You're trying to relax on your patio or in your yard, but you have to sit up every ten seconds to swat at a bug, or you keep having to shift to keep the sun's glare out of your eyes. Ideally, you'd like a screened in patio, but you're not sure how to build one. If you only use it for gatherings, is it even worth it? See if some of these Screened In Patio Ideas fit your needs.
1) Weather Pod
You need protection from rain and bad weather to make your screened in patio into a four-season patio, but renovation is expensive. Building a fully screened in patio may take more time and effort than you need to go to. Instead, use a weather pod like this. It's designed to keep snow out during the winter so that you can use the patio year-round. You can even take it down during warm months if you only want the cover for winter weather.
2) Home Gym
A screened in patio gives you a lot more options than an uncovered one. You can now use the patio year-round, though it may be cold in winter, and you don't have to worry about being rained on while using it during the rest of the year. One new option is to create a home gym on your patio since the sensitive equipment won't be harmed by rain. Read this article by Lytron from Eagle Patio Covers to learn about some of the things you can do to design a covered home gym.
3) Add Doors
If you already have a screened in patio, or you're looking to build one, and you haven't figured out your furniture and layout yet, add plenty of doors. Putting a door on each side of a square patio can make it feel like a gazebo. You'll also be able to use the space more efficiently since people don't have to walk around the furniture to leave through a single door. This is an excellent idea for a small patio in particular.
4) Pop-Up Canopy
If you like the sun but want to be able to use your patio in winter, there's a way to have both. Instead of building a permanent structure around your patio, you can buy a pop-up canopy like this to temporarily screen it in and block snow in winter. Then, take the pop-up down so that you can sit and enjoy the sun during the rest of the year. This canopy also has netting, so if you want to use it more often, it can keep bugs out during the summer.
5) Make It Feel Like Indoors
As the writer of this Within the Grove article suggests, you want your patio to feel like an extension of your home, but how do you accomplish this? You'll want to use plenty of outdoor cushions and carpets because they feel like something you’d put indoors, but they won't be harmed if a little moisture gets in. If the patio is attached to the house, think about the room it's attached to, and make it look like a part of that room. If the patio's not attached to the house, try using decor that's similar to your house's decor.
6) Fake Plants
You screened your patio in to keep the elements out, but there might be a few outdoor elements that you'd like to keep in. One thing you might want to keep is the feeling of being out in nature, but that can be hard if your patio roof blocks too much sun for plants to grow. Try getting fake plants like these to make your patio look like an outdoor garden without the inconvenience of watering plants and cleaning up after them. You can even opt for a privacy fence with these plants instead of screening in the patio.
7) DIY Framing
A wood frame is a typical way to enclose a patio, and it's probably your best bet for a permanent year-round or three-season patio. Wood framing is strong and creates a frame for either mesh screens or glass windows, depending on your budget. If you choose to frame the walls yourself, you can use this video by MrKistel to frame walls for a patio attached to your house, or find a tutorial for freestanding patio walls.
8) String Lights
String lights are a superb and often colorful way to light a screened in patio. They're cheap, particularly around Christmastime, and you can wrap them around the edges of your patio roof to create ambient lighting that's perfect for outdoor tasks. If you get bright enough lights, you can even use them for reading or use dimmable ones to choose whether you want bright light or decorative ambient light, such as the lighting in the photo. You can even get decorative or color-changing bulbs. Make sure to get lights that are designed for outdoor use, just in case.
9) Mosquito Netting
Regardless of whether you use the patio for three seasons or four, you'll want two things from your covered patio; protection from weather and protection from bugs. If you have a lot of mosquitoes or annoying bugs in your area, try getting a canopy with mosquito netting or getting mosquito netting for your door to keep the bugs from getting in as people come and go. If you have windows instead of screens, make sure they have bug screens for when the windows are open.
10) Canopy With Screen Attachment
If your patio isn't attached to your house, it could be costly to build walls around it. Even a patio adjacent to a building involves a lot of work since it needs to tie into the house roof and structure. If you're hesitant to go to that much effort or not wholly committed to this project, try a canopy with a screen attachment. This is easy to change if you don't like it, and screens attachments like this one keep bugs away, making it better than a lot of canopies that only block sunlight and maybe a little rain.
11) Best Style Choice?
If you're building a patio enclosure or thinking about extending your existing one, you'll need to decide what materials and styles are best for your needs. Do you want windows or screens? Should you use copper or aluminum mesh? These are all decisions you'll have to make based on both cost and how effective they are for your needs. Read this article from Home Advisor to figure out the most cost-effective way to screen in your patio.
12) Pet-Proof Materials
One issue you might struggle with if your patio is already screened in is pets. Your dog wants to come in, so she scratches at the screen door and punches a hole through it. Now the mosquitoes get to come in and feast on unsuspecting guests. Try replacing your mesh screens with pet-safe materials like this screen from Walmart. It's designed to be pet-safe and should be durable enough to keep your pets from scratching holes into it.
13) DIY Tote Pillow Cover
Now that your patio is screened in, you've got a lot more leeway on what furniture and decorations you can put in it. If you have windows, you can probably put indoor decorations in it, and even if you only have screens protecting your space from outside weather, you don't have to worry about things being rained on directly. Try doing DIY projects like this tote pillowcase from Life or Bliss. With this project, you can repurpose a tote to get a more durable pillowcase that can handle a screened in patio.
