Screened-in Porches: How Much Do They Cost to Build?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how much did it cost to build your screened porch? With spring just a couple of months away, I thought I’d share all the details, facts and figures, in hopes it will help answer some of the questions I know many folks have about adding a porch.

Having a screened-in porch had always been a dream of mine.  We had a small screened porch at our very first house when we were stationed at Ft. McClellan in Alabama many, many years ago.  We loved it and our cats loved it, too.


The old deck on my current home was not even usable.  It was on the south/southwest side of the house and starting around noon the sun beat down on it every day until late evening.  It was so blazing hot during the summer, you couldn’t walk on it barefoot.  Boards were popping up in various places making it a hazard to walk on.  It was a mess.  I knew something would have to be done before much longer.  Rather than add back another deck that would also be scorching hot and unusable, I decided to spend a little more and add on a porch.

Old Deck with Max and Jake


When I started getting estimates for a porch, I was surprised by the dramatic range in the estimates I was receiving.  Some of the estimates were triple what others were!  I ultimately went with a wonderful contractor I had met on a job site 10+ years before.  He was honest, forthright and came highly recommended by those for whom he had worked.

He drew up all the plans but unfortunately due to serious health issues he was having, he wasn’t able to oversee the building of the porch.  His partner handled most of the work but he is no longer building now since the building industry took a nose dive here in the Metro Atlanta area.

As I share today what I paid to have my porch built in 2008, please keep in mind costs can vary a good bit depending on where you live, the materials you choose, the features you include and other choices you make during the process.  If you are considering adding on a porch, I encourage you to get at least three estimates, four-five is even better.

Yes, that takes a lot of time, meeting with all those contractors, but each time you get an estimate, the person giving you the estimate will most likely suggest or point out something new, something you hadn’t thought about doing or something important you need to know about the process.  You really learn a lot during the “estimate” process.  I also spent a lot of time reading “porch” books before adding on my porch.  I highly recommend that, too.

Porch Books


Before adding on the porch, my old deck had to be demolished.  So my costs included tearing off and hauling away the old deck.  If you don’t have an old deck to remove, you’ll save that expense.

Deck Renovation and Screened in Porch Addition


Whenever you start a renovation/addition, there will always be “surprises.” One of the surprises we had pop up was needing to replace all the siding on the portion of the house below the deck. Apparently, back in the day when my home was built, builders didn’t always use flashing between the deck and the house.  This can cause damage to the siding, and it did. This was the perfect time to correct that so I replaced all the siding on the lower portion of the house underneath the deck.

Deck Removed from House in Preparation of Adding a Screened-in Porch


How Much?
Subtracting the cost of replacing the damaged siding, the cost to add on a 14′ x 18′ screened-in porch with two adjacent decks measuring approximately 12′ x 12′ and 8′ x 26′ was around $23,000-24,000. Note: These are 2008 prices.

If you don’t have an old deck to remove, don’t include some of the features I included (more on that in a sec) and you aren’t adding on two decks, you could probably keep your cost down around $18,000-$20,000, probably even a little less.  Every situation is different and a lot will depend on the size porch you’re adding.

I also added a small front porch (can be seen here: Front Porch Addition) and finished 2/3rds of my basement at this time, so that helped reduce the cost a small amount since the porch addition was being done along with two other fairly major projects.

Screened in Porch Addition with Decks and Pergola


Let’s take a look at some of the features I included that increased the cost of building the porch.

Gable Roof Instead of a Shed Roof:  $340
A gable roof instead of a shed roof added $340 to the estimate for the porch.  Google “shed roof” and you can see what those look like.  Nothing wrong with that style, I just preferred the gable roof design.

Arched Windows: $725
Arched windows was another added expense, increasing the cost by $725.  The screened windows aren’t really arched, instead, panels were cut and installed on either side to give the appearance they are arched.  The screens are actually square and are designed for easy removal if one becomes damaged and needs to be replaced.  Not really sure why that increased the cost so much, but that’s what the contractor charged.

Screened in Porch


Tongue and groove, pressure-treated pine flooring: $685
Another feature I requested that added an additional expense was tongue and groove, pressure-treated, pine flooring instead of regular decking like you see on a lot of screened-in porches.  I didn’t want to worry about mosquitoes or bugs coming up between the decking of the floors.  You can screen underneath a porch floor to avoid that, but I really wanted the porch to feel like another room that just happened to be screened.

The T & G (KDAT) flooring added an additional $685 to the cost of the porch.  That also included the special AdvanTech subflooring my builder used underneath and hiring a professional flooring company to install it.  If you decide to use KDAT wood for your porch floor, be sure to use a professional installer who installs it per the recommendations of the manufacturer.

Red Geranium on Shabby White Chair


Pre-Wiring Porch (and Installation later) for Outdoor Speakers: $250
The cost to prewire the porch for outdoor speakers was $250.  That included the media guys coming back out and installing the speakers once the porch was complete. You can just see the speakers over the doors on the left and right in this photo below. The doors lead out to the decks on either side of the porch.

Porch After Painting


The cost for the outdoor speakers were $165 (for two).  It’s important to use speakers meant for outdoor use because regular speakers will not hold up to rain and humidity.  These still sound great after five years so they have worked out well.

Screened Porch Addition


You can hear them while out on the decks, too so they were a good investment for the porch.

Outdoor Grade Speakers for a Screened-in Porch


Gas Line for Grill:  $275
Speaking of the grill, I was badly in need of a new grill.  I decided to go with a grill that could be connected to the gas line.  I was tired of hauling tanks back to the hardware store for a refill and didn’t like worrying about running out in the middle of a cookout.

The gas connection enters my home just a few feet away from where the grill sits on the deck, so I had a gas line run to the grill and purchased a 4 burner gas grill.   The cost to have the line run to the grill was $275.  (You can see the grill out on the deck in this Spring Tablescape post.)  I really enjoy it and definitely don’t miss those refill runs to the hardware store.

Spring Table Setting with Easy Floral Centerpiece


Pergola: $250
At the last minute, I decided I wanted one of the decks to have a different look and feel so I added a pergola over the deck just outside the bay window off the kitchen.  It was easy to add since one end could attach to the house.

The pergola also provided a place for hanging a Smith & Hawken candlelier.  To add a pergola probably cost more normally but since the men were already here working on the deck, I think that helped keep the cost down.

Funny story: The men my builder hired to build the deck, just built decks for a living.  They didn’t know what a pergola was when I told them I wanted one. I got out some of my gardening books and showed them a few pictures. They still seemed confused. I was worried.

Then one day they arrived all excited to get going on the pergola.  They had seen one somewhere on the way to my home and once they saw it, they knew just what to do. They had it built in no time. I’ve loved having it and it really adds so much to this small deck.

Deck with Pergola Above


Items Not Included in the Estimate Above :

Even though I planned to use lots of lamps on the porch, code required I have a light by one of the doors leading out to the porch. Of course, the wiring for the light was included in the estimate I gave above, but I purchased all my lighting separately.

I remember the day my builder told me I had to have a porch light by the door. I was envisioning some ugly old porch light like the one I had removed when they built the porch. I was really happy when I found this Hinkley lantern at Home Depot Expo (before they all closed) on sale for $118. It’s still available…just found one at Lighting Universe.

Hinkley Innsbruck Wall Lantern


You can see it there beside the door leading into the breakfast/kitchen area. The old porch light used to be over beside the door where the hutch is now located. I had it moved over beside the other door so I would have space for a hutch.

