How Big Should a Screened-in Porch Be???

saftgeekOctober 22, 2011

Hello all...

I was curious how large a screened-in porch should be? Our plans call for a 12' x 12' screened in porch attached to a 17' x 12' patio.

Our home is being built high on a river bluff and the porch/patio will be used frequently. I was hoping someone may have a screened-in porch with similar dimensions and wouldn't mind posting some pictures of how they have it arranged. I am a visual person and seeing something would really help me out. All feedback is greatly appreciated.

Please post a couple pictures if you can. Thank you in advance for your time/trouble.


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Saftgeek- Can you make the porch any bigger? Here's one of my favorite screened porches...and it's 18' x 14' with a couple of small decks. I hope it gives you some good ideas :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Between Naps on the Porch

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:25AM
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Ours is 16' wide x 18' long and I wouldn't want it any smaller. We do have a fireplace though that takes up 3 feet or so of the length, which may make it feel a little shorter. 12' x 12' is small . . . We wanted to put a table out there for meals and a wicker sofa and a couple of chairs and ours may not be big enough for that. I would think you could fit a sofa and a couple of chairs in a 12' x 12' porch, or a table, but not both. . .

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:39AM
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It all depends what you want. I'll try to remember to post a pic later but we have a 12x12. There is a fireplace but that is recessed in a sense so it doesn't take up an inch of floorspace. We have a loveseat, coffee table, and 2 chairs. You can walk around all the furniture. We just moved them closer to all touch a rug (6x9 probably) and it feels cozier. Then it starts looking like we didn't need 12x12 - like maybe 10x11 would have been enough for our needs.

We eat out on the "open air" deck. We drink coffee or wine on the porch. In our world (and I totally realize everyone has different worlds), if you are leaving the kitchen to eat then you want to go all the way outside - ie "open air". My point is that we don't eat on the screened in porch but it isn't because of its size.

I actually think this is a big point. Do you want to have eating both porch and patio? That might be overkill. 12x12 maybe small if you want dining for a group. But where is your outdoor dining? If it is on the patio, then probably 12x12 is fine. Sometimes I think a longer dimension makes more sense - ie more rectangle than square.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 6:01AM
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Currently, we have an 11x14. We are able to fit a couch 2 chairs, coffee table and 2 end tables. We use ours all the time, and do find it is tight when entertaining bc we all end up outside. We also have an 11x15 patio right off of it. We don't use that as much as we typically eat on the screened porch instead.

In our new build we are doing a a 24x14 screened porch - putting a fireplace out there as well as table/chairs for eating. There will also be an 18x14 patio off of it. But, we are also on 5 acres and plan on entertaining a lot. So for us, we wanted to have a huge outdoor space.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:42AM
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We have a covered patio that's approx 20 x 20 plus there's an 8 x 9 cooking area bumpout. It's not screened in, but the pictures might still give you an idea of how much space you may want. We live outside for 6 months out of the year and use the entire space. Is your 12 x 17 space covered? Is so then it might be okay. But in a 12 x 12 room you can fit either a dining table or seating, not both.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 2:18PM
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Our plans called for a 12 X 12 screened in porch and we added an additional 2 feet. I wish we could have made it even larger but we had some design constraints. Like you we also plan to have patio off of the porch but because we are on a wooded lot everyone prefers our porch to being outside. We have a dining table and a two seat glider on ours . There is enough room to walk around furniture but I don't have room for much else. PPS7, is right that a screen porch that size can serve as an outside dining area or sitting area but not both. We opted to use the screened porch primarily for dining to keep the bugs at bay.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 4:36PM
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A dining area alone needs to be about 12 X 12, so if you want more furniture, you'll need more space! You might make to-scale cut-outs of what you want to put on the porch to determine how much space you need. A 'square' can be more difficult to furnish than a rectangle.

How will you access the porch? Will doors swing out onto it or swing into the house? These will eat space *somewhere*, in or out.

In our climate there are few days or evenings when we'd be able to sit outside in an unscreened area -- mosquitos!

Our porch has a peaked roof with two skylights in the eastern roof angle. This helps keep the adjacent interior rooms bright.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 6:16PM
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pps7 - so fun to see your finished area. Is that a walk out basement or your main level? We have the same sort of arches in our walk out basement patio . . . No idea what we will do with it - likely nothing right away other than bricking the floor as it is something we weren't planning on really finishing! Fun to see the possibilities though :)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 6:32PM
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Thank you all so much for your input. I've been tweaking and re-thinking things... I have figured out a way to increase the size of the porch to 16' x 12' and the outside patio would be 14' x 12'. I know I wouldn't have even considered making changes without your input.

