If you have a porch or patio that sits unused for most of the year, you may want to explore enclosing it. Several factors contribute to what kind of enclosure will work best for your lifestyle. Here are some of the best options to consider:
Mosquito netting is the simplest and most inexpensive way to enclose your porch. The nets only require a few hooks to hang them when needed, and can be taken down or tied back when not in use. This is a good option if you want to use the porch as a place to put tables of food when entertaining in the summer, or for sitting out in the early morning and early evening when insects are most active.
A collapsible tent enclosure is a great option for open patios that need a bit more protection from the elements and insects. They are generally used only in the warmer months and stored over the winter. These tents have a waterproof fabric roof and flexible screen walls on an aluminum frame.
Lattice is an inexpensive way to enclose your porch which provides privacy but not a lot of protection from the weather or insects. If your porch is south-facing, lattice is a good choice to provide shading from the afternoon sun. Adding screen to the inside of the lattice will also help keep out insects.
A screened porch is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors insect-free at all times of day during at least three seasons of the year. You can screen in only the top and have solid bottom walls, or have solid screen walls. Add waterproof roll-up curtains to keep it dry during inclement weather or add privacy when desired.
A sun porch is a windowed enclosure that can be used all year. How weatherproof it is depends on the types and quality of windows used. Depending on your budget, sun porches can be heated and cooled as needed to create an all-season space.
A greenhouse porch is usually a steel or aluminum lean-to structure that can be enclosed with glass, acrylic or polyethylene. It is a less expensive and easier way to enclose an open patio area along one wall of the house than constructing standard walls and windows. The covering is usually tinted, but additional shade may be required in the summer. This type of porch enclosure is well-suited to those who want to feel as if they are outdoors and those who enjoy having green and growing plant life around them all year long.
While some of these enclosures can be easy DIY projects, other options may require a professional, like those at Lexington Tent & Awning. It's always best to check with the pros to see if what you want is possible to construct within your budget.