Screened-in Porch with White Wicker


Ceiling Fans: $159 each 
The ceiling fans were not included in the estimate I gave earlier in the post. Just the wiring and installation for the fans was included. Extra info: The ceiling boards came with a wide bead-board look on one side and a narrow bead-board on the other side. I used the wider beadboard for the screened-in porch and the narrow beadboard side for the ceiling of the front porch I had added at the same time.

Electrical Wiring for Ceiling Fan on Screened in Porch


I chose white outdoor fans so they would just sort of blend into the ceiling. I wasn’t having any luck finding ones I liked in the local stores so I went online and found the Hunter Bayview, 54 inch, 5-blade outdoor fans. The Bayview fan has a wicker-look design that’s perfect for a porch with wicker furniture. It must be a popular style because it’s still being made and is available here: Hunter Fan Bayview, 54″ Ceiling Fan. I love these fans and use them almost every day. They are super quiet.!

Hunter Bayview Outdoor Fan

One more interesting fact about the ceiling, my contractor filed a building permit before getting started on the porch, so the porch received inspections periodically during the building process. During one visit, it failed its inspection because the roof didn’t have hurricane clips. The county I live in requires them.

I’ve lived in Georgia my entire life except for 4 years when we were stationed in Alabama with the U. S. Army, and during all that time I only remember one hurricane coming through…Hurricane Opal. It was eye-opening! I’m used to tornadoes but had never really been through a hurricane. It brought down a  humongous tree in my yard.  Hurricane clips are also great at keeping the roof on during strong winds caused by tornadoes.

I was surprised the inspectors required hurricane clips this far north in the state of Georgia, but I’m glad they did. Maybe it was the porch’s high ceiling that made them necessary, not sure. Just something to keep in mind if you’re adding on a porch.

Exterior Grade Ceiling Fans for Screened-in Porch


Additional Electrical Outlets:
I added a lot of outlets on the porch and decks since I planned to use a lot of lamps on the porch and some lights out on the decks.  Plus, the grill has a light inside. The additional outlets added about $400 to the cost of building the porch.

I have four outlets on the porch, three on the deck that holds the grill and one on the deck under the pergola.



I use them for string lights along the pergola and underneath the handrail.  I also use the outlets on the decks for my electric blower in the fall.

Pergola lit up with lights


Outlets come in handy for froggy fountains…



…and the occasional romantic dinner by lamplight.  You can never have too many outlets.

Dinner for Two by Lamplight


The builder included the cost for gutters but he ended up taking that back out because I wanted the same Leaf Guard gutters I have on the rest of the house.  I don’t remember now how much that added to the cost but I’m sure it was a few hundred dollars since the Leaf Guard gutters are a good bit more expensive. Totally worth it, though.  I love not having to worry about having my gutters cleaned out several times a year.

Hope this answers some of the questions concerning what it cost to build a porch similar to the one I have.  Keep in mind my cost included removal of the old deck and the addition of two new decks, as well as the screened-in porch.  If you’re just adding on a porch and go with regular deck flooring, normal height porch ceiling, non-arched windows, not so many outlets, etc… you can save a good bit.

Still have questions about adding on a porch?  Check out these past posts:

9 Great Features Every Porch Needs

Springtime Means Porch Time:  Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Une publication très intéressante… C’était réellement un chantier important… Le résultat est incroyablement réussi. je suppose que durant toute sa réalisation, un grand stress devait être présent.
    Gros bisous à vous.

    • Awww, thanks Martine!

      • Oui, ca devait être stressant, mais le jeu en valait la chandelle. C’est sublime!

        Susan, your porch is still exposed South, right? So how is the heat now, in comparison with your old deck?

        Also, in the winter, can you switch the screens to glass inserts? Or do you just leave the screens all year long?

        • Hi Etienne, It faces south but the backyard has a gazillion trees so it doesn’t get a lot of sun from the south side. It’s getting a good bit more now in the evening (west side) since the Leyland Cypress were removed. Very soon I’ll be planting back 2-3 some trees in the back yard to recreate the privacy I had on that side. In comparison to the old deck, it is like night and day. The old deck was not usable due to the sun/heat, you couldn’t even walk on it barefoot during the summer or it would scorch your feet. Now it’s a usable space three months of the year, sometimes four on warm winter days. No, it’s strictly a screened porch. Here in the south you can use a porch almost year around. Even winter months have a few crazy warm days that hit the 70’s when you can enjoy the porch. I built it mainly with plans to enjoy it between April and October when the weather is great here. I didn’t want another heated and cooled space, just really wanted an outdoor room.

          • “I didn’t want another heated and cooled space, just really wanted an outdoor room.”
            Oh I completely agree with that statement! It would not be a porch anymore. That’s the difference with 4 season rooms, a 4 season room is yet another room in the house with big windows. A screened in porch is an outdoor room with some of the conveniences of the inside, feel the breeze not the bugs.

    • I love this place!!! Where does one find the SUMMER BREEZE sign??? Thank you.

      • Thanks, Joy! I found mine in a local store but they are also online. Just google “summer breeze makes me feel fine sign” and it will pop up. Also, the link is in one of the comments above so just scroll up and you’ll find it. I should get a commission as many folks as I’ve sent to that place. 🙂 HA!

  2. I absolutely LOVE the screende porch and decks! great job, looks wondeful

  3. Thank you SOOOOO much Susan. My hubby and I have been wanting to build on a porch somewhat like yours, this gives us a huge jumping off point. We have so many questions but you answered like half of them on this post. Thanks for all the tips and advice! Have a great day.

  4. Dawn E. Brown says

    Where do you buy your pillows? I love them. Great posting, thanks so much for sharing.

    • Hi Dawn,
      For the swing, I normally buy them in HomeGoods. They always get in wonderful pillows in gorgeous spring colors (in the spring) and pretty fall colors in the fall. They also have down inserts which I love. Mine were getting pretty faded but I found some really cute ones last year in IKEA. I’ll be using them this spring/summer again.
      For the settee and swing bottom cushion…those are from Pier 1 (on sale) and the ones in the chairs in the seating group are from Garden Ridge…I think.

      The ones on the chairs around the dining table are from Kohl’s. They are another good source for cushions in the spring.

  5. Mary from Virginia says

    Thank you so much for all the good information about the costs. It sounds expensive, but look at what you end up with; it is so worth the cost. You did an excellent job in researching the best of porches and put it together at your home. Great job and wonderful taste!

    Wish I lived closer, you’d find in me on your lovely back porch sitting on the swing 😉

  6. Your porch and decks are lovely. I love the way the homes on the East coast look, so classy and classic.

  7. Fantastically Wow, love your porch with all the extra awesomeness. That must have been quite an undertaking while all building going on. But so worth it. I can just imagine a slight breeze moving the soft diaphonous curtains into the room.
    I know we can’t financially ever have a porch like that but I’d be very happy if we could get our pergola built on back deck. The back of our house faces directly West so in the summer it’s like an oven in our living room, kitchen and mudroom. It’s quite often too hot to touch the door knob. We live west of Grand Junction, CO.
    I’ll enjoy looking at your porch and daydreaming it’s ours. You did a wonderful job planning and making decisions for the long run, smart gal. Happy Week
    The building industry did a nose dive all over the country. Our oldest son built homes in Western KY so he had to revert back to an old profession when things went down. He installed rain gutters and had his own machine. He now lives outside San Diego, works in construction but it’s off and on.

