How to Enclose an Existing Porch

Make an existing porch enclosure simple or more extensive.
An open porch allows only for seasonal entertaining.An open porch allows only for seasonal entertaining.
Before you start any enclosure project, call in some experts to evaluate the situation. When you have a plan prepared, move on to evaluating materials and how you want to use the space. If you want to use it year-round, your material choice and the price of the project will differ from more simple enclosure solutions.

Step 1

Contact your local building department. The department may require you to apply for a permit before enclosing your patio. Permit requirements can include blueprints of the intended enclosure as well as diagrams that outline where the enclosure sits from other areas, such as the property line.

Step 2

Contract with a qualified building professional or a structural engineer. Porch enclosures may use your home as a support. Adding an enclosure can place stress on the home. A building professional can advise you on how to properly install the enclosure.

Step 3

Install a screen enclosure around the porch. Screen kits include framed panels you install around the porch. One screen panel is converted into a door to maintain access to the outside. Installation instructions vary with each kit. Most have panels either cut to size or you may need to cut them. The panels are screwed into the porch roof.

Step 4

Hang mosquito or clear netting around the patio. This offers a simpler option than screens. It requires no building permit and does not place additional stress on the structure. These nets hang from the roof and offer protection from bugs. Installation instructions vary with each product. Some come with a track or hook-and-loop fastener you install around the porch roof. The netting hangs from the track or attaches to the hook-and-loop fastener.

Step 5

Install a glass panel enclosure. Similar to a screen enclosure, the glass panels come framed. A skilled contractor is usually required for installation. The panels are usually set into a tracking system connected to the porch roof. The glass panels keep out heat, cold and weather elements. And because the porch is sealed tight, you can cool or heat the room to add an extra year-round room to your home.

Things You Will Need

  • Screen enclosure kit
  • Mosquito netting
  • Glass enclosure kit

About the Author

Sommer Leigh has produced home, garden, family and health content since 1997 for such nationally known publications as "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Midwest Living," "Healthy Kids" and "American Baby." Leigh also owns a Web-consulting business and writes for several Internet publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and Web management from the University of Phoenix.