How to Design an Enclosed Patio


A patio area that is enclosed is often easier to use for relaxing or dining, since an enclosure offers protection from the elements and flying insects. Even with a limited budget, an enclosure such as a simple screened area can be constructed. Alternately, the enclosure can be built with glass walls or could even be a room covered with house siding and partial brick. However the patio is designed, it should provide a good way to blend indoor living with the outdoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Patio design books
  • Outdoor living magazines
  • Websites for patio resources/designs
  • Measuring tools
  • Sketch pad and pencil
  • Patio amenities catalogs/brochures
  • Review books devoted to patios only or outdoor living magazines featuring nice patios. Look for enclosures that are appealing and practical to build. Pay attention to different shapes of enclosures, such as square or octagonal, that will fit well with surroundings.

  • Measure the actual space to be enclosed. Sketch a roof for the patio covering that fits the home's architecture and existing roof lines. Consider materials that will be appropriate and review the actual budget. Plan the ideal shape and style initially and then scale back to fit the allowable budget. Design a large roof area for a screen room that can be converted later to a more upscale enclosure with glass, for example.

  • Sketch the enclosure to preserve nice views of mountains or fields by allowing window openings large enough to capture those views. Plan to build a sound framework for the enclosure from pressure-treated lumber. Purchase a professional plan or find one online for free to make framing construction easier. Avoid using solid or louvered side walls that will block views, however. Consider using screening material, lattice work in wood or plastic, or even hard sheets of clear plastic to leave views intact.

  • Review materials such as curtains, rolled-up bamboo blinds and recycled windows to enclose the structure. Visit enclosed patios in the neighborhood to see what works in a given locale. Avoid using materials that will detract from the home's curbside appeal. Plan to use colors that will blend well with the existing house trim to keep the new structure from standing out too much.

  • Design the patio room framework to be attached to a house or deck with bolts. Plan to attach a free-standing patio enclosure to a concrete base with concrete bolts or angle-iron accessories. Design a door that will withstand lots of opening and closing by using heavy lumber and heavy-duty hinges and a latch system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Design the enclosure as an outdoor room. Review leaflets and brochures that feature interesting patio amentities to improve the space. Consider using solar lights mounted on metal stakes on the outside of the space, for example. Design storage boxes inside the enclosure to store chairs, grilling equipment or toys.

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  • Photo Credit patio with a view image by Tracy Horning from
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