. They are available in 8”–24” sizes. It is not uncommon for the plate on the door to be taller than the rest of the kick plate because of the number of feet kicking it open and shut over the course of its lifetime.
You may want to provide power on the porch. In addition to providing a few electrical sockets, run cable so you can install ceiling fans and some lighting—nice additions for those sitting outside during the summer. Talk through lighting options with the electrician you are working with to bring power to the porch so it can all be done at the same time. You can work out a fancy plan to have a really unique space with light boxes on the floor, or elect to simply have ceiling fans installed that have lights in them. Labor for an electrician costs $30–$75/hour, depending on where you live.
|Ceiling accessories||Average Cost|
|Recessed light fixtures||$4–$370|
|Hanging light fixtures||$14–$5,000|
All your porch screening elements should complement each other. Be wary of anyone trying to shift you off course because he got a deal on some raw materials. Get your plan as solid as possible in your mind before you talk with your selected designers, and that way, when you are having a consultation, you will be instantly aware when his or her plans and suggestions line up with success.
Put some thought into the type of furniture you want to get for your porch so that there is a smooth visual transition from your interior to your exterior. With a high likelihood that there will be considerably more “traffic” on your porch, and space might be somewhat limited, look at smaller tables and chairs that leave room for porch traffic.
With your beautiful new outdoor space, make it an investment you can enjoy all year round by adding some heat during the colder months. Fire pits are beautiful to look at, but some are too heavy to move out of the way if needed, whereas individual propane fueled heaters can spread more heat, and they typically come with wheels in the base allowing them to be moved easily.
Geography always plays a part in determining your cost, and it’s one you can’t really do anything to change. The prices we quote are determined from the average of final costs of projects across the country, and depending on where you live, you could pay a little less or a little more.
An average house is 45 feet wide, and while many newer porches are as little as 4 feet deep, an ideal depth is more like 8 to 10 feet to give more of a relaxed and less-cramped feel. In this pricing guide, we’re quoting for an average porch depth of 6 feet and no wraparound porch. While it is true that the larger the job, the more expensive, it is still cheaper to get the entire project done at one time rather than have your contractor come back another time to do another section of your porch.
The best time of the year to get your porch screened in is during the colder months. In general, contractors who can do the work also provide a range of other services you might need done during these quieter months, given that they are busier during the spring and summer months. You might find some flexibility on the price, too, compared to earlier in the year.
Average porch screen removal cost is between $300 and $450. If the screen being installed on your porch is a replacement for an older existing screen, you will need to factor in some extra time and expense for your installer to remove all the existing components and dispose of them appropriately according to local regulations.
For your contractor to dismantle the existing screen, remove all the framing and screen, and place in a truck or a construction bin, expect them to be occupied for between 3 and 4 hours—depending on the size of the screen being removed. The remaining portion of this stage of the job is the time it will take to drive the debris to a proper dumping ground. If necessary, return any rented vehicles used for transportation.
Once bids start coming in, our guidance would be to never select the cheapest bid to get the job done. Better contractors are worth more, and those who are Better Business Bureau A+ rated and have good reviews online are likely to cost a little more.
You are buying yourself peace of mind when working with a company who sends clear and concise communications, is fully licensed and insured, finishes on time, and finishes on budget, like Capnovate Construction in Elmwood Park, NJ, with “Average project completions 92% on time and budget.” Companies like that who consistently deliver excellence will always bubble to the top.
In summary, we suggest you look for contractors who fit in as many of the following groups as possible:
Hire your porch contractor today, and enjoy a new bug-free existence.
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