    • Thanks, Jane. Appreciate those sweet words. I know it has been hard for so many builders. The builder who handled my addition went back to working in his old job, too. My porch used to be an oven like yours…couldn’t walk on the deck it was so hot…couldn’t touch the door knob. Leland Cypresses on the side of the house helped but adding the porch made a huge difference. My cooling bill is like half of what it was. The system downstairs never even runs now because the porch keeps that hot sun off the south side of the house. It’s paying for itself gradually by what it’s saving in cooling. 🙂

  8. Even a small screened in porch is on my wish list since we always have mosquitos after 3 p.m. It’s near impossible to ever eat dinner outside! My hubby is a project manager for a construction company and usually builds all our projects around here (house, greenhouse, garage, shed, woodshed) but it’s kinda like the busman’s holiday in that the last thing he wants to do is another project here at home 🙂 And at the top of his head he knows the costs involved in any ideas I have, what a bummer, haha! I love your porch so much – thanks for sharing the details.

    • Barbara, I wish we just had them after 3. Once we get well into spring, we have them alllll day long. You can hardly go to the mailbox without getting several bites. You’re so lucky to have a handy hubby! 🙂

  9. I have seen a lot of screen porches but yours is the “pick of the bunch.” I can imagine myself sitting out there with a cold glass of ice tea and reading a favorite book while that sweet breeze blows my way. You have a beautiful home, all the rooms and that great porch. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Can you see my green face all the way from Texas???????? I just love your porch and I am soooo envious. I can’t have a porch like that on my one story ranch style house and I am too old to go through all that it would take to do something like that to my patio. So I have decided that I will just come to live with you and enjoy your porch since I just love it! But I did enjoy learning how you went about the entire construction process. That was definitely quite an undertaking. But you ended up with an amazing outdoor living space to be very proud of. Maybe someday I will get over coveting your stuff but don’t count on it! ha ha

    • Linda, you are so cute! 🙂 I know what you mean about facing all that construction. I have three baths in bad need of renovation but I just keep putting it off. How do you like my priorities…porch over baths! HA! 🙂

  11. This post could not have been more timely. We have a man coming tomorrow for the first estimate. I know what I want, and your porch has been an inspiration to a lot of us.

  12. I have a screened in porch without the WOW as yous. Your blog motivates me to make it more inviting. This will be one of my first spring projects. Again, thanks for sharing.

  13. Your porch is beautiful, thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Susan, it is very admirable what you do!
    Not everyone is willing to reveal personal information and financial affairs…
    You are such a doll!
    Living in Germany, I can’t shop around for the best price between our countries, of course, but I will keep in mind all of your advice anyway! Your porch is a dream and I looove that cute froggy fountain! 🙂
    And, I also love the “Mini me” home (LOL) from your header down to the right in some of your pictures! Why don’t you add it to every pic? It’s so cute! 🙂
    ~Hugs to you~

    • Thanks, Cecilia! Maybe I should add it to my pics instead of the usual watermark. I was experimenting around with it to see how it would look instead of the other watermark. Good to know that you like it!

  15. Gayle Maestri says

    I love your porch and thank you so much for sharing. However living in the south also I find that I get a lot of yellow pollen, etc. How do you deal with that?

    • Pollen is normally bad for about a month…normally in April. So during April I wipe the porch down about once a week. It takes about 15 minutes to vacuum it and maybe another 5-10 minutes to wipe off the table and the hutch. After April, I just clean out there about once a month, like you would any porch. Since it’s a porch I don’t worry that much about it too much. It’s pretty durable out there. 🙂

  16. I have long been enthralled with your porch-thanks for all the details-this is my dream set-up now that I see it all including the additional porches–I can dream big! I do have a question–how in the world do you keep the elements from ruining all your furniture and items on the porch? We see more 3-4 season rooms where we live but I am not able to understand how everything doesn’t get ruined? It is too beautiful to be rained upon! are the upper views above the curved arches glass? I really want to just come and swing and swing and read and drink iced tea there–I am still drooling!

    • Thanks, Jeanne. That’s a common question I get and you’ll find the answers for that in the FAQ link at the end of the post, so be sure to check that out. But the short answer is everything out there is outdoor wicker except the dining area and the hutch. Those never get wet. The table by the windows is not outdoor wicker but it has a polyurethane top and has done well. Everything you see has been out there 4-5 years, including the sheer curtains…so no problems thus far. 🙂 Oh, the lamp near the window is new, but the lamp I had there before did well so I don’t think the new lamp will have any problems since it’s ceramic.

  17. What amazing timing on this post for me! I just signed a contract to have my porch built yesterday. I got 5 estimates – one was really low – one was really high and the rest were somewhere in the middle. I went with a middle estimate with the guy I liked the best. I cannot wait!! It is going to be 16×23 with a 5×10 grilling deck off of it. I will also have a gable ceiling. Your porch was my inspiration – fyi!! Do you have 2 ceiling fans and a chandelier? Thanks!

    • Missi…your porch sounds like it will be amazing! No, I just have two ceiling fans…no chandelier. Your porch sounds like it may be long enough for all three. Can’t wait to see it! You’re going to wonder how you how you ever did without it! 🙂

  18. Hi Susan, your porch is going to be so crowded with us all on there!! 🙂
    I know what you mean about extra costs, having built two houses ourselves, but my mantra is, if you are going to do something, have what you like in the first place, or you will regret it later and the cost would be greater. We did not build this house which we downsized to, but did have input regarding the fixtures and fittings inside, none of which I have regretted. We were not able to build out on the back for a porch, as the back garden is not deep, just wide and there is a river behind, so we were limited. However, we did have a patio cover built with railings, so it gives off the ambiance of another room…but only in summer.
    To help with that, we also had a tented gazebo, which if you remember, the roof blew off last year in a windstorm.
    Your porch is the ultimate in outside living and my favourite place in your home. What I like about you, is that you really put a lot of thought into things before you progress.
    Now I AM going to ask about the Christmas Tree….did you think I would miss that!!! 🙂

    • Ha, ha. I wanted a big tree for the porch and ordered the tree you just get a glimpse of. It was 12 feet tall…which was fine since the ceiling is 12 feet tall at the point. What I didn’t realize is just how wide the tree was going to be. The porch was under construction when it was Christmastime and we set it up and it ATE the porch. lol There was no room for furniture, which I didn’t have yet since it was still under construction. I still want a tree for the porch but it will be a lot skinnier if I ever find the right one for the right price. I almost bought a flocked one this past Christmas from Old Time Pottery but chickened out. 🙂

  19. First let me tell you, “Your porch is to die for” and yes, I did
    look into having my rather large deck removed and putting
    in a porch as yours.. the estimates were staggering and
    although the cost was high, I still want one and will have
    it in time.
    Thanks for all the info

  20. I love your porch, Susan! A screened porch has always been on my “dream house” list. I’m living in my 6th home in 33 years and still haven’t had one with a screened porch.

  21. Love!! your porch…I have been following you for a while and had always wondered if it was screen or glass. Is there a lot of upkeep..dust..pollen
    It’s beautiful and I know you and your family enjoy it.

