In the midst of the fall season, you are probably dreading counting the days until you can no longer enjoy your outdoor patio until spring. This also means, if you don’t want your furniture, grill, and other items ruined by the rain, ice, and snow of winter, you have to store them in your garage or a protected storage shed.
Not to mention, what about all the leaves that will accumulate on the patio during the fall? If you don’t clean these up, and they get wet, they will badly stain your patio. Then there is the wetness of wintertime, which can eat away at your patio’s painted and stained areas, as well as damage concrete foundations.
Come spring, you will have to give your patio some TLC before you can set the space back up and enjoy it. This could mean a good power washing, resealing, re-painting, and other such tasks. Then you have to haul all of your furniture, grill, and other items out of storage and clean those, too.
What if you didn’t have to worry about the effects fall and winter have on your patio, let alone all the added work? For a moment, imagine being able to enjoy your patio on those cool fall nights with your friends and family as you sit around the fire and make s’mores or cuddle up with your loved one while you sip hot cocoa or another warm beverage for adults.
You could even plan holiday gatherings where your friends and family could enjoy spending time outdoors, not crammed on top of each other inside your house! If these things sound appealing to you, then you will want to transform your outdoor patio with patio enclosures so you can enjoy it year round.
If you want to avoid the hassles of putting away patio furniture, your grill, and other items, and not worry about leaves or dampness this fall and winter, now is the time to get to work on your patio’s transformation. To convert your patio into a space you can use at any time of the year, there are several important steps you need to follow.
Step 1: Decide What Type of Patio Enclosure You Want
The key to enjoying your patio year round will mean installing some sort of cover over the space. There are different types of structures you can explore, such as:
- Add a retractable awning. (we (EnclosureGuy) cannot add curtains to a retractable awning, it has to be a permanent frame awning.) Our curtains are attached with a track at the top and screwed into the roof header or metal frame of an awning. Awnings are a great option if you live in more moderate climates like Southern Texas, Florida, or Southern California. You can open the awning on bright sunny days to make shade and use it on rainy days to stay dry. You could even add some patio curtains and leave the awning up in the cooler winter months.
- Extend the roof of your home over the patio. This option can be time-consuming and require obtaining building permits. The costs to install this type of cover can be more expensive than your other options. Yet the finished product could potentially increase the value of your home.
- Install a stand-alone structure over the patio. These kits are available at Lowes and Home Depot…..FYI plus they can have an actual roof. Just an FYI J Garden terraces are one such stand-alone option you might choose. They are easy to set up and secure into the ground or into your patio decking. The only drawback is some options do not have a completely enclosed top and has gaps. However, you can add polycarbonate roofing which allows light and is very durable in snowy climates. Try metal roofing to block the sun, if you live in a very sunny climate to reduce the heat in the summer. Use clear vinyl plastic panel enclosures on the side openings to stop rain and snow from getting in. (We don’t do clear vinyl tops, the fabric isn’t stable enough, ie hail storms, to endure as a roof, plus it’s difficult to clean on the roof and looks lousy after a season if you don’t polish it, it’s not practical…only solid or mesh/sunshade as long as there is a pitch to the roof to shed the water/snow the client could use: Polycarbonate roofing
Step 2: Install the Patio Enclosure Cover
Once you decide which type of roof cover you want, the next step is to install it. This step may require the assistance of a professional contractor, depending on which option you choose. If you want to enjoy your patio this fall and winter, we recommend installing the stand-alone structure over the patio since it is fairly easy and quick to do.
Step 3: Order Outdoor Patio Curtains and Shades
Once the structure and roof are completed, you can measure the space to know what size clear vinyl drop curtains and shades to order. Our design engineer will work with you through this process to ensure you measure correctly. Since the size you need may have to be customized, it can take between four and six weeks, sometimes longer, before they will arrive at your home.
Drop curtains are a must if you want to block out wind, rain, and snow. They also work well at keeping most of the cold air out, although some of our customers in colder areas supplement their drop curtains with a second layer of protection by also adding drop shades to their enclosed patio.
Shades not only provide an added layer to stop cold air and wind but help block rain and snow, too. Not to mention, they are great for keeping bright, direct sunlight out of your eyes in the morning and evening hours.
TIP: Your vinyl curtains and shades need to be installed in temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is colder than this and you attempt to install them, you could accidentally damage the vinyl because it is too cold. However, once installed, they are designed to withstand the cold temperatures of winter. You can still install them during the colder months with some special care. Store the curtains in a heated space in the house and allow them to reach room temperature. Install the tracking and Velcro straps while the curtains are inside. Install the curtains by sliding them in the track, one at a time. Install the tie down hardware and clip the curtains to the tie down hardware to keep them from blowing around. Do not roll them up or leave them rolled up in temperatures under 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Install Your Vinyl Patio Curtains
Here at EnclosureGuy, we do our very best to make installing our vinyl patio curtains and shades as easy as possible. We highly recommend reviewing our installation videos and articles online to determine whether this is a project you want to tackle on your own. If it looks beyond your abilities, then we recommend getting help from a qualified contractor to install your new patio shades and curtains.
TIP: If you have plants you want to keep outdoors, our vinyl enclosures will allow you to transform your patio into a solarium to protect them from the colder fall and winter months.
Step 5: Add Finishing Touches to Your New Enclosed Patio
Now that your new curtains are installed, you will want to put the finishing touches on your patio so you can fully enjoy it through the fall and winter months. Some suggested ideas are:
- Install a Built-in Fire Pit Table – There are a wide variety of fire pit tables to choose from that can help add warmth and beauty to your patio.
- Add Additional Lighting – You may want to add some more ambient lighting to your outdoor patio since it gets dark earlier in the fall and winter months.
- Get Some Infrared Heat Lamps/Electric Heaters – If you live in colder climates, these devices will keep you and your family comfortable while spending time on the patio.
- Install an Outdoor Ceiling Fan – A ceiling fan is great to have to circulate warm air in the fall and winter, as well as a cool breeze in the warmer spring and summer months.
- Get a Hot Tub – Nothing beats a cold, snowy winter day more than sitting in a hot tub protected from the elements inside your new patio enclosure.
TIP: Make sure to keep fire pits, heat lamps, and electric heaters away from your vinyl curtains. If you use gas or wood-burning appliances, you will want to make sure there is proper ventilation and remove any vinyl panels that are directly near or over them.
Step 6: Host an Outdoor Fall or Holiday Party
To celebrate your newly enclosed patio, host a Halloween or holiday party for your friends and family. Once they see how much enjoyment your patio is going to bring year-round, they, too, will surely want to enclose their patios!
To learn more about our outdoor climate control patio enclosures, or for assistance in selecting and ordering the right enclosure products, please feel free to contact EnclosureGuy at 888-254-6892 today!
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