# How to Build a Porch Within a Budget

Written by shelley frost
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Sticking to a budget is often difficult when it comes to home-improvement projects such as building a porch. Creating a realistic budget and assessing your needs is an important step to keep your project costs under control. By calculating a solid budget and sticking to it, you can enjoy your new outdoor living space without going into major debt or leaving the project incomplete when you run out of money.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

• Tape measure
• Calculator

## Instructions

1. 1

Calculate how much money is available for the porch project. Include the amount of money you have saved for the project and the amount of money you plan to borrow. Leave about 10 per cent of that budget available for unexpected expenses, using the remaining 90 per cent to go to the costs of building the porch.

2. 2

Decide how large you want the porch. Measure the area so you can get solid estimates for the material costs.

3. 3

Determine if you're going to handle the labour yourself or hire a contractor. The labour will eat up a good chunk of the budget. Get estimates from several contractors so you can add the cost into the budget.

4. 4

Choose the building material for the porch. You'll find both wood and composite options for decks. The costs vary by area, so a trip to the home-improvement store is the best way to know what will be the most cost-effective option for your porch.

5. 5

Calculate the costs for the materials based on your porch dimensions. Account for extra materials in case of mistakes. For your total cost, add in the cost of labour, if you're having a contractor do the work.

6. 6

Compare your estimated costs to your porch-building budget. Make adjustments to your porch construction plans if your costs exceed the money you have available. This might include choosing a less expensive material or building a smaller porch.

#### Tips and warnings

• Check with your local government to see if you need any permits, and, if you do, include those costs in your budget.

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