Keep your fingers crossed for a home sale early next spring with a new build shortly to follow!

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:03PM
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I know this is an old thread, but my husband and I are thinking about turning our concrete patio (uncovered) into a screened in porch. We've been getting quotes and we find them to be very high. We are just outside Charlotte, NC in South Carolina.

We don't want anything fancy at all. These are the specs:

1) 14x17 on existing concrete patio
2) shingled shed roof to match home's roof
3) Simple construction - no interior finishing like beaded ceilings and no exterior finishing like shingles
4) One screen door leading into yard
5) Electrical run so we can have a ceiling fan overhead

All our quotes have been for $13K or more to have this screened in patio built. That seems high considering we want a no-frills, very simple screened in patio.

What kind of pricing have others encountered when putting up a screened in patio?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:07AM
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My last home had a 15x18 screened in porch. the adjoining deck was 10x15. I made the porch larger because you needed to hide from the insects. Otherwise, as the sun began to set two mosquitos would pick you up by the shoulders, take you into the woods and have their way with you. The screened porch became the best room in the house and really helped in the sale of the place. Decks are ok, but at mid day you can't take the sun and in the morning and evening you can't take the bugs. I put our gas grill on the deck and we would occasionally hang out there but we pretty much lived on the porch. More porch, less deck.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:46AM
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jaynees-just to have our 14x12 screened with 1 door (meaning it's a new build so the electrical is already finished, roof on, shingled, etc etc) it was $6,500. We are just going to do it ourselves at this point.

I'm not sure that your quote is really out of line judging by ours for just screening. I am finding that a lot of things are simply put just more expensive than you think they will be - across the board.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Our back porch (not screened) is 12 x 30 with steps at each end, and it's a great size. The 12' wide means it's easy to have a table . . . and still have space to walk around without scootching sideways. My husband's a big griller and has his outdoor kitchen set up on one end (Big Green Egg + lots of toys) and we still have space a-plenty for the table and other seating on the other end.

The covered porch is one of the best features of our house.

Our new house has a back porch alllll the way across the back of the house, which'll be 34 feet . . . and I'm widening it from 8' to 12' so it'll be essentially the same as what we have now. And we're going with a patio instead of a wooden floor -- less maintenance.

We will again NOT go with screens. Our current porch columns were placed /sized so that screens would be inexpensive to install, but we've never wanted them. We do have two ceiling fans out there, and moving air helps a great deal with bugs. We also burn Citronella candles when we're at the table.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:33AM
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Thanks, Autumn.

The price seems high to me if only because the 20x14 addition and kitchen remodel we did to the house in 2012 came to $52K and of that, our contractor's part was $27K. I bought and supplied all appliances, the countertops, cabinets, lighting, vent hood and a few other things. His portion covered permits, labor, concrete foundation pour, lumber, insulation, sheetrock, siding, roof shingles, gutters, 4 double windows, sliding glass door, electrical and plumbing rework, cabinet installation, additional lighting install, popcorn ceiling removal, and painting. That's a LOT of labor and materials for $27K.

So I'm shocked that he quoted almost half that for a project that will not be nearly as intensive or involve nearly as many details and materials. He and his crew are so efficient that he could probably get it done in a few days (assuming the county's check on the electrical takes more than a day to get scheduled).

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:58AM
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We spend a lot of time at our lake house in the summer but in our climate it doesn't matter if you are near water or's pretty much the scenario described by Jackfre above. BTW Jackfre...well done.

Our old lake house has a deck and a screened in gazebo. The gazebo is just big enough for a table and 8 chairs and a small beverage frig. We spend very little time on the deck and lots of time in the gazebo.

IMHO..where there are mosquitoes screened in porches are a must. When we finally tear this old place down and build our dream retirement home I plan to put a screened in porch all the way across...probably 12 ft deep. It would be hard to make it too wide.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:19AM
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I was truly hoping for HALF what was quoted. We requested a quote from 2 others and didn't even get a bit they are all so busy. Wrong time of year to start with that I suppose.

I hope you are able to find something that works within your budget. Ours isn't complete yet but I cannot wait to use it!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:02PM
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I had that thought too - time of year issues. Maybe I should wait until November or January when they are desperate for work and get quotes then! *lol*

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:42PM
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jaynees that is NOT a bad idea. :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 6:22AM
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