patio and porches

A Short Guide for Designing the Perfect Enclosure for Your Home


An enclosed outdoor living space will always be a great addition to any home. It lets you use more of the outdoor space that you already have. And, it improves the quality of the space by keeping bugs out and providing some protection from the elements.

But, check out this guide first before you jump into getting one for your home. It gives you the most important considerations in deciding which enclosures are right for your home.

Whether it’s for all-year-round swimming, cooking outdoors, or relaxing on your patio, we can design an outdoor screen enclosure that suits your specific lifestyle and needs. Contact us now for a free consultation with our designers to see how an outdoor screen enclosure will look for your home.

Choose the Right Enclosure for your Use

Screen Roof Enclosure

Screen roof enclosures are stand-alone or extended structures in a property. These use aluminum as its structural material with screens enveloping its walls and roof.

Screen roof enclosures are often constructed to keep leaves and bugs out of an area without keeping natural air and sunlight out. These are often used on patios, decks, and pool areas.

Although it does not have a solid roof, the screen still blocks off some sun to prevent direct sunlight exposure. Instead, the inside of the enclosure has gentler and softer sunshine. But, it will not be able to block rain or strong winds from getting into your enclosure.

Screen roof enclosures can be built one to two stories tall. And, these can have concrete foundations when necessary or desired by the property owner.  

Under-truss Screen Enclosures

As its name implies, under-truss screen enclosures are constructed around areas under the roofline of a home. Such areas include verandas, roofed balconies, attached roofed patios, and porches. These are often called screened-in lanais due to how any under-roof screen enclosures in a home transform into an open-air living room.

Under-truss screen enclosures do not need structural work since it’s all done under the roof and on an existing footprint of a larger structure. All the framing installed is for putting up the screen and other enclosure elements. There will be some challenges when it comes to building around existing structural elements. But, these are only a minor challenge for any competent outdoor enclosure contractor.

These under-truss enclosures cost less than standalone enclosures. They have a shorter construction time since it uses the footprint and structure of the house to support itself. Moreover, it usually involves little to no paperwork for most locations since it’s not considered an additional structure. 

Solid Roof Screen Enclosures

These are constructed in a similar manner as a screen roof enclosure. The only difference is that they need stronger structural support for the heavier roof material. Roofing is made of polycarbonate sheets or traditional roofing material.

Unlike under-truss screen enclosures, these do not sit under the roof of your home. It could be a standalone structure in your backyard, an enclosed structure attached to your home, or an extension for your covered patio. Solid roof screen enclosures can be installed in your home to create an outdoor living area, a shaded pool enclosure, or both.

Sunroom Enclosure

If you prefer to have an outdoor enclosure where you can spend some time all year round, a sunroom enclosure might be a better option for you. Sunrooms can have glass or traditional roofing. What sets them apart from other enclosures is their use of floor-to-ceiling glass for its walls, windows, and doors. Of course, you can have some flexibility when it comes to this by installing rolling glass and screen panels. This will let you open your windows for ventilation during the warmer times of the year.

The solid walls and roofs of a sunroom enable you to spend time in it for at least three seasons of the year. With transparent or translucent roofing, it can double as a greenhouse for those who want to grow more sensitive plants in their home. And, even if you don’t plan to have any plants in it, you can stargaze during the night and bask under the sun during the day.

There are two primary types of sunroom enclosures – three season rooms and four-season rooms. These two are often mistaken to be the same. What sets them apart is that the four-season room has insulated glass and is connected to the house for heating and cooling. The three-season room can still have some insulation by using double-paned glass. But, it’s a more affordable option since there’s no need for renovating to have it connected to the house’s air conditioning.

Pick the Right Material to Cover Your Enclosure

Mesh Screen

There are two mesh screens used for enclosures – the standard mesh screen and the no-see-um screen.

As the name implies, the standard mesh screen is the one most people would use for their enclosures. It has 18 openings horizontally and 14 openings vertically for every square inch. The standard mesh screen is good enough for keeping most insects and pests out of the enclosure.

As for the no-see-um screen, it is called such because it can keep the no-see-ums from getting into your enclosure. It has 20 x 20 openings for every square inch. Some screen manufacturers use fiberglass to maximize the strength and durability of screens with such tiny openings.

Florida Glass

Florida Glass is a product from screen manufacturer Phifer. It is a fiberglass mesh laminated with vinyl. This combination of materials and lamination results in a similar look as frosted glass. It offers privacy to the enclosure and is a durable material that can last for years. And, since it’s a solid surface, it can block off dust, wind, and water from getting into an enclosure.

Since nobody wants to completely block off ventilation for your enclosure, it is best used in combination with a mesh screen. For example, in pool enclosures, these are used at the lower part of the walls for privacy and to prevent water splashing out of the enclosure.

Tuff Mesh

Also known as pet screens, it is made of heavy-duty and hard-wearing aluminum material. These still look like your typical mesh screen aside from their black color. Tuff mesh screens can resist acid, alkali, punctures, and tears. It is ideal for any home with a pet or in areas with wildlife since it will not puncture or tear the screen when their claws scratch it.

patio and porches

Choose the Right Location for Your Enclosure

There are three common locations for enclosures in the home – the lanai, patio, and porch.
Read on to find out the advantages of enclosing said areas in your home.

Outdoor Screen Enclosure

Want to See How Your Home Will Look Like With a Screen Enclosure?

Reading this will never be enough to decide if a screen enclosure will look good on your lanai, patio, or porch. Contact us for an appointment and we can take a look at your home and draw up a design on paper or 3D render. We can also give you how much the different options will specifically cost for your home. Contact us today!

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