How to Budget Out for a Screened-In Porch

A screened-in porch is a wonderful addition to any home. It is a space where you can relax outdoors without interference from biting insects or rain and just enjoy time with loved ones.

When planning to add a screened porch to your home, the first thing you need to do is create a realistic budget for the project to ensure that your screened-in porch’s cost is not overwhelming. Today’s blog post gives you a few of the biggest things you need to consider as you budget and plan for your new screened porch.

Developing a Screened Porch Budget

There are two important reasons for developing a project budget. Of course, the first is to determine how much adding a screened-in porch costs to see what you can afford. The second is to help you maintain a healthy cost to value ratio for the project. In other words, how will the cost of the project affect your home’s resale value?

When planning your porch addition budget, you’ll need to include more than just the cost of labor and materials, even if you are doing the building work yourself. Your porch budget should also include the costs for permits, unexpected expenses, electrical features, furniture, and any potential property tax increases.

Renovation Permits

Every municipality has its own regulations for which home renovation projects require a permit. Because adding a screened-in porch increases the square footage of your home, most municipalities require that you get a permit before you begin building. Even if you are pretty handy and planning to do the work yourself, you’ll still need to get a permit.

The permit application process involves contacting your municipal office to determine what documents and plans they need to see. Permit applications usually require a scaled drawing of your property, your house, and the proposed porch. Your application should also detail any electrical features, as well as any stairs and railings that the project will include.

Don’t Want to Worry About Getting Permits Yourself?

One of the benefits of hiring a contractor to build your screened porch is that we can prepare the scaled drawings. We will also help you apply for the building permit, which may cost around $300 in permit fees.

Unexpected Project Expenses

When contractors quote a project, they can only base the quote on what is known about the home and the project. Unexpected expenses occur when problems arise during the build, such as wiring issues or modifications needed due to some other element of the property or house.

Unexpected expenses also happen when homeowners change their minds during the build to add a feature or make an upgrade.

So that you are prepared for these unexpected expenses, budgeting experts recommend setting aside an additional 10 percent of the total quoted project cost. That way, you’ll have the funds handy, so unexpected expenses won’t halt or slow down the build. 

Don’t Forget About Electrical Features

It can be too easy to forget about lighting when planning a screened-in porch, but interior lighting makes it possible to enjoy the porch in the evenings and on cloudy days. Exterior lighting also allows you to see the rest of your property at night and improves safety.

When planning a budget for your screened porch addition project, make sure you’ve researched lighting options and determined how many electrical outlets and what kind of lights you’ll want in your porch. If you’d like to have a ceiling fan on the porch, be sure to add that to the budget as well.

Every home has an electrical panel, or breaker box, that controls the flow of electricity to various regions of the home. Find out if your porch project will require adding more breakers than the current box can handle. If you need more electrical capacity, you’ll want to know what that will cost so you can budget for it.


Furniture selection needs to be part of planning a screened-in porch. If you haven’t been shopping for outdoor and patio furniture in a while, both the available selection and prices may surprise you. For instance, our line of durable and beautiful poly furniture is perfect for screened porches!

Whether you are planning to purchase less expensive patio furniture or top-of-the-line upholstered furniture, know what the costs will be upfront so you can budget for them accordingly.

Property Tax Considerations

Because a screened-in porch will increase the value of your home, be prepared to pay a little more in property taxes each year as well. To find out what that potential increase might be, contact your local property tax office.

Hiring a Contractor

When hiring a contractor to build your screened-in porch, you may want to get multiple quotes. Make sure that your request for a quote includes as many details as possible, such as what kind of flooring, roofing, screen, post material, lighting, and other features you want.

A trustworthy contractor can help you save money on the screened porch cost without skimping on quality by guiding you through the materials selection process. We can help you with screened-in porch ideas and select the best materials for your home and budget. (Note that we believe vinyl construction is best here at Elite Outdoor Expressions.)

Be wary of the contractor who only pushes the most expensive options and the contractor whose quote for the entire project is significantly lower than the other quotes. When the quote is too low, it can mean either the contractor is inexperienced or that they have underestimated the real screened-in porch cost. In that case, you’ll be hit with several unexpected expenses to make up for their mistake.

Before hiring any contractor, check their references, and make sure they are licensed and insured.

When you are ready to hire, be sure to sign a fixed-price contract rather than a time-and-materials contract. Fixed-price contracts save you money in the long run. The contract should specify how long the project will take, and when it can begin.

Elite Outdoor Expressions is Central PA’s Favorite Screened Porch Builder

If you are looking for a contractor in Central Pennsylvania to build your screened-in porch, be sure to check with Elite Outdoor Expressions first. Our experienced team will work with you to design and build the ideal outdoor space for your home and budget.

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