A deck can be a little slice of paradise…except for the scorching sun by day and the insects by night. So why not turn that deck into a screened-in porch? Here’s an outline of what it takes.
Get proposals. Using online and personal referrals, ask three contractors for proposals and quotes. Make sure they’ve been in business for a substantial number of years and have a satisfactory track record with the Better Business Bureau and regulatory agencies. Ask each contractor questions. Make certain each has required licensing and liability insurance. If at all possible, visit previous projects.
Get the needed permissions. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, submit detailed plans for approval. You will also need building permits from city or county authorities.
Design considerations. Adding a roof will add weight so your contractor may need to add more posts, joists and piers to support it. A slab of some size may be required. This will add thousands to the cost. The design of the new roof will have to tie in architecturally with the roofline of the house. If the deck is old, portions of it may have to be repaired or replaced.
Bugproof? Adding a roof and screened sides doesn’t totally eliminate insects. Screening must be added to the underside of the floorboards.
Finishing touches. Skylights, ceiling fans, fireplaces, audio/visual hookups, and decorative items are not required, of course, but go a long way toward dressing up the new space and making it more functional. They also add to that final price tag.
Value versus cost. Depending on size and amount of work put into the job, screening in a deck starts at $12,000 and goes up from there. While a screened porch definitely adds value to the home, it’s questionable how much you’ll recoup upon resale. A lot depends on market conditions at the time of sale.