Do I Need A Permit To Screen In My Porch? – Here’s the Answer

When the summer rolls in and the outdoors seem more inviting than ever, all we want to do is sit on the porch and enjoy the summer breeze. Relaxing with a book in hand may sound great until swarms of flies or mosquitoes attack you. So it’s no surprise that you would want to screen your porch. But “Do I need a permit to screen in my porch?”– You might be wondering.

Whether you will need a permit to build a screening in your porch depends on the building regulations of where you live. Many municipalities require a permit before screening on the porch. So you should find out from the department of “Code Enforcement” in your locality. If you do require one, it’s a must you get the permit before starting the construction.

Now that you know that you will need a permit to build screening in your porch, you might be curious about how you can obtain it. I will discuss everything you might need and the whole process in further detail. You might also be curious about what will happen if you skip out on getting a permit. Keep reading to find all these out and more. 

When is A Permit Necessary for Screening Your Porch?

Many plan to add a screened-in porch to their home for a relaxed time away from blowing leaves or insects. If you are planning to do so as well, make sure to check out the building regulations for your locality. You might need a permit to screen on your porch. Most municipalities have a department you can contact and ask if you will need one. 

They will ask you most about the specifics of your screen porch- how large it will be and whether you want to attach it to an existing structure. In most cases, you won’t need a permit if you don’t need to change the structure of your house. You will also not need one if you are screening in an already covered existing porch.

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But if you need to build anything to screen in the porch, you will need a permit. Anything you build- such as a roof over it that is connected to the house, you will need a permit for it. This is because it will extend the indoor area of your house. This counts as an additional living area and falls in the same setback limitations as your house does. 

If you live in a residential development with covenants, screening in a porch always requires a permit. You might even have to adhere to the specific design of the area. Similarly, those in a homeowners’ associationneed to submit their porch design to the governing committee. 

Any alterations to the back or façade will need the governing body’s approval. These many HOAs and covenants will maintain the continuity of a certain design in certain communities. So just to be safe, you should make sure to check the building regulations of your locality before starting construction. 

How Can You Obtain a Permit to Build Screening for Your Porch?

When you are planning to start the construction work for your screened-in porch, obtaining a permit is the first step. It is a fairly simple process. You can hire a professional to let them handle it or do it as a DIY homeowner. It won’t be complex either way. 

You will need the following:

  • You need to complete the application form obtained from the building department of your local municipality.
  • Two sets of a plan that indicates everything about the construction of the porch screen addition. It should be clear and meet every plan’s requirements. 
  • Two sets of certified surveys of the plot plans or site plans. These should be done by land surveyors. It should show the location of where the screen porch will be built, any existing structure, and the scaled distance (done by the surveyor) from the property lines.

Making The Plan 

When you are making a plan to clarify how you wish to build the screen porch addition in your house, there are a few considerations you need to look out for. They are-

  • Make sure your porch screen addition does not enclose or cover the rescue window or existing emergency escape.
  • It should not enclose your house’s existing electrical meter or any electrical service cable underground.
  • Disposal of all the gutters and roof drainage is done in an approved way and should not create a public nuisance. They should be diverted to an approved drainage system or a street curb. 
  • If the porch screening addition conceals the attic ventilation, you should replace or add a new one to the house.
  • Make sure to remove any excess dirt or spoils from the excavation activities properly off your property. 
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The building department or code enforcement office will check out your application and other stuff within two weeks. They will make sure that your project is within the minimum property line setback limitations. 

If your project gets approved, you will be sent a notification. Then you just need to pick up the set of plans they have approved. Before the start of construction works, you will need to pay all the fees as well. 

But if your projects fail to fall within the building limitations, you will not get the permit. You will be notified about why your project failed to get approval. All the reasons for disapproval will be delivered in a written document. 


This is the final process for getting the permit. Once you obtain the approval for your project, the inspection is done by a code enforcement officer. 

They will inspect the footing, foundation, rough electrical, framing, final electrical, and occupancy when the construction is going on. This is just an extra step to make sure the porch screen is safe for you and your family. 

What If You Skip the Permit When Building a Screened-In Porch?

You will have to pay a fine in case you get caught. You might even need to remove the structure you built recently. Additionally, it will create a huge mess when you try to sell your home. You can’t sell your house without getting all the permits and inspections. 

When you are planning to add a screened-in porch addition to your house, the project must obtain the proper permits. Conducting the inspection properly is a must as well. These steps are extremely important as they ensure your project is safe and complies with all building and zoning codes. 

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It also helps protect your property values and your neighbors’ as well. I would not recommend skipping out on getting the permit. It can prove to be a costly mistake with time. You could get an unlicensed person to add it without needing the permit. But you will still be the contractor and the one to suffer any consequences. 

So before closing in on the sale, you will have to do these anyway and potentially have all the finished work torn out. It sounds like a huge waste of time and money. 

At the end of it all, as if all of it costing a major delay for the sale isn’t bad enough, it could cause it to fall through as well. That’s why it’s always the best choice to get a permit to avoid all these additional problems. 


A screened-in porch means you get to spend some fantastic time outdoors without an insect disturbing your private time. But when you are planning on building one, it is natural to ask yourself – “Do I need a permit to screen in my porch?”  In this article, I have shared everything you might need to know about obtaining the permit for building a screen in your porch. I hope this article has helped you obtain it without a hitch. Thank you for reading till the end and have a nice day.