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There are as many distinct porch designs as there are types of homes they are attached to. From a simple roofed area that adjoins the side of a house to a detached, screened structure that provides additional living space, porches are a great way to increase the value and functionality of your home. To learn more about building a porch and how much porches cost, continue reading this buying guide.
Things to Consider When Building a Porch
In order to build a porch that compliments your tastes and property, keep the following considerations in mind:
- Function: How do you envision using a new porch? Will it be a casual, seasonal area for warm weather relaxation or a place for year-round dining and entertaining?
- Location: Once a porch's function is determined, its location should be chosen. A porch that will be used as a dining area, for example, should be placed near the kitchen, while the location of a porch to be used as a living room is more flexible.
- Amenities: How, and during what seasons, you intend to use a porch can help you decide what amenities to include. Some additions that can really transform a porch include lighting and electrical, fireplaces, swings, awnings, hot tubs, kitchens, shades, curtains, ceiling fans, and furniture.
- Height and Size: Will the porch be built on a concrete slab or columns? Should it be 16' x 16'? 20' x 20'? Again, consider the function of the room in order to figure out what height and size are appropriate.
- Materials: While many porches are wood throughout, you can additionally choose to have a porch trimmed in maintenance-free vinyl. Brick and stone can also be used to create an elegant look.
- Flooring and Ceiling: Popular flooring choices include hardwood, stone, tile, and composite. Simple plywood porch ceilings are common, but it's possible to add a touch of charm with styles such as beadboard and tongue and groove.
- Open or Screened: A screened porch offers enhanced privacy and protection from insects, but can require more maintenance. An open porch, aside from lower costs, gives you better views of and more intimate contact with the outdoors. Consider having a screened and an open section for the best of both worlds.
Porch Average Cost
The actual cost to build a porch can vary significantly based on the design, materials, local costs, complexity of the installation, and other factors. The following porch costs are only meant to serve as a general overview.
- The cost of a porch could be anywhere from $5,000 for a simple structure or less to $75,000 or more for a sunroom or similar fully enclosed structure.
- The cost to build a 16' x 20' covered, enclosed porch is approximately $60 to $100 per square foot, or a total of around $16,000 to $32,000. Larger porches generally cost less per square foot while smaller porches tend to cost more per square foot.
- Pouring a concrete slab costs around $5 to $10 per square foot.
- Carpenters cost roughly $50 to $70 per hour and electricians around $60 to $80 per hour.
- A pre-fabricated modular porch system might cost $15,000 to $50,000.