Many people ask themselves how to enclose a patio and which is the best way to go around it. To enclose a patio you first need to sketch out your ideas through several designs according to the existing structure and also what is the preferred outcome in terms of look and style. When it comes to thinking about different ideas for enclosing a patio, it is important to point out that the design and overall result should match that of your garden decor or/and the actual look of your house. Is the wood the predominant element? Brick? Concrete? What do you want to enclose a patio with: glass? walls? screen? plastic?
The next thing you have to ask yourself is if there is a need to add a roof. This should be fairly easy to decide upon; first and foremost think why are you enclosing a patio in the first place. There is no doubt that it would protect you from the weather and add an important touch of privacy (especially if you already have a garden for outdoor enjoyment); at the end of the day you do spend quite a lot of time in the patio and/or outdoors during the spring, summer and fall. If the main reason for undergoing such a task is so you can elongate these periods of time during the winter, you should contemplate the idea of roofing your patio as well. There are ups and downs with this option; you will close in your patio area a lot more than if you were just to build walls or add screens around it and you will less light througout the whole year even if you add windows. If you are adding a roof to your patio the best thing would be to think of glass when it comes to the walls, a bit like the British conservatories or at least similar to the style. These conservatories are usually surrounded by glass (the English weather is renouned for being very cold in the winter) and supported by metalic frames. Some of them have the lower half built with bricks as it offers more security and privacy. You should design your roof first and then the framing structure.
The next thing to consider is the cost to enclose a patio. After you finish your design (you should have quite a few sketches so it will be easier to choose the design that fits best) it is important to set yourself a budget and take it from there. Are you going to enclose the patio yourself or are you going to pay for professional help? Surely professionals will be able to do a good job but it will come at a price. You should definitely go for it if your pocket allows. Next you should budget for the right materials and the ones you chose on your sketch. Some are more expensive than others and some are easier to work with especially if you are doing it yourself. Maybe you should compromise here by choosing certain materials that are cheaper in order to be able to afford others that need to be sound and solid when it comes to quality. Enclosing a patio is not the same as building a house: you don’t need to be so worried about a perfect finish, but building with good materials is always a plus.
The actual enclosure can be done in different ways but the easiest by far is by using screens. They are cheap and very simple to set up. Although not as strong as brick or steel, they will definitely do a good job for many years to come if fitted properly. The other advantage is that they do let a lot of light through which is an important factor when it comes to gardens and patios (or any outdoor area in general). You might want to think about proper patio lighting for the evening and night times and also to enhance the decor of the new enclosed area.
Think of style and design of the windows if you are opting for brick walls, and, again, if you are enclosing it yourself windows might be a bit more complicated than just enclosing with screens. Do you want to add window sills? Are they going to be double windows? What about light coming through the roof? Think of all the electric appliances that need fitting when doing your designs, and of any central heaters that need to be placed.
If you live in a flat and you want to enclose a patio you should first ask your neighbours to see how they feel about it. Also make sure you get planning permissions if needed (whether you live in a flat or in a house in the countryside). Some places consider enclosing a patio building an extension to the house (especially if you are enclosing with brick and adding a roof).
If you are going to spend a good amount of time in your new enclosed patio during the winter you should think of insulating the floor. This can be done easily if there is already concrete and it just against the ground, but it becomes more of a difficult task if the patio is suspended above the ground level (as it happens with garden decking) and you need to do a thorough plan.
Some people wonder how to enclose a covered patio as their property was sold to them with a roofed outdoor area. These situations take place when site developers roof an outdoor structure with the idea of owners wanting to enclose it at some point in the future. Sliding doors are a good, simple and inexpensive solution if this is the case.
How to enclose a patio is down to you in the end, but the most important step that people should not take for granted is designing sketches on paper first to avoid unnecessary problems that might arise later on.