A patio room is a covered and enclosed patio, making the patio usable year round. Patio rooms are sometimes also referred to as a sunroom or solarium.
Uses for a Patio Room
One of the hottest home trends today is an outdoor kitchen. A patio room allows for outdoor cooking and dining overlooking the pool or garden or area scenery while reducing the energy costs of going in and out of the home for grilling outdoors. Using a patio room as a children's play area or a recreational/exercise room is also a trend.
Benefits and Types of Patio Rooms
Building a patio room, or enclosing an existing patio, adds value to a home by increasing the size of the living space. There are two types of patio rooms. A three-season patio room is not usable in the extreme heat of summer or cold of winter. A four-season patio room is usable year round, as it includes an HVAC system for temperature control. This feature, along with whether a patio room project just needs to be enclosed or whether it also needs roofing/cover will be the biggest factors in the cost of constructing a patio room.
The materials used to enclose a patio room vary in their cost and functionality and in their degree of necessary maintenance. A screened-in patio room keeps out the insects, and this is a great option for a patio room with a solid or a tempered glass cover. Screens can be fiberglass mesh or stainless steel, or regular window screening. There are also some manufacturers of overhead awning covers that have screens extending from the awning to the floor; these are much like tents, with zippers allowing access to the patio room from several entrances. But there is not much privacy in a screened-in patio room.
More Private Patios
For those who want privacy, there are motorized or manually operated shades or privacy blinds that can be pulled down or left rolled up for enjoying the view. The best fabrics for blinds and shades are flame-resistant and colorfast. Like screens, a blind or shade will block some of the sunshine while allowing ventilation. However, blinds and shades are vulnerable to damage from winds.
Taking the Patio Even a Step Further
A patio room enclosed in glass provides the most attractive appearance (and the most expense to build); with a glass-enclosed patio room, the homeowner can even add French or sliding doors. A patio room can be purchased in a ready-to-assemble, do-it-yourself kit or can be customized.