14) Pool Room
If you have a backyard pool and the money to enclose it, you should include it when you screen in an adjacent patio. Instead of just closing off the section with seating, close in your entire pool like the owner of the home in this picture did. This way, you can keep debris out, and if you enclose it with glass, you can effectively make a year-round heated pool room. Think about doing something similar if you have a small basketball court or even a playscape you'd like to use all year.
15) Outdoor TV
Have you ever wanted to watch a new episode of your favorite show or been wrapped up in binge-watching a new series on a perfectly sunny and warm day? You had to make a crucial decision, and you probably chose to stay inside and watch TV. Now, with this outdoor TV, you can stay outside and watch TV on your patio at the same time. This TV from Amazon is brighter than most for daytime viewing, and it's designed to withstand even snow, rain, and extreme temperatures to make it ideal for permanent installation in a heated or unheated patio.
16) Outdoor Bar Table and Cooler
Once you've got your nice screened in patio finished, you'll need to furnish it and find decorations. One of the first decisions you'll need to make now that you have a more comfortable rainy-day space is what you'll use it for. Try adding an outdoor table like this that opens up to reveal a cooler underneath. Use it to create a small sitting area in a crowded patio so that you can chat with a couple friends and reach down to grab a drink without having to drag a cooler in or build a big home bar.
17) DIY Rolling Crate Coffee Table
Any patio will need some sort of sitting area, whether the entire patio is one seating room or whether the patio is a large area with several sections. If you have a large enough space, you'll want a coffee table to sit drinks and meals when you gather on the patio. Try building a rolling crate coffee table like this so that you can move it out of the way if your space is small and you need to move it occasionally. Make sure to get wheels that'll roll on your patio surface, particularly if you have a rough surface.
18) DIY Terrarium
In some ways, by enclosing your patio, you've sacrificed your connection to nature. Bring it back by adding bits of nature in a controlled and clean way. After all, with a screened in patio, you no longer have to worry about cleaning up dead leaves, dust, and debris that comes in, so you don't want to add debris if you don't need to. Build a terrarium using these instructions in this video by SerpaDesign to create an enclosed decoration that contains a beautiful natural scene.
19) Ball Casters
Rolling furniture is a great idea for a small space since you can move it out of the way when you need to and slide it back into place when you want to use it. The problem is, it can be hard to find casters that will roll on a patio surface and won't get caught on every bit of debris. While you'll have less debris in a screened in patio, you'll still want wheels that move quickly over any surface and don't get caught on things. Ball casters are one of the best choices for such surfaces.
20) Budget It
How much will it cost to screen in a new patio? What if you need to redo your patio? Is there any way to save some money? If you're trying to screen in your patio on a budget, you'll want to read this article from improvenet.com to learn what you can do to reduce costs. One of the best things you can do for building your patio, screening it in, and furnishing it is to do as much of the work yourself as possible to save labor costs.
21) DIY Removable Screens
If you have a permanent patio enclosure with window screens to keep debris and bugs out, the screens are likely to get damaged at some point, and people often procrastinate when it comes to fixing them. Try building removable screens using these instructions from This Old House. This way, you can remove the screens to repair them easily, and you can use these instructions to custom-build screens of whatever size you need. You can also hire somebody to make these.
22) Temporary Screen Tent
If you're just looking for a way to screen a patio in for events, and the patio isn't attached to your house, don't bother with a permanent structure with walls and a roof. It may seem unusual, but you can use a tent to make a temporary screened in space for much less money than you'd need to build an actual patio screen. You can get a tent-like this or look for one that fits your needs better, but the point is that people have a place to get in out of the wind, sun, or rain during a get-together.
Your patio is a wonderful place to feel close to nature, but since it's screened in, it's cut off from nature. You can't integrate it into your landscape since you've got a level surface and walls in the way. One way to make it still feel like a part of your yard is to add greenery near it so that you can see plant life through the windows like you can in this photograph. Add plants so close that it looks like you can touch them.
24) Outdoor Projector
There are outdoor TVs that can withstand amazing amounts of snow, rain, and other elements, but you might not trust an advertisement for sensitive electronics that says they're safe in the rain. If you don't want an outdoor TV because it doesn't quite suit your needs or because you don't want electronics outdoors permanently, try getting an outdoor projector like this that's designed for outdoors or screened in areas like your patio. You can store it inside during winter since it's more portable, and you can trust that a rain shower in a screened in patio won't hurt it.
One less conventional way to cover your patio is to build an arbor like the one in this image or to grow plants over it to make it feel like an arbor. This will make it feel closer to nature so that you can gain the benefits of a screened in space without losing the benefits of having a patio in your yard. Try getting fake plants if you don't want the plants to damage your screens.
26) DIY It
You want a screened in patio, but with your budget, it's probably not going to happen...right? Not necessarily. If you build the patio yourself, you can make changes partway through the project as ideas come to you, and you can save the money of hiring a contractor. Instead, you only need to budget for materials and find the time to build the patio screen. You can even use these directions from Family Handyman to make sure you build it properly so that it's structurally sound.
27) Decorative Screen Panels
If you're trying to make your patio look better, rather than replacing it or building a new one, you can add little pillows and decor, but you can also make changes that look like they're a part of the patio's construction. Try getting a decorative panel like this one from Amazon to make the walls look nicer and less generic than they do now. You can hang it anywhere on a wall to create the appearance of a screen on a wall that abuts your house or just to complement your patio's appearance.
How'd you build your patio? Did you use any of these permanent or temporary patio ideas? There are many ways to change up your patio screen and make it unique, and we'd love to know what you've done to your screened in patio. Please let us know in the comments below.