    • Hi Maxie…mostly just during April when pollen is at it’s worse. It’s pretty high up so it stays fairly clean. But I don’t worry about it too much since it’s a porch…it supposed to be a little dirty. lol

  22. LOve your of the first inspirations I had on porch ideas…and the wonderful post….My husband and I …mostly my husband .tore out a 4 x 8 deck..and added a 12 x 18 screen porch with 10 x 16 deck ….was a heck of a project but well worth the effort and money…It is a rustic deck and porch..we have a well I want to call it rustic but it is simply a modest but cozy home…we did not install a ceiling fan we live in a marsh all fans rust…sag and turn here so a pendulum light with mounted osculating fans in the corners…we included an open ridge vent…which really helps keep it cool well past noon.2 feet over stays dry….the flooring is high grade plywood with a paint wash on it …and an out door rug..standard 2 x 4 framing for the “windows” that we made as large as we could and kept the pitches open…….low 18 inch I call it a kick wall…on the base… …red tin roof ..Which was actually cheaper than tile…the final cost from ground to roof..including deck , furniture…and clear vinyl frames that are removable ..we have a green house effect….55 outside however 72 on the porch..and we are ..hoping to keep some pollen out …. final cost …2900.00… yep that is 2900.00… Now I still look at your Porch and yes there is a little envy there however with your inspiration we did a lot of research and “figuring” and managed to have a great out door space that I love year round..Thank you for your beautiful post…who knows you may even inspire me to start my own blog…we’ll see…lol…Have a blessed day…Sheryl

    • Sheryl, it sounds like a wonderful space! I love that you guys built it yourself…way to go! I know you must love being out there in the spring, summer and fall! Have a glass of tea for me the next time you spend the day on your porch. 🙂

  23. Thanks for all of the info you provided, Susan. When I look at people’s additions, new decorating features, etc., I always wonder about the expenses & the details of the finished product. Have I told you how your blog inspired me? *nodding head yes* It did! Right about the time my husband & I decided we wanted to turn our tiny (but oh so charming) screened-in porch into an all-season room, I discovered your blog. I bought many of the books you recommended & poured over them, marking features I liked. What a help those books proved to be! Instead of my attempts at painting a picture of what I wanted with words, all I had to do was pull out the book & show the hubs or the contractor. Our new porch room is now a huge 16 x 20 with the big table I always craved & lots of windows for my plants. It has a wood stove so we can enjoy it during our mild winters here in NC & 2 giant ceiling fans to keep it comfy later on. All in all, I enjoyed the entire process (even to serving coffee to the workers in my jammies) & I credit the ease of the process to you, Susan. I can’t tell you how many times I poured over your blog or found something else I needed to think about before the decision(s) were due. I placed the last piece of new furniture this weekend & sighed with grateful relief the building /buying process is finished. Well, almost….I still have to figure out some kind of window treatments. Take a bow, please. 🙂

  24. I, like many other gals, have oooohed and ahhhhed and always envied your beautiful porch, Susan. 🙂 I pinned your post today because eventually, I want to turn our back deck which we really don’t use til about 4pm each day because it’s blazing hot during the day – into something like yours. All I need is pretty floors, top notch screens, and a ceiling fan. I would love a gable roof, but The Husband wants a shed roof. Either way, I’d give anything to be able to sit out there during the day and enjoy it! Thanks for all of your information and advice, my friend! So much appreciated! 🙂

    xoxo laurie

  25. Thank you for all the information. You porch is such a beautiful, restful, welcoming space, but i do have a question. You mentioned that your cats loved the screened porch you had in Alabama. How do you keep your cats from tearing the screen? My cats love to pull on my window screens, and i’m gong to have to replace them, since we do love having open windows in the spring, Do you have a trick—or just a well behaved feline??

    • Joni, I guess we were just lucky. The three kitties we had when we live in Alabama were all very docile and never did anything but just lay around on the porch. Max is quite old now. He’s adopted so we don’t know his exact age but the vet is guessing around 15. He’s never tried anything out there on the porch. I know some kitties are much more active and would probably go for bugs and such that might land on the outside. Our cats I think are just too lazy. lol I know that screening comes in many different strengths and thicknesses. You may need one of the heavier duty types. I bet they make one that can stand up to kitties a bit better. Are your kitties swatting at bugs when they do that?

      • no, they’re just calling me to come outside and feed them! They know the feeding schedule and are just a little impatient! I thinks cats and porches just naturally go together! I love looking out my window and seeing a cat perched on the railing!
        Thank you for all the inspiration you give your readers! I don’t follow many blogs but yours is top on my list!

  26. Do you find the rooms inside the house with their windows opening onto the porch to be dark?

    • Hi Carla,
      The only room in my home that’s along that side where the porch is attached is my family room and it doesn’t have any windows on that wall that are effected by the porch. The only window on that wall overlooks the deck with the grill so it isn’t shaded. The family room does have a door leading out onto the porch so adding the porch has allowed me to leave the door wide open anytime I like for the nice breezes. The family room is naturally cozy and dark (which I love) because it’s fully paneled from floor to ceiling in Judges paneling. You can see it here:

      Since there were no windows facing that direction, adding the porch didn’t darken that room and it’s nice to have the door standing open without worrying about bugs. The porch does create some shade but not that much. The tall trees in my back yard create most of the shade during the summer. The porch is very bright during the winter time so if there were windows on that side, I don’t think it would have much effect. This house had the ideal spot for a porch since it had no darkening effect on any of the rooms. It has dramatically decreased the cooling bill in the summertime, though. It cut my summer cooling bill in half.

  27. Thank you for all the details. I would have over-lookes some of the features, like outlet placement. I especially like the pergola details because it’s on our 2013 list. Could you send the guys to South Florida!

  28. Love, love a porch. Wish I had one. One of my favorite places to “hide” when I was growing up. Love being on the porch when it was raining.

    Did not know that you lived near Ft. McClellan…I grew up not far from there and took music and later went to college in Jacksonville. Small world.

    • We lived in Jacksonville while we were there. I loved shopping at Wingfields…was that the name? Also, Kitchens. Remember those stores?

      • Wakefield’s was the store. I grew up in Heflin but studied piano from several prof’s at Jacksonville State. Worked at Belk Hudson’s when I was in college. Loved the small town. Don’t go back often, but keep in touch with several from the area. Did you ever eat at Top of the River?

        Love your blog. Have you ever visited Parson’s in Cumming? Also if you go back to Anniston/Jacksonville area, there is a neat shop called the Colonial Cottage in Heflin. In an old historic home. The owner was my typing teacher in high school (yes, I just dated myself).

        Have a wonderful day.

  29. Great information. Love your porch and your entire blog! I look forward to it every day.

  30. Maryanne Hayes says

    Love your porch so much Susan that we also just contracted to replace our deck with a screened in porch like yours. It will be 15 x 20 and have a new deck running along the back of our home that will be 15 x 29. At the end of the deck, opposite the porch, will be a 14x 15 pergola with a fan. The project should begin sometime in early March. I too live in the Atlanta suburbs (north of Atlanta in Milton) and our deck faces West. We can’t wait to tear it down. I also love white wicker, so my porch will look a lot like yours. You are a real inspiration. I will take pictures and share them!


    • Maryanne, your future porch sounds amazing! Yes, take lots of Before, During and After pics. I would love to see and post about it when it’s finished. I know the BNOTP readers would love to see it, too!

  31. Susan, your porch is so beautiful and thank you for sharing all of the time and effort it took to get there. Our screened in porch is about 80% where we want it to be, but are working on some upgrades to the deck, including a pergola. Silly question, but do you know if those “outdoor” fans are “outdoor” enough to expose to the elements? Our deck area gets zero breeze and we were thinking about a fan on the pergola. Is this even possible? Thank you again for the inspiration! Holly

  32. Last year we decided (well, ok, ‘I’ decided) to add a screened in porch and a deck (with a storage area underneath) to the back of our weekend cabin. We received two estimates. One from a contractor we had worked with before and another from a contractor who had added a deck on our neighbors house. The first one was $60,000 and the second $20,000. Like you said…three times the cost.

