Why a Three Season Porch Remodel Can Cost More Than Building from Scratch

Each year as the summer greens transform to colorful fall hues, we receive several calls about converting a three-to-four season porch and this year has been no different. Some calls are because the homeowner feels that the porch is tilted away from their home and are concerned about the setteling, while others simply need the added space year round and learn the cost to insulate the front deck is often just as expensive as doing an addition. What makes a three season porch remodel cost more about the same as building one from scratch? Let’s look at the details.

A Tilted Porch

When a front porch is tilted away from a client’s home, many will assume the foundation must be settling incorrectly. In the early 1900’s, when many of the homes were built, it was common to leave the front stoop open. Tilting the front deck away from the home was a standard practice due to the massive amount of snow we receive here in the twin cities. Over the years, many clients have enclosed their deck and the floor feels ‘off’ since it has such a strong slope. This is normal.

Adding Insulation to allow Four Season use

When clients come to us with as a remodeling project to insulate the front deck, change it from a three season to a four season, they are often astonished by the cost. Many of the decks are 2x4 siding and don’t have insulation in the floor or the roofline. The decks are also missing a foundation that goes down to 46 inches. We more often than not have to bring the electrical up to code. The cost to add details like these to existing decks is often more costly than tearing down the deck altogether and rebuilding. Each deck is unique and no cost is the same but from our experience, we regularly see clients paying about the same for a remodel as a standard addition.  

Benefits of a Three Season Porch

Imagine having a place to retreat during those long, cold and snowy winter days that would instantly bring happiness to your day. Not everyone wants to pack their bags and go to Florida to feel the warm sunshine, but you can easily create such a place right in your own home. At Prima Construction, one of our most popular remodeling projects this time of year is additional three-to-four-season spaces to accommodate all types of weather, especially the unpredictable winters in Minneapolis.

Clinical studies show how important natural light is to both the physical and emotional well-being of people. In many colder regions, some people struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which is a type of depression related to seasonal changes. A seasoned porch can effectively offset several symptoms of SAD during the dreary colder months including the “winter blues,” moodiness, and a lack of energy. These spaces can also add more space and functionality to your home and allow you to relax in the seasonal weather while staying protected from outdoor extremities.

Kim Studham

Small Business Owner, Mom, Wife, Licensed General Contractor, and dog owner.