Patio enclosures are beneficial in protecting the patio and its occupants from outside elements such as bugs, rain or excessive sunshine — while still allowing for fresh air and enjoyment of the outdoors. An enclosure can vary greatly based on the homeowner’s needs and wants. Fortunately, building one is relatively easy.
Building a patio starts with setting up a budget and deciding how much you are willing to spend. Using your budget, decide how large a patio you can afford and if you’re going to use a patio enclosure kit or build entirely from scratch. If you choose to use a do-it-yourself kit, keep in mind that these kits may also be known as sunrooms, patios or enclosed porches.
Also, you must apply for the appropriate building permits. Not all cities and states require permits for a patio structure, so check with your local government before building. If you build without a permit, you may be subject to several fines for violating city and state building codes and ordinances. You may also be required to tear down your new patio enclosure, costing you additional money.
Once the legalities are in place and you’ve decided on a size, begin choosing materials. For the patio itself, there are a variety of stone options including brick, concrete, flagstone and tile. Options for the enclosure include wood or aluminum. If you are not using a patio enclosure kit, remember the additional materials such as nails, screws and screen.
If you’ve purchased a kit, follow the instructions exactly as provided. Some kits will come with all the necessary materials while others may only include the hardware and require you to purchase the necessary construction materials, such as 2-by-4 construction lumber.
When building your patio and enclosure from scratch, begin by digging out the area for the patio flooring. You can also continue to lay down the patio flooring, or wait until the enclosure has been fully constructed, to prevent damaging the floor during construction.
The patio walls can be constructed using basic 2-by-4 construction lumber. The studs in the frame should be approximately 16 inches apart, unless otherwise noted by your local building codes and ordinances (see Reference 1). Once your wall frames are complete, get help from a friend or family member to lift and secure into place, creating the first corner.
Once the walls are up, construct the rafters for the roof using the same 2-by-4 construction lumber. Again, get help from a friend or family member to get the roof rafters into place. Over the rafters, you can install plywood board followed by roofing paper or felt and finally, roofing shingles (see Reference 2).
With the roof in place, the structure can be enclosed with screen and a staple gun. Protect the exterior of the construction lumber with aluminum paneling nailed into place, or with paint or stain in your choice of color. Once the enclosure is complete, the patio floor can be installed and the room can be put to use.