    Fast forward and we decided not to have a screened in porch, and just do a deck. My husband was comcerned about roofing issues, and the porch would cover a few windows. We have a screened in porch at the front of the house that is attached to an open porch, so if we want to make it bigger we will just screen in the open area, which is what we may do. The area is very quiet usually (except when the neighbors across the street come with their grandkids) as it is a recreational weekend community for the most part.

    For us, it is very difficult to get several estimates. The area is very remote and even if you are able to have someone come over, they dont follow up. That’s one of the reasons the first contractor charges so much and gets away with it, he knows people don’t have many options. We are going with the second contractor. He’s a real ‘down home’ kinda guy….does mot use the internet and doesnt even have email. He is, for lack of a better word, ‘unsophisticated’ but highly ethical., and he may come over this weekend if we make it up there and give us a price just for the deck and storage area.

    Your porch is on everyone’s wish list! It’s a little slice of heaven on earth. Well done!

    • Doreen, he sounds like a good guy…the “ethical” part is soooo important. Is he one of those guys that, if you show him a picture, he can build it? We have a similar issue here in ATL to what you have there but for a different reason. Here, you can get lots of estimates…no problem with that, but then finding quality people who actually do what they say and stand behind their work…that’s another story. There is sooooo much business here in this metropolitan area that the unethical companies/workmen don’t care if you’re happy because they know they can find more work with no problem. One good thing about the bad economy is it weeded out some of the bad guys. We were very naive when we moved here, having lived in a small town when we bought our first house. We had no idea how unethical some builders and businesses could be. I try to do a lot of research now before I hire anyone. I’d rather pay a bit more and get someone that will do it right than deal with poor workmanship later. Looking forward to hearing how your project goes! Sounds like you found a good guy to do the work!

  33. I have a screen porch but it is pretty basic. This inspiration for a Spring project. Thankfully, I have outlets on my porch so I will definitely be adding more lighting.
    As always a great post.

  34. I really enjoyed reading about your porch. We built one when we moved into our house for the same reason as you. I did the arch shape at the top but not the rail. We did a toe kick wall up about 6 inches. I loved your idea about being able to take out and replace a section of the screen. That would be well worth any extra cost. Good thinking. We LOVE that porch and can’t wait for Spring so we can get back out there. Don’t you love it when it is raining?

    • Joy, I’m itching to get back out there, too. Occasionally we’ll have a warm day in February and I’ve been hoping for one so I could create a tablescape out there. Unfortunately, it’s staying cold and rainy here lately. I can’t wait for Spring! I do love it out there when it’s raining…very peaceful. 🙂

  35. Susan – your scope of work description is fantastic! I bet you wrote the details better than your contractor to avoid any misunderstandings. I hope you are getting paid to write these blogs – I only subscribe to yours and it truly is a pleasure to savor every one.
    The porch/patio reno is divine! If you’re calling wasn’t these blogs – you should be scooped up by a contractor to work with clients!

  36. Diane Beasley says

    I love your blog and follow it every day. I printed a picture of your porch and arched openings for my husband to see last fall when we were planning our screen porch. He said they would raise the cost….so I forgot about that, ha. We had a wonderful guy who is the nephew of my friend to build our porch. The plan was to take up the composite deck boards (hated them) and then build the porch using the present frame underneath. Once he started pulling the composite boards up he found things wrong with the joists so we ended up having him tear the entire deck down and he started with all new materials from the ground up. In the end, this was the best thing to do. He used 6 X 6 posts and covered them with vinyl pieces that have grooves in them. He was able to use our old vinyl railings from the deck. We had to replace the vinyl on the outside walls of the house because we also had the french doors removed that went out on to the deck and a solid wall put in. This gave us more wall space in our den and on the porch. The vinyl on the house goes horizontal but we had the new vinyl put in vertically. Our floor was laid diagonally with very long, wide boards so there are no boards butted up to each other. We have a vinyl screen door on each end with steps. We have a vinyl ceiling with two white Hunter fans with lights. We have two outlets. We used a black metal shed roof. We think we got an excellent porch and we are looking forward to spring, summer, and fall here in Virginia!! Santa brought us an Outer Banks hammock type two seater swing that is hung on one end of the porch. The cost was around $16,000. The removal of the french doors and subsequent work inside raised the price.

  37. Great info and you included the incidentals (like speakers) which we tend to forget about when planning an addition. I really love your porch (I think I’ve told you that before) and I’m passing this on to my hubby 🙂 Blessings, Patti@OldThingsNew

  38. Wow! Wished I lived near you! I showed two contractors a photo of your porch and both said upwards of $40,000. I quickly decided that a screened-in porch would be a “if I win the lottery” purchase! I truly love your porch.

  39. This was a great informative post. We had a 12×12 screened in porch built several years ago and the cost was $10,000. No demo needed to be done. We don’t have some of the features you thought of before hand, but have added some small things through the years. We absolutely love it! And while the initial cost made me cringe, I mean it’s a porch that I can only use part of the year, the cost has been so worth it. We use it whenever we can! Love, love, love your blog. So beautiful and inspiring!

  40. Add me to the list of people who used your blog as inspiration for the screened porch I will have built this spring! (My contractor really likes your porch too, by the way.) You might be able to host a screened porch link-up this fall! My porch will be 20 by 16, and I will have a 5 x 8 grilling deck. I got two estimates. (I spoke to a third contractor who vanished after coming out to take measurements and never provided me with an estimate and could not even get a return call or email from a fourth contractor). One of my estimates was for $28K and the other was for $52K. Interestingly, my contractor recommended against the KDAT flooring, because he said our winters here are too cold for it. (I’m in the Washington, DC metro area.)

    My porch faces east, but it is so hot and muggy here during the summer that even in full shade, being outside with no fans is miserable, to say nothing of the mosquitos. I had a beautiful deck at my last house that I could rarely use for those reasons, hence my desire for a screened porch.

    You have been an inspiration and a role model for me in many home-related topics. I was particularly empowered by your story of getting the Expedit into your office closet. Thanks for sharing your life with us on the blog! Lodi

  41. Nancy Caveny says

    Love your blog. I enjoy reading it everyday and the porch is lovely. A dream of mine.

  42. I am an estimator and project manager for a general contractor. I would like to try to clear up the mystery of why some contractors were so much higher than others. Y ou need to have a set of drawings before you call a contractor for pricing. This way everyone is bidding exactly the same thing. By calling more than one contractor with out anything on paper is asking for discrepancies. It’s really not fair to each contractor to present pricing without a clear vision and specifications. One contractor could be quoting the cadillac version and the other the honda. Since you don’t have clear specs you are not comparing apples to apples and really don’t know what you’re getting for the price quoted. Also, as long as you have drawings and specs that are clear you should only need to get three prices. We were recently asked to bid a job for a new building. When I found out there were 11 other bidders on the invitation list I declined. I won’t waste my time or my subs time in a situation like this where the contractor that is going to get the job is the one who makes the biggest mistake leaving the most out of their bid. If you are asking reputable contractors to bid your work three prices is all you need. I only get two from my sub trades. If I get too many it’s too difficult to compare them. I have been in the construcion industry for over 20 years so I hope you take this to heart. Don’t make things any harder on yourself. The remodeling/building process is stressful to begin with so start out by making the bidding process easy on yourself.

