Patio Enclosure Inspiration: What Style is Right For You?

Patio enclosures are a must for any homeowner with a love for the outdoors. A space offering fresh air and a comfortable, covered place to relax, it makes for an irresistible backyard oasis.

Patio Enclosure Inspiration

From custom-designed enclosures to patio kits you can build yourself, it’s an investment that can be made regardless of budget or skill set. Whether you’re searching for an enclosing with a built-in vibe or one that’s more raw and rustic, there’s something for everyone.

What Is A Patio Enclosure?

Patio Enclosure - What Is

Patio enclosures are outdoor spaces that are, for the most part, connected to an existing structure built on a solid, flat foundation. While it’s most common for patio enclosures to rest on a paved area, it can also be built on other surfaces like bricks or pavers.

Patio enclosures are also made from a multitude of different materials suitable for differing climates and needs. 

Offering protection from weather, pollen, animals and the like, a patio enclosure creates an outdoor platform primed for personal use and entertainment. 

Are Patio Enclosures And Sunrooms The Same Thing?

Are Patio Enclosures And Sunrooms The Same Thing?
Echelon Interiors

The terms patio enclosure and sunroom are often used as interchangeable terms but they’re not the same thing. The confusion often comes in as they can resemble one another depending upon style.

So then, what is a sunroom? A sunroom has several defining characteristics that set it apart from patio enclosures including:

  • The frame is immovable.
  • It has finished walls.
  • It’s temperature controlled.
  • Windows surround the room.
  • It’s not open to the elements.
  • Year-round use no matter the weather.

When you get down to the details, a sunroom is a legitimate extra living room, adding under air square footage to the interior of the house itself.

Enclosure Kits

Enclosure Kits

It might seem like a project of this magnitude requires the help of a professional, but that’s not the entire truth. Many handy homeowners aren’t aware how easy creating a patio enclosure can be with the provision of a patio enclosure kit. These kits come with everything you need to bring your backyard to life including detailed instructions and prepped building materials.

Patio enclosure kits come ready to assemble, in many different sizes, shapes and colors and can even be purchased at your local big box stores. If this is an option you’re interested in, take a look at the kits below for more inspiration:

Types of Patio Enclosures

Patio enclosures aren’t a one size fits all, there’s an array of options as it relates to materials.

Wood Enclosures

Patio Wood Enclosures
Pinterest– Lunch Break Builders

A strong choice that can stand against the worst weather events, wood enclosures give off a rustic, natural feel. It also offers far more design choices and features than other enclosure options, creating a unique result.

Retractable Enclosures

Patio Enclosure Inspiration

Providing an extra level of luxury and convenience, retractable enclosures allow for complete customization. You can have open air but still overhead coverage or complete closure. Either way, it’s all at the touch of a button and depending on climate, could hold up through the seasons.

Glass Enclosures

Glass Enclosures

The most expensive of options, glass enclosures offer a clean cut sitting area at a price. Most similar to a sunroom, glass enclosures have the option of temperature control if positioned close enough to the main home.

Aluminum Enclosures

Aluminum Enclosures

A strong frame that requires little maintenance, aluminum enclosures are a budget-conscious option with a sleek result. These enclosures have a high level of durability, providing long-lasting enjoyment.

Acrylic Enclosures

Acrylic Enclosures

Plastic, clear panels with the look of glass minus the cost, acrylic enclosures offer the best of both worlds. They’re a good alternative to vinyl if you want a see-through panel that’s more firm.

Vinyl Enclosures

Vinyl Enclosures

A favored choice, vinyl enclosures come in panels similar to the style of curtains. They’re inexpensive, simple to install and easy to clean.

Screen Enclosures

Screen Enclosures

Screen enclosures are common in warmer climates, allowing fresh air and breezes in while keeping bugs and debris out. The screen room material is made of a see-through mesh too, so outside sights can still be enjoyed.

Stucco Enclosures

Stucco Enclosures
James McCalligan Architect

Created using columns, stucco enclosures give off a seamless and cohesive vibe. A shaded space that’s sometimes part of the roofline, it’s common to see in pool areas.

Cost of Patio Enclosures

A project of this magnitude has a few extra costs to consider, with the overall cost hinging on the selection of material.

  • The labor ranges from $20 to 40$ per square foot.
  • The patio flooring ranges from $8 to $20 per square foot.
  • A wood enclosure averages at $13,000 total.
  • A retractable enclosure averages at $3,000.
  • A glass enclosure ranges from $30,000 to $50,000.
  • An aluminum enclosure averages at $2,500.
  • An acrylic enclosure ranges from $2,500 to $3,000.
  • A vinyl enclosure ranges from $4,000 to $6,500.
  • A screen enclosure ranges from $2,000 to $2,800.
  • A stucco enclosure ranges from $25 to $40 per square foot.
  • The permit costs range from $100 to $300 based on project size.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Is a patio the same as a porch?

It’s common to hear the terms patio and porch in an interchangeable way, but they’re altogether different structures. While porches are also flat, level surfaces they’re considered part of the home’s structure, unlike a patio enclosure. Also, porches are found in the front of the home and if they are covered, it’s common that covering is from roof overhang.

Are there any cons to patio enclosures?

There are a few disadvantages to consider before adding a patio enclosure to your space, weather being one. Depending on the climate, temperatures might prevent you from using your enclosure in cooler months. Also, enclosures can be more vulnerable to the elements, resulting in damage for screen or vinyl materials in specific.

Is a patio enclosure a good ROI?

Another benefit, a patio enclosure is without a doubt a good ROI (return on investment). Enclosures are appealing to buyers, acting as an additional living space with all the pleasures of the outdoors. Some professionals estimate that a patio enclosures ROI is 70% at a minimum, others saying it’s even higher. It’s safe to say, it’ll add value.

How long will it take to install a patio enclosure?

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact timeline for your patio project as it can range from a few days to a few months depending on design elements. The total time is determined by specific project details such as material selection, flooring, add-ons, insulation and more.

Do patio enclosures protect against UV rays?

Since some patio enclosures are clear tops no matter the material, UV ray exposure is a legitimate concern. Even so, there’s nothing to worry about. Many companies offering screens, vinyl, plastics and the like have manufactured their products with UV resistant technology.


Numerous material options and the unique ability to make it a DIY project are a few among many reasons to jump into a new patio enclosure build.

An enclosure can take your time outdoors to the next level. With pest-free living and all the benefits of the great outdoors, it’ll create an irresistible addition.

Whether you’re seeking a space for some quality time with the family or an entertainment hub for guests, you can’t go wrong with a patio enclosure.