The long days of summers are starting to wind down. It won’t be too long before the cool fall breezes start, accompanied by cold rain showers and falling leaves. For most people, this indicates the time of year to start prepping their patios and porches for winter. Being able to spend time outdoors when the weather turns cooler or it is raining is going to have to wait until spring.
However, did you know you don’t have to prep your patio for fall and winter by clearing it off and putting things away? Instead, you can continue to enjoy your patio in the rain, snow, or cooler weather by installing clear vinyl patio curtains. The patio curtains help you enclose your patio or porch to block out the elements and keep your outdoor area dry and comfortable.
Tips for Enclosing Your Patio or Porch
If your patio or porch already has a covering, like an extended roof from your home, you are all set to order and install clear vinyl drop curtains to enclose the outdoor space. On the other hand, if your patio or porch is not covered, then the first thing you will need to do is put a covering over it to be able to fully enclose it.
- Decide what type of cover you want.
There are different types of patio and porch covers you can use. You could extend the roof of your home over the area. Another option is to build a new structure with its own roof. Some people also install a pergola over their porch and patio, and then cover it with the same high-quality vinyl curtains to keep rain, snow, and cold air from coming in through the top.
- Choose the type of material to use for the “roof” of the enclosure.
You could use the same style of shingles that are on your home if you want it to match exactly. You may decide you want to use a different type of roofing material, like a metal roof or cedar shingles. In milder climates you could use a heavy-duty fabric; however, this will not keep moisture out if it gets overly saturated. So, you would want to use additional clear vinyl plastic panel enclosures over the fabric for an added layer of protection.
- Determine what type of drainage system you need.
You will want to make sure water drains away from the patio or porch correctly. The easiest way to do this is to angle the roof of the enclosure away from the home. You should extend the roof out far, so water will not run off right next to your patio or porch. Otherwise, if there is excessive water that accumulates, it could get under the patio or porch and create other problems.
If you are extending the roof of your home, then you could install gutters and downspouts to drain the water far enough away. If you are building a separate structure, you could also use gutters and downspouts. Another option is to have the water drain in the center of the roof and create a natural looking “waterfall” effect into a drain line that runs down the center, and then underneath and out the side of the patio or porch.
- Measure to determine what size patio curtains you will need.
Once your structure is built, you are ready to measure and order your custom clear vinyl drop curtains. While you might be tempted to order the vinyl curtains prior to building the cover for your patio or porch, this is never a good idea. If you just “estimate” the size you need to enclose, you could end up with improper fitting curtains or ones that do not fully enclose the entire space. Make sure to take accurate measurements by measuring twice.
- Order your patio curtains.
Since we are already at the end of summer, timing is important if you want to get your new clear vinyl patio or porch curtains installed before winter arrives. It can take between four to six weeks for a company to custom make your curtains to your specifications and requirements and ship them to you.
You will want to make sure to order yours now, so you have them before fall ends. This will still leave you plenty of time to get them up so you can enjoy your patio or porch during the holidays and all winter long!
- Install your new patio curtains.
Once your new vinyl curtains arrive, they are ready to be installed. Make sure to allow the vinyl time to acclimate for at least 24 hours by taking your curtains out of the box. You want to make sure they are installed during warmer weather, as the vinyl could stiffen a little when it is below freezing, and it then becomes harder to install. While the vinyl is acclimating, you can install at the top the aluminum track the curtains will be secured to.
- Install each panel individually.
You will want to make sure they are close enough together so you can easily zip one panel to the next. If they are too far apart, it can make zipping them closed rather difficult. Once the panels are installed, you can zip them closed to verify they fit correctly.
- Secure the bottom of the panels using the tie-downs.
Each clear vinyl drop curtain will have tie-downs on the bottom. You use these to secure the bottom of the panel to your porch or patio and block out rain, snow, wind, leaves, and pests.
Putting the Finishing Touches on Your New Enclosed Patio or Porch
Now that your patio or porch has been enclosed, there will be several finishing touches to make the new space your own. Some of the more popular things people do include:
- Hang up holiday lights. Since the sun sets sooner in the fall and winter, you will want to light up your patio or porch. Clear and colored holiday lights are a great way to do this. If you use LED lights, they are very energy efficient.
- Add some greenery. Some people like to have plants, small trees, or flowers on their patio or porch. A small evergreen tree you are growing is a great addition for the holiday season.
- Install a source of heat. Even with your high-quality vinyl patio curtains, you may still like a source of heat. Some people use natural gas fire pits. Other people like wood-burning appliances. Yet others like to install a fireplace with a chimney. Just remember to make sure your source of heat doesn’t get too close to your vinyl curtains and that there is proper ventilation.
- Install an outdoor TV and sound system. You will be spending more time outdoors on your patio or porch. You may want to enjoy your favorite sports and shows or listen to your favorite music while relaxing in your new enclosed space.
Once your patio or porch has been enclosed, and you put your finishing touches on it, you will certainly want to invite over friends and family to show it off. Plus, you will have additional space you can use for any holiday gatherings at your home!
Beyond the fall and winter months, your new vinyl patio curtains will make it possible to spend even more time outdoors in the spring and summer months. In the spring, you won’t have to worry about rain showers or the high pollen counts that arrive after the rainy season stops. In the summer, you will be able to relax outside in a shaded area out of the heat! You could even get custom sun shades that are compatible with your vinyl curtains to block out direct sunlight!
For further information about clear vinyl porch and patio enclosures, or assistance in ordering your custom curtains, please feel free to contact Enclosure Guy at (830) 445-4500 to speak with a representative or use our online “Quick Quote” request form today!
All of our enclosure products are made from high-quality materials, right here in the U.S.A., and are designed to last a long time and bring years of enjoyment. Business owners can use our same high-quality patio enclosures so your customers can continue to use your outdoor spaces year round!