    • Lori, appreciate your input, but I have to totally disagree with you on several things. I found it invaluable getting numerous estimates because with each one I learned something new or the contractor suggested something I may never have considered. I was in outside sales for 5 years and gave thousands of estimates for interior plantation shutters for jobs ranging from a few hundred dollars to over 15,000 for really large homes. I knew it was part of my job to educate people about what to look for, what to consider and even if folks didn’t use me then, they often called me back later because I took that time with them. Referral business is everything so I was happy to give an estimate to anyone who wanted one. If someone has a problem coming out and spending an hour in my home to give me an estimate, that’s def someone I have zero interest in ever working with and I certainly would never refer them to my friends or neighbors. You learn so much about a contractor and his office by how you are treated during the “estimate process” and the more you can learn up front, the better. When you work full time, you don’t always have time to get a lot of estimates but I encourage anyone who can to get as many as you wish from all the reputable folks in your area. I don’t find getting estimates stressful at all but what I do find stressful is hiring a contractor who I later discover greatly overcharged me or didn’t care enough about my project to educate me with lots of choices. Also, I could never have had plans drawn up for my porch prior to getting estimates. The builders who came out suggested things I had not thought about, like going with a high gabled roof, arched windows, etc… so it would have been a huge mistake to have gotten plans drawn up in advance, not to mention a complete waste of money. My contractor listened to what I wanted, made suggestions, met me and drove me in his car to three previous porches he had built and then drew up the plans on software he had. That is the kind of contractor I want to work with and you can best believe, I’ve song his praises to all who have asked.

      • I can apprciate your view point Susan. The point I was trying to make is that if you get a set of plans up front you have a set of perameters for the builders to start with so that they are basing their bids on the same information. Just because we have plans does not mean that we won’t make suggested improvements. We do this as a standard practice and it’s up to the homeowner if they want to make the changes or not. If each builder starts with the same perameters you are getting a true picture of what their pricing is like whether high or low. Believe me when I say low is not always best. Either way though you really got a beautiful job!

        • I almost never go with the lowest bidder, but I will if I think he/she is the best for the job and their references, etc… all check out. When a contractor quotes you almost $60,000 for the same thing another contractor quotes $20-25,000, that’s ridiculous. That same contractor called me numerous times to “reduce” his quote when he didn’t hear back from me…such a scammer. I also never get contractors names from the useless booklet they mail out in this area that’s supposed to be the “best of the best” in the area. I have found those contractors to be outrageously overpriced. They think because they are in “the book” they can charge whatever they want. I was shocked by the quotes we got from a couple of roofers listed in the book when we needed a new roof. Now when that “book” arrives, it goes straight in the trash. Often the folks in there (landscapers in particular) won’t even give you an estimate unless you are willing to pay a huge fee which is then credited back but only if you use them. It was so different when we lived in a smaller town where people knew each other and their reputations mattered so they really did care about the work they did. I wish they would put more licensing and such in place so homeowners aren’t so vulnerable.

          • It sounds like that is exactly what your area needs. Obviously you got someone very good! You have a beautiful layout!

            • Thanks! The guy I went with was someone I heard about from two different homeowners (over the span of several years) when I was out giving them estimates for shutters. They had raved about him. He had a great reputation and you just knew when you talked to him that he was a man of his word.

  43. This was one of the best blog posts ever! I am a Realtor and always wonder why more builders don’t incorporate screened porches in the design. I was hosting a public open house at a home that did have one and the first group of visitors came in and said “I love a screened porch, my Grandma had one.” The next woman said “I LOVE screened porches, wish I had one” and so on. I can’t think of another item that would be so universally popular to add to a home. Even here in the Mid-Atlantic states, I’m at the Jersey Shore, you can use one at least five months of the year. Yours is beautiful!

    • Thanks so much, Susan! I so agree! I really do think screened in porches can help sell a house. It’s crazy that we ever got away from having front porches and screened porches on houses. I know we have AC now but there’s just nothing like spending a lazy Sunday out on a porch…or dining out on a porch. I’m so glad to see folks asking for them and adding them on now. Here in Georgia, you can use a screened porch every day from around April through October and we always have 2-3 warm days each month during the winter. That’s great that you have at least 5 months in your area! Totally worth it to have a porch. Pets love them, too! Thanks so much for sharing what happened at the open house. Love hearing the reactions were so positive! 🙂

  44. This writeup is great, very detailed and awesome pictures. I did have a question though do you know how much of the cost was labor and how much was materials?


  45. Hi Susan,
    I’m a bit behind on your great blogs and just catching up. (Hope you are feeling well these days)!
    We built our screen porch four years ago and like you, were quoted a wild range of estimates that were anywhere between low and somewhere off the galactic charts. We settled on a young builder with good references who was eager to get himself on the map with a good impression and worked well throughout the permit process. And though the final cost did increase by a couple of thousand due to the unforeseen “this” and “that” (doesn’t it always?), the pleasure of being able to walk outside during the month of August (North Carolina’s fifth season) was worth it. Luckily for us my husband is an electrical engineer so we saved $$$ on our multiple outlet installations, outdoor speakers and other wiring (hubs even installed rope lighting hidden between the ceiling beams of the gabled roof and around the tops of the blinds behind the molding. We purchased Cool-a-roo material and all the parts needed to create our own custom rolling blinds (ever price them in the store?) so we can pull them down when the sun is strongest. The blinds let in light and air but along with the ceiling fans significantly cut down on the heat. In winter we pull them down, bring out the tall space heater and cozy up with some blankets. Now if only there was a cure for the spring pollen!
    I found a dreamy vintage aluminum glider for $100 that folds down into a bed. With the addition of a few white outdoor wicker pieces and thanks to my amazing seamstress of a mother-in-law I have beautiful cushions for the dining table and seating area.
    I would advise anyone who is considering undertaking a screened porch project to do a lot of homework, to count on 10% more in cost than your estimate and to have a lot of patience. Be an active participant in the process – build time into the project to include a daily report from your builder. Is he on schedule? Were there any major glitches that day? Does he need to change the blueprint design to accommodate an unforeseen challenge? You don’t want to find these things out after the fact!
    The plus side is that it will generally add a significant resale value to your home, especially in the south where the summer heat is so tangible you can see its waves ripple upon the still air.

  46. Umm, can I just live in your porch? I don’t take up much room. It has everything. Sigh.

  47. sassymomof4 says

    Your screened in porch and deck addition is absolutely wonderful! I also live in Atlanta and just talked to my husband about this very same renovation, screening in our deck and adding another deck that connects to the stairs leading down to the backyard from the driveway. Do you have any suggestions as far as where to begin to find reputable builders/companies/contractors? All I know to do is use Any advice would be great. Thanks:)

    • Thanks! The contractor I used is no longer building. The only places I can think of you may want to check is the “Trust Dale” site online and/or “Angie’s List.” I don’t know if either of those will be helpful since I haven’t used them, just heard about them. I think you have to pay to view Angie’s List but Trust Dale is open to anyone.

  48. The porch looks fantastic. How do you remove the screens for cleaning or replacement? I don’t see any clips or screws… They look so integrated into the design. They look like they have white metal frames like some Andersen casement windows I have in my house. Would love to know how it’s done. Thanks.

    • Hi Jon,
      They are attached with screws. The screens are square/rectangle and there are just arched panels on either side so it gives the arched look. To removed a screen, I just have to unscrew the screws. I replaced a small, lower screen over near the deck (the one with the pergola) last year after a squirrel chewed an opening to get to a birdfeeder I had left on the porch. I don’t take them out for cleaning but when I have the decks and porch pressure washed each year or two, they get cleaned then from the water running down everywhere. Sometimes I take a damp rag and wipe them down, too. You can’t really tell when they are dirty, but after I wipe them down, they seems more transparent so I realize they were dirty after all. Hope that helps.

