Patio Enclosures

Brush up on your knowledge of patio enclosures, and get design ideas from the experts at HGTV.

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By: Sean McEvoy
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A patio enclosure can be a great addition to any outdoor space. It can afford shelter from the elements or create a space that allows for indoor/outdoor seating or sun bathing. Options for patio enclosures vary greatly in terms of price and style. If you're considering adding a patio enclosure to your back yard or pool area, you'll want to explore these helpful tips.

9 Patio Design Ideas

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A Grand Entrance

The staircase is not only a fabulous focal point; it divides the space into two rooms. While the upper level is designated for dining, the lower level is ideal for patio furniture that encourages further lounging. Photo courtesy of Joanne Kostecky

Southwestern Flair

From cactus plants to iron elements, a rustic colored awning to stucco, this patio takes an eye-catching approach to comfort and southwestern design. It's a small space, but the strategic landscape adds a punch of flavor to the elevated structure. Photo courtesy of Landscaping Network

A Courtyard With Character

This courtyard patio brings the indoors out with designated areas to relax. Two plush chairs create a conversational corner, the extra seating surounding the tree is ideal for entertaining, and comfortable bench seats provide a delightful dining experience.

Serene Surroundings

Water elements go a long way in a backyard escape. This patio is surrounded by a moat-like feature, which defines the outdoor space.

Modern Design

Clean lines and a variety of different textures forms a trendy retreat for guests. Extra privacy is designed with lush plants, shrubs and trees. Photo courtesy of Landscaping Network

A Pleasing Patio

Pergolas add instant charm and architectural interest to any patio. This shaded sitting area features comfy cushion chairs and shrubbery for a pleasant outdoor experience.

Rooftop Patios

Take advantage of your view with a rooftop patio. Outfitted with concrete materials, an abundance of built-in sitting space and a pizza oven, this outdoor space is packed with luxury. Photo courtesy of Concrete Network

Clean and Contemporary

Sometimes you don't need a lot of details to enjoy your outdoor experience. Simplicity meets serenity in this contemporary escape. Photo courtesy of Royal Botania

Extravagant Entertaining

With stunning stone materials, earthy fabrics and an opulent fireplace, this patio is warm and inviting. The functional patio design features a place to dine, gather with guests and play yard games. Photo courtesy of Westover and Photography by Rich Pomerantz

The first question to ask yourself if you're considering a patio enclosure is "what's it for?" If you're primarily concerned with privacy, you might consider an enclosure made entirely of fencing or shrubbery (unless helicopter surveillance is a concern).

If, on the other hand, you want a multi-use space that allows for sunbathing or shaded relaxation, you might want to consider a solarium style enclosure with a glass or plastic overhang or roof, or a partially covered enclosure that allows for light to enter but keeps some portions of the enclosure in shade.

In terms of constructing your patio enclosure, you have three choices: you can build it yourself, hire someone to build it, or purchase a pre-fabricated enclosure from a home improvement or garden store. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages.

The DIY route allows for the most customization but requires sweat equity. Hiring a contractor will likely result in a design that's both sturdy and attractive, but prepare to pay handsomely. And the pre-fab option is as easy as heading to your local home improvement store, pointing and saying "that one;" however, "pre-fab" has a certain, not-exactly-high-style reputation for a reason. The good news is, your options for patio enclosure styles and designs are virtually unlimited.

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