Creating an Indoor Patio: Planning Creating an Indoor Patio: Planning

Whether you're thinking about enclosing or covering your existing patio or building one from scratch, your finished product will enhance your enjoyment of your home and patio by giving you more 'living' room and extending the time you can enjoy the outdoors. Just think about it, simply covering and screening in your existing patio will help protect you from the sun and rain while at the same time keeping nasty biting bugs away from you all evening.

A more permanent enclosure with a foundation, roof, walls and windows could become a three season (or if you live in a warm area of the country), even a four season room. Often, enclosing a patio is a project many DIY'ers can take on since it generally only requires basic building skills. However, like any successful project enclosing your patio does require upfront planning. Here's some ideas of things you should keep in mind if you're thinking about enclosing your patio.

How are you going to use your enclosed patio?

  • Patios can be used for lots of different purposes – relaxing with family and friends, a quiet place where you can enjoy nature and revel in the peace and quiet or as an outdoor spa complete with a hot tub and loungers. You need to decide what the primary purpose of your enclosed patio will be before you can make your next decision –

What design makes the most sense

  • Consider how many people will be regularly using your patio to will help figure the size of your patio. Obviously the more people using it, the larger it should be to accommodate them. It's best to be generous in your space estimates so everyone will feel comfortable. Ensure your original design is large enough to accommodate everyone easily and keep in mind, it's much easier to initially build larger than trying to add on after the fact.
  • When determining your patio's actual location, think about the location of the sun throughout the day and how you're going to provide shade and ventilation inside your patio.
  • The location of your patio relative to other rooms in your house is another important consideration (close to kitchen and bathrooms) as well as deciding whether you want to be able to access it from outside as well as from inside.

Don't forget the legalities

  • It's quite likely that building an enclosed patio will require a building permit . Check with local authorities to find out what the building code requires for your patio and make sure your design and implementation will conform with the code in your area.
  • As well, in many areas it's illegal to dig (even on your own property) without contacting local utilities and having them mark the location of their facilities. If you dig through a buried cable, water or gas line without taking this precaution this you will be responsible for the cost of fixing it (and may also be subject to a fine).
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Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer over 800 articles published on the web as well as in print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics and is a regular contributor to He can be contacted at [email protected]

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