  49. Jim McHenry says

    I am in the process of building a deck on the back of my house. Your deck looks fantastic, I was wondering what type of wood was used for the interior and exterior trim? Is it a PVC/Composite type or just painted wood?

    Thank you.

    • Thanks, Jim. It’s been five years since it was built so it’s kind of hard to remember exactly now. I know they used pressure treated pine for building the porch and decks. On the porch, I think the baseboard is regular baseboard although, if they make a plastic or a pvc type baseboard, the builder may have used that. I think they used a pvc type quarter round for some of the trim detail/decoration. The handrail on the porch was a special man-made product because I remember the builder telling me that handrails have a tendency to rot or have issues when real wood is used so he recommended this other product he has used before…not sure what it is called, though.

  50. Love your outdoor oasis. Is your screened in porch all meshed screens or does it actually have glass/plastic windows/doors? Just wondering that if it all meshed screens then won’t the furniture etc get wet when it rains?

  51. Betty Birkner says

    Love your screened porch!! Your porch is my inspiration. In the gable end of your porch, is the triangle opening, screen or glass? Thanks

  52. Is the screen in porch frames made out of wood or aluminum? I am reading on the web where they mention both materials as options

  53. Ok thanks. So the only thing made of wood are the floors and proably the roof?

    • No, the whole porch is made of pressure treated wood. The ceiling is wood. All the framing of the porch is pressure treated wood. The ballusters or spindles are pressure treated wood. The railing is something synthetic because the builder said railings tend to rot with rainwater standing on them so he used something synthetic there…not sure what it’s called. The arched sections may not be wood, they may be the same as the handrail, not sure. But everything else is all pressure treated wood.
      The contractor gave the screening company the measurements of the window openings and the screens which have a skinny 1/2 inch or 1 inch metal frame on them were made off site and brought here and installed into all the framing the contractor built. So the arches you see are separate from the screens and are not made of metal. Click on the FAQ links at the top of the sidebar on the right and I may have more information there, too. Also, check out this post: and this post:
      Hope that helps.

  54. I am also asking because I am unsure which material to go with?

  55. I have searched and not found a posting or question about your curtains and the curtain rods. We have just completed a 12 x 12, (smaller than yours), screened in porch project. Living in NC, screening in this porch was a must. We have beautiful scalloped framework around the top of the sides of the porch. We had them install French Screen Doors leading down to our patio.
    But back to my question. Where did you find the long curtains, as ours needs to be 64″W x 102″L. We would like to be able to close them in the afternoon and also have them give us a little protection from the blowing rain. I love your rods and the look that you have with your curtains.

  56. Your beautiful porch has really inspired me. I have to look at this post at least once a day ! I am hoping my porch will turn out as welcoming and comfortable as yours. Please tell me where you purchased your porch dining set. Love it !

    • Thanks, Brenda! I found it in a local Pier 1 in 2008 when I added on the porch. I only saw it in that one location and the manager told me it wasn’t supposed to be a store item, was shipped to them in error. Apparently, folks were supposed to order it from their furniture catalog. It was a perfect fit/size for the porch, so I got lucky in finding it. The best time to look for wicker furniture at Pier 1 is in the spring. That seems to be when they have the best selection. Check the catalog they have in their stores if you don’t see what you need in the store.

  57. We just finished a screened porch that you can view in the link. The porch posts had to be wider than required to carry the roof, because the screen room system we used had to be connected to the posts fully. The screen porch system we usually use is floor to ceiling and is self supporting.

    The screen porch was minimal in extra cost and installation labor except for the modification to the porch design. Screened porches are affordable.

  58. Great article! We are in the process of renovating our 1962 home and have found that one of the most difficult things about the remodel is the electrical wiring. In different parts of the attic it was like a birds nest of electrical wiring. We added alot of custom light fixtures and fans with some complicated Lutron dimming controls. Boy am I glad that part of the project is over. It looks as tho your project worked out great. Looking forward to more reads from you.

    • Thanks, Colby! I also had Lutron controls installed and we had some issues initially. They would NOT turn off at times. I couldn’t figure out why for the longest. Lutron was great, even sent an engineer to my home. Eventually, purely by accident, we figured out my Kichler undercabinet lighting in my kitchen was creating some kind of interference. The fans would turn off only when the Kichler lighting was not on in the kitchen. Since the porch is off the kitchen, the undercabinet lighting was often on when I was out on the porch, especially when entertaining on the porch. Lutronn had a filter installed on the wiring and now it works fine. It took us around a year to finally figure it out…very frustrating-that process. I love the multi-level fan controls. I think Lutron learned a lot from the situation here…maybe things they can change in future products. Great company…very customer service focused. I would definitely buy from them again.

  59. We’re in atlanta too. could you share what contractor you used? Thanks – we’re entertaining bids and very much like the design of your porch.

    • Hi John, I used Carpenter and Sons but I don’t think they are in business now,(unless they started back again. One of the owners passed away shortly after the porch was completed and I think the other one went back to another line of work when the economy crashed.

  60. Love the porch and thanks for all the information! I’m in Atlanta and considering an extension to my current enclosed porch, that I use as an art studio. Lots of good ideas here.

  61. I don’t know how I missed this posting, since I follow you via email, but I was excited to get more information about a screened porch. I have a wonderful porch on the front of my house and so often wish it were screened. I would prefer that it be in the back, which just seems more natural to me. However, we sometimes have to make do with what we have, so I’m considering screening the front porch. What do you think? We live in the country and our house is a typical Hill Country Texas style – two story, with dormer windows, and limestone exterior. I love your porch and would love something like it but we’re retired now and have to be more careful with our spending. Thanks for any ideas you might have!

    • Sandy, I’ve seen several on the front of home and especially with you living in the country, I’m sure it would look great! If you’re going to get some estimates for having it built, they should be able to show you a drawing or diagram of how it will look on your home. They may even have some computer software that will give a simulation of how it will look. You will love having a porch to sit on, especially in the evenings. 🙂

  62. Stunning transformation! I don’t have a porch, but a patio, and a heavy wooden swing hung by chains. May I ask what’s covering your chains on your swing? And are they weatherproof ? They look like ruffles, and I love them!

    • Thanks, Linda! Those are fabric electrical cord covers from Hobby Lobby…the decorative covers you can use to hide an electrical cord. They are made from some kind of nylon or synthetic type fabric and they have held up really well on the porch but I’m not sure how they would do if not under a covered area. If they got rained on, I’m afraid they would slide down and not stay up very well.

  63. Hi Susan,
    Your porch is absolutely gorgeous, and not a detail was missed! I’m sure you must enjoy every minute you get to spend out there!
    Question: I can’t really see the screens in the photos and I’m wondering how/where the screens are attached? I see you have space beneath the railings so the screens must be on the outside of the railings attached to the platform? I am planning a porch right now and I would love if you could share some info on how the screens are affixed.

    • Thanks, Deborah! They are just held in place by screws that are attached to molding around the porch window. On the lower part, they are on the inside of the porch and the balusters are on the outside. The screens are removable in case one ever gets damaged or needs to be cleaned.

  64. Kristy Rohm says

    Hi ..I love your screen porch! Hubby and I are looking to screen in out deck and I was wondering who you used as I see you are in the Atlanta area. If you prefer not to disclose in the comments could you send me an email? Thanks so much!! Kristy Rohm

    • Thanks, Kristy! I used a company called Carpenter’s Sons but unfortunately due to the downturn in the economy shortly after they completed my porch, they are no longer building.

