The cost to build a patio enclosure depends on what you envision. You’ll spend anywhere between $8,526 and $22,823, with an average price of $15,196 for most enclosures. By enclosing the patio, you add more livable space to your home. Some people turn their patios into sunrooms, while others merely add screens to protect from bugs. There's also the option to completely enclose the room into another regular room on your home. The goal is to have an outdoor space where you can relax, maybe sipping a beverage and watching the sun rise or set. Here are some cost factors to keep in mind when creating your patio enclosure.
Full, Partial or Sunroom?
The first decision you need to make is: what kind of enclosure do you want? There are three varieties: full enclosure, partial enclosure or a sunroom. How do you tell the difference?
Full enclosure ($20,000+): This is a completely built structure, either onto your home or separate from it. Everything -- foundation, walls, windows, doors, roof -- are built custom and from scratch. If you add it onto your home, the contractor will try and have it match the rest of the home. There might also be electrical and plumbing elements added.
Partial enclosure ($5,000 - $10,000): This is usually when you have a patio space that’s not enclosed. You can usually add screens to enclose the space without doing more extensive work. You might also add doors, windows or a different roof.
Sunroom ($15,000 - $22,000): Oftentimes, these are pre-fabricated additions. There will be climate controls to keep it from getting mildew or mold. Someone builds it off-site and then brings it to install onto your home. You can have it customized however you would like.
Some factors you need to keep in mind when choosing between these three options are:
Whether you’ll need a permit
Walls to add/replace
Windows to add on
While you won’t have to worry about most of these with a partial enclosure, they are major considerations with a full enclosure or a sunroom. This is especially true if you will have to knock down walls for the addition to your home.
Roofs are essential to protecting your enclosure from weather conditions. Depending on the type of enclosure, you can choose between a traditional roof or an awning. When considering which one to invest in, here are some pros & cons to consider:
Patio roofs: These are the safest option. They would protect the best against weather like snow and hail. They are more expensive because they’re like traditional home roofs, though for a smaller square footage. The other downside is you can’t take them on and off, since they’re permanent.
Awnings: The first and foremost pro of awnings is their cost. They are far cheaper than a traditional roof. They are not as durable though, given they can be made of fabric. Plus they can be damaged by weather conditions, so maintenance is essential.
Another factor to consider in your enclosure is the total square footage. You’ll have to figure out the size, which then determines how much in materials you’ll need. The bigger the square footage, the more you’re going to spend on everything else. That’s where partial enclosures will not cost as much, despite its square footage. The easiest thing you can do with them is to add screens, which is far less expensive than starting from scratch.
Make sure to keep the following in mind when determining square footage:
Outside of full, partial or sunroom, there are more specific types of enclosure designs to consider in your overall construction:
Four season: These are high-class, climate controlled enclosures. You can use them in the heat of summer or the depths of a cold winter.
Porch enclosures: This is when you enclose your existing porch with either glass or screens. Screens make it useful during temperate weather, while glass allows more of a four-season usage.
Screen rooms: This is when you just enclose a space with screens. It’s quick, simple but not always weather-effective (especially with snow).
Solariums: This is when both the walls and roof are made of glass. It allows the sun to flow in during the warm days. These are often used for indoor gardens or potted plants.
Three season: Depending on where you live, this type of enclosure can handle most seasons. They’re not designed for areas with heavy winters or extreme summers. They have no heating and cooling installed.
Traditional sunroom: These are the “true” add-ons to your home, designed to match the rest of the home and act like a room addition. You can use the same materials as your home is made of, just with more windows and another door.
If you want to have a very elaborate and complex addition, then you’re going to need windows. Sunrooms usually have 40% of the walls covered in windows. So you need to consider how many windows you want, what size and any insulation or decorative add-ons. You’re going to probably pay about $1,200 to $3,200 for four windows. It will be more if you add more than five windows.
If this sounds incredibly expensive, then you might consider screens instead. Mesh, curtains or other types of see-through material are less expensive to add than windows. However, that does come with the downside of not enjoying your enclosure in inclement weather. If you want to add screens around your enclosure, expect to pay about $280.
Some types of enclosures will need permits. Full enclosures or custom sunrooms will definitely require this, especially if they change your home’s existing structure in any way. Partial enclosures probably will not require one, unless you do something complex in addition to screens or windows. You’ll pay around $910 for a permit. Check with your local municipalities before you embark on this project. You don’t want to redo the project later because it isn’t up to code.
Once your enclosure is up and running, it’s time to consider the extras. What kind of space do you want the enclosure to be? What will be its overall purpose for you? Here are some add-ons you might consider for your enclosure:
Environmental controls: While most enclosures don’t come with heating or cooling, you can have them installed.
Greenery: If you want the enclosure to work as a secondary garden space, think about potted plants or planter boxes.
Infrared heaters: If you don’t want a fireplace but to keep your space warm in winter, an infrared heater is energy-efficient and cost-effective.
Motorized screens: These could be essential to protecting your enclosure during inclement weather. One press of a button, and you could avoid hundreds in repair bills.
Outdoor entertainment systems: If you want to make the enclosure an entertainment space, you could add a TV, stereo system or a mini home theater.
Outdoor fireplaces: For those cool nights, a fireplace could warm the space so you can still enjoy it. If you do a traditional fireplace -- coal, wood -- make sure you have an exhaust vent in the roof.
Privacy shades: If you have windows in the enclosure, privacy shades could help to cool it on a hot day, or you can use it to block your neighbor’s view.
Seating: To enjoy your enclosure, think about seating like pillows, rugs, tables with chairs or even a La-Z-Boy.