Enclosing your patio protects you and your belongings from the outside weather, which allows you to use your patio more often. Because the patio is enclosed, you can use it when it's raining and you don't have to worry about insects bothering you while you relax. The concept sounds great, but there are several things that you need to consider before you build an enclosure around your patio.
Do You Want a Three- or Four-Season Patio?
Not all patio enclosures are the same. So, before you talk to a contractor like Lexington Tent & Awning about enclosing your patio, you need to determine whether you want a three- or four-season patio. Both are completely enclosed. However, four-season patios are fully insulated and have heat and air conditioning, so it's basically an additional room that's surrounded by windows. Three-season patios are cheaper to build because they don't have those features.
If you live in an area that experiences harsher weather and drastic seasonal changes and you want to use your patio year round, your best bet is to build a four-season patio. However, if you live in an area that has a mild climate, you could still use a three-season patio year round.
Window and Wall Options
When you build your patio enclosure you have the option to use interchangeable screen and glass panels or combination panels. Interchangeable panels allow you to replace the screened-in portion of your patio with glass as needed. However, when you have interchangeable panels you have to have room to store the panels that you aren't using. Also, because you have to completely replace the panels every time you switch from screen to glass, interchangeable panels are best for people who live in areas with milder climates. After all, you don't want to switch the panels out multiple times per day.
Combination panels open and close just like all of the other windows on your house. Typically, you slide the panel upwards to expose the screened-in portion of the panel. While combination panels are more convenient, you won't have total screen visibility because the glass portion of the panel remains at the top of your screen.
The location of your patio enclosure is important. You want to make sure that the patio is located in an area of your yard the gets a lot of sunlight. Also, you should decide whether you want to install skylights on the patio's ceiling to maximize the amount of sunlight in the enclosure.
Patio enclosures allow you to get more use out of your patio, but it's important to design a patio that works well for you and your family. So, when you talk to the contractor about adding a patio enclosure to your home, make sure the contractor understands your needs so that you get the patio that you want.