What is an Enclosed Patio?

Micki Elizabeth

An enclosed patio is an extension of a house that usually consists of some type of patio area closed off in some way from outdoor elements. It is often used for lounging, dining, and entertaining. There are many different types of enclosed patios, ranging from screened-in porches to sunrooms and solariums. No matter the type of enclosure, this architectural addition can have many benefits.

Sunrooms are a form of enclosed patio.
Sunrooms are a form of enclosed patio.

An enclosed patio may take several different forms. Homes that have an existing outdoor patio or porch area extending from the house may choose to add an enclosure. Surrounding the area with screens can help shade the patio while still allowing a breeze to be felt. Glass walls or retractable canopies could also make an existing patio into an enclosed patio without totally losing the feel of being outdoors.

The many windows of a sunroom give the feeling of being outdoors.
The many windows of a sunroom give the feeling of being outdoors.

Sunrooms are one common type of enclosed patio. A sunroom is named for its many windows that give the feel of being outside while staying completely enclosed indoors. Some individuals choose to build sunrooms out of the same materials a home would be built of and can even heat or cool this type of patio. Doing so could allow one to use a sunroom all year long, despite the weather.

A solarium is another kind of enclosed patio and is generally a fairly expensive addition to a home. A solarium is similar to a sunroom, but it also has glass or window ceilings. The ceiling may be quite high and are often vaulted.

No matter the type of enclosed patio a home has, the area can be used in many ways. People who enjoy dining outdoors can feel they are eating outside while enjoying the benefits of being indoors. Many people consider an enclosed patio part of the home and may even decorate the space with furniture and electronics, making the area equipped for lounging and entertaining guests.

Patios that are closed off to the outdoors have many benefits that an open patio does not. In general, they give an individual the feeling of being outdoors while protecting him from harsh weather. An enclosed patio is typically cooler when the weather outside is warm and warmer when the weather outside is cold. With the exception of screen doors, many enclosures could shield a patio from rain and snow.

Screens and walls can also keep many bugs out of the area. This benefit can make dining on a patio safer and more peaceful. Furthermore, many individuals simply like the privacy an enclosure provides, making it more difficult for others to see inside the home.

Many enclosed patios are built and decorated specifically to match the home’s aesthetic features Many porches and patios may be considered rustic, but they can also be modern and chic. Enclosed outdoor areas like these may also increase a home’s value.

A sun porch is a type of patio enclosure.
A sun porch is a type of patio enclosure.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- Whether or not a basic enclosed patio can be turned into a room that can be heated and cooled depends on the way it is made and how much you have to spend in your budget.

If you have an enclosed patio that is basically enclosed with screens from top to bottom, you will most likely have to add some additional structure to add windows. This will make them more secure and weather proof, however, the building materials that you will need may be costly.

If your patio already has partial walls, it will be easier for you to turn it into an all-season room. Adding framework for windows and some insulation may be all you have to do to convert your patio into a room that you can use no matter how cold it gets outside. The best way to find out what you will need to do to make this goal possible is to have your patio evaluated by a builder.


Can a basic enclosed patio be converted into an all-season sunroom? I would like to be able to use mine all year by installing heat and air conditioning, though currently it is only enclosed with screens.

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