  65. That’s no small renovation and it isn’t cheap either, but WOW does it look amazing! Worth every penny.

  66. Always love to see and hear about your screen porch Susan. We had a screened in pool when we lived in Florida (it cost a ton of money too). People thought that it was really weird but you couldn’t go out and enjoy the pool unless it was screened and we were so glad that we invested the money into to it. Thanks for sharing all this great info.

  67. Love that porch! We are screening in our L-shaped front/side porch this summer and I’m wondering, is your screen on the inside of the railing or the outside of the railing? I can’t tell from the photo. I would so much appreciate knowing. Your porch is beautiful, and here in NW Wisconsin, we definitely need to screen in our porch. Thanks for sharing this informative post!

  68. My wife and I own a company in Richmond, VA that builds custom decks and porches and we recently started PollenTEC of Virginia that sells pollen-proof screen that keeps out up to 100% of pollen! We put it on our porch and it really works! We sell the material anywhere in the US and would appreciate you taking a look at this and maybe recommending. Thank you.
    Don & Stella Weaver

  69. Rita Oliveira says

    Susan, just love your porch we have talked in the past…I was wondering how much you “14 by 18 porch” cost not the decks.. I already have the deck….hope to you are doing ok… I enjoy all your post….

    • Hi Rita,
      Back when I had mine built, screened porches the size of mine were running around $18-20,000 in the Atlanta area, but so much depends on the size of the porch, if you do a gable roof, the flooring you choose, how many electrical outlets you want, if an old deck has to be removed and hauled off (like in my case) etc… I was shocked how much the electrical cost increases just by adding additional outlets. I think I may have saved a little because it was a pretty big job. I was getting the screened porch, the decks and my front porch built and having 2/3rds of the basement finished in. It had been finished in before but was done poorly and I wanted it to look like the rest of the house, not like a basement.

  70. Keith Bryant says

    Hi, I’m in the Atlanta area and am interested to know who you used to get this work done. I’m in the bidding process now and I haven’t found what I’m looking for in a builder yet. My apologies if you’ve already said who you used and I missed it in the comments. Thanks!

  71. Hi Susan, I really enjoy your posts and I love your style! You mention that you also remodeled your basement do you have links to that and other projects you have done?

  72. We added on a screened porch last fall. Our cost was $54,000. That was with trek decking rather than wood but otherwise very similar to yours so you can tell how much prices have increased!

  73. Mind if I ask what part of the country you live? I’m in SC and quotes for something nowhere near this elaborate seem to be $30-$60k.

  74. Hi Susan,
    I need some qick advice, we’re having a deck (at our cabin) screened in with a shed style roof. Nothing fancy, but just wondering what “have to” things would you recommend? Our porch will be 12×24 feet.

  75. Great article. I build porches for a living and try to always come up with new ideas. For example, we have many different ceiling trim outs, including a rustic model!

  76. irideemables in midlandia says

    Hi, Ran across this when looking at information about turning a deck into a screened-in porch. My goodness, this is elaborate! It DOES look like another room, rather than a porch. Must have cost a fortune.

    There are just the two of us (with 4 cats, of course), and we have cornfields and pastures around. We just want to keep the rustic feel of the deck and the area, and make it big enough for a porch swing since I’ve missed it so much since last having one in 2002…

    Mainly, wondering what would be best for the roof. We want to keep it very simple — work to be done by spouse (a teacher), and his buddy, the construction arts teacher in the school — no contractors involved, but of course, this guy knows what he’s doing.

    We’re nowhere near your “neighborhood” financially, but with the help of a tax check and our own labor, it looks doable. Do you have any recommendations for the best material for a “slant roof” that will keep the rustic look (I worry about fiberglass looking “plastic” — but I haven’t looked at pictures yet and may be picturing it completely wrong ) and still not add thousands to the cost?

    Thank you. Enjoy the upcoming Spring.

  77. I think you are reading my mind! Between this post and the other one from several years ago about your front porch, we have the same visions for our house. Thank you so much for sharing both of these. They have been very helpful!

  78. Susan, I realize this is an old post, but you mentioned hurricane clips. Did you mention that to your homeowner’s insurance company ? Here, that and a wind mitigation report will lower the cost.
    BTW I love your porch.

    • Thanks, Myrna! I don’t remember if I told my insurance company about the hurricane Clips or not. I should call them and check. Thanks for letting me know about that!

  79. Your post is incredibly informative! I’m planning on putting a screened porch on my house, and you have provided many things to think about. Thank you.

  80. Janet Sullivan says

    Hi Susan. You were kind enough to recently answer a question I asked about your hardwood floor on your porch. I wanted to ask if the paint on your screen porch is flat paint or sateen? Thank you. Janet.

  81. Your porch is FABULOUS!!!!! What is the white paint color you use? Also the color stain deck?

    • Thanks! The white paint is Sherwin Williams Duration. They have three exterior whites and this is the middle white straight out of the can. It’s not their brightest white and not the 3rd down white…it’s the one in the middle. I can take a photo of the can for you if that’s helpful, but it’s just their basic exterior white right out of the can. The stain is Sherwin Williams Super Deck and the color is Lodge Brown.

  82. Susan, I remember when you first posted this and I thought it was so helpful. It’s interesting to me that some things seemed very reasonably priced and others seemed a little high. For instance, the added cost to make the roof gabled seemed very low, as did the cost to add the pergola. But the costs to arch the wood for the windows and to add extra electrical outlets both seemed high, lol. I guess it all evened out.

    Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prettier porch. It’s the architectural elements that you chose that make it so lovely. For instance, if it was just the main porch, that would be nice enough, but adding the two decks on either side makes it all the more interesting looking. And adding the pergola to the one side made a huge difference, as well. Those things, and the arched windows, etc. just make the entire package so inviting, homey and just as lovely as it could be. I would definitely love to have one just like it some day. 🙂 Thanks for posting this again.

    • Thanks so much, Pam! The plan didn’t originally include two decks but we ended up adding the second deck with the pergola because it all looked so out of balance with just one deck. I hope you get your wish, I know you would enjoy it!

  83. I know this is a VERY old post but I ran across it today searching for info on adding a screen porch. Thank you sooooo much for all the info. I read this post and one or two more on the subject. My concern is how much light am I going to lose in the room that the porch will cover. Currently our house has tons of natural light with an open floor plan. I love the thoughts of a screen porch and absolutely insist on a gable roof instead of shed. I know it’s been a while now, but do you remember a significant difference in the light/darkness of the room(s) that the porch roof covered the windows of?

    • It’s definitely going to reduce the light somewhat but it’s hard to predict just how much. My situation is a bit different because the room that the porch adjoins on my home is already kinda dark and cozy because it’s a fully paneled room. The rest of the rooms in my home are light and bright except for that one room, so I didn’t mind if it shaded it a bit more. This is the room that my porch is attached to. The two windows at the end don’t get shaded by the porch since it’s behind the fireplace in that room and doesn’t reach that last window on the left.

      There’s a door at this end of the room and it does get shaded by the porch, but that was really the only opening that was affected by adding the porch. Again, this room is already on the darker side which works great for that room so I wasn’t worried if it became a little darker. I love this room being that way since all the other rooms in my home are very light-filled.

      Also, my ceilings are just 8 ft ceilings. If your ceilings are higher, that may help with keeping more light reach the room(s) your porch attaches to. This probably isn’t much help since my situation is most likely very different. I can tell you this, the enjoyment I get from having a screened porch greatly exceeds any concerns I would have about reducing the light coming in. The porch adds another very light-filled room to a home. I absolutely love being able to throw the kitchen door and the living room door wide open throughout the year without having to worry about mosquitoes or annoying bugs coming in. I hope this helps a little.

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