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Patio enclosed with white curtains

Enclosed Porch Ideas & How to Build an Enclosed Patio Room

We all wish we could spend more time on our patio or porch. But what we wish for most is a little privacy! Enclosing that area can be a way to enjoy your space more comfortably.

Enclosures also help keep the elements, bugs, and pollen out, while also blocking out the sun’s harmful rays. And there are many budget-friendly do-it-yourself options for enclosed porch and patios, including prefab options.

So, for inspiration, here are simple tips and tricks on how to enclose your outdoor seating area without going over budget.

Research Building Permits

Before you start your enclosed porch or patio project, be sure to check with your local building bylaws.

Each municipality has its own rules and regulations about building structures on properties. So research your local building bylaws and follow the regulations.

You may also need to obtain a building permit before you start your project.

Here are simple ways to enclose your porch or patio:


Screens are a go-to choice for enclosing patios and porches. Screens allow the fresh air and natural light in and let you enjoy the view of the outdoors while keeping mosquitos and other bugs out.

You can create a screened-in room by adding a screen frame and rolling screen panels around your porch or patio.

Screens can be made from aluminum screen mesh, polyester, fibreglass, bronze, or stainless steel.

To enclose your outdoor space with screen doors, consider using wooden screen doors and the following tips:

  • Build a wooden frame with rectangular openings framed on the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Attach wooden screen doors to the openings with eye hook latches or by screwing the doors into the frame.
  • Mount a screen door on hinges for an exit.

Aluminum screen doors with glass panels are another option for protection from the elements.

Storm Doors

With glass storm doors, you can enclose your patio or porch without losing the open feel of an outdoor living space.

To build a storm door enclosure on a budget, consider using salvaged storm doors, and follow these steps:

  • Build a wooden frame with sections that are the same width as your storm doors in the open area under the beam of your patio or porch roof.
  • Remove the hardware from the doors.
  • Tape off the glass.
  • Spray paint the frames of the doors so they are all the same colour.
  • Hang the doors in the frame to create a wall of windows around the patio.
  • Hang one door on its hinges so you will have a functional door to exit the enclosure.


For privacy, consider hanging long window shades from the roof of your patio or porch. Shades, such as bamboo shades, can be mounted side by side along the open sides of the patio to enclose it.

When you want privacy, draw the shades to enclose your patio. And when not in use, especially in bad weather, open the shades to protect them from the elements.

Uncovered Patio

If your patio doesn’t have a roof, you can create one with a prefabricated canvas gazebo or canopy. These are cheap and easy options for enclosing a patio for shade, shelter from the elements, and privacy.

Gazebos and canopies are built with metal frames that have canvas stretched above the patio, and the sides usually open with canvas or screen panels. The frames are anchored in place, and the tops often fold up like awnings.

Another option for privacy in an uncovered patio is latticework. You can easily install a lattice around your porch or patio with the following instructions:

  1. Build a frame that you will attach the lattice to.
  2. Take measurements for the lattice. Latticework typically comes in two sheet sizes—2 by 4 feet and 4 by 4 feet. Measure the lattice from the outer edges of the vertical boards and the inside edges of the horizontal boards.
  3. Cut the lattice. While there are several ways to cut lattice, a circular saw is the most efficient tool to use. Before cutting the lattice, set a piece of plywood on sawhorses or a stable surface. Set the latticework on top of the plywood. And adjust the saw blade so it is ¼ inch below the lattice. Mark the measurements on the lattice with a chalk line and carefully cut the lattice to these dimensions.
  4. Attach the lattice to the frame using wood staples.
  5. For a clean finished look, attach trim pieces around the frame, directly on top of the lattice. Start with the bottom trim, then the top, and finish with the side trim. Cut the trim with a 45-degree angle on each side for a better finish than regular butt joining.

Outdoor Curtains or Drapes

Outdoor curtains made of clear vinyl can be easily installed on your porch or patio roof with Velcro (fixed) or a track system so you can slide the curtains open.

Decide on Flooring

When transforming your outdoor patio or porch into an enclosed room, also consider the type of flooring you’ll want in this space. Perhaps you’ll keep the existing patio or porch surface, especially if it’s still in good condition. Or maybe you’ll want wood or concrete flooring.

To create an enclosed porch or patio on a budget, consider these enclosed patio ideas. With so many options to choose from and make your own, you can get the privacy and shelter you need without going over budget.