How to Build an Enclosed Patio

What You'll Need
Enclosure kit
Tape measure
Nail gun and nails (framing, trim, sheetrock, and basic nails)
Cordless drill
Caulk gun
Sheetrock and supplies (some kits include this)
A friend

Converting your patio to an enclosed patio can increase your comfort level, allowing you to spend more time outdoors. With an enclosure, you won't have to worry about high heat or humidity, and can still enjoy the beauty of your yard regardless of weather conditions such as rain or snow. There are several options available for an enclosed patio space. If you have the money, having a contractor convert the patio in to a sunroom is a good option. If you prefer to enclose the space yourself, you can with just some basic materials, time, and a little know-how. 

Step 1: Measuring

You will need to start by gathering several measurements. You will want to measure the total area of the porch that is going to be enclosed. Measure the width, height, and length. It's also a good idea to measure for windows that you are going to install as well. For permit purposes, you are going to need to measure the distance from the curb or property line to the enclosure.

Step 2: Draft a Plan and Gather Permits

Create a blueprint of the enclosure, and scale it. Make several sketches of what you are looking for, and be sure you scale all of the sketches. The sketches and blueprint will be what you need to work from, and the permits department of your local government planning office will need to see these in order to issue the required building permits.

Step 3: Begin Framing

Find the studs that are already in place against the house. Start your framing here. You may need to add some extra support beams as you work around the perimeter. As you frame, be sure you are framing for any windows and doors that you are going to install later. The directions that came with your kit will outline the best way to frame for stability.

Step 4: Sheetrock

Once the frame is in place, you can begin to put up the sheetrock. This needs to be hung from the studs and support beams. The sheetrock can be nailed with special sheetrock nails, or you can use sheetrock screws and use your drill to speed up the process. Having your friend handy will make this part of the job much easier.

Step 5: Windows and Doors

Once the sheetrock is in place, you can begin to hang the windows and doors in the frame. If you are having windows professionally installed, leave the framed window openings alone. You can cover these with plastic until the window installer arrives.

Step 6: Finishing

From here you can have an electrician come in to wire any outlets and receptacles you want. You can paint the interior, and finish off the exterior as well.

Enclosing a patio is a challenging job. If you've never done a large project like this, it's best to have a contractor handle it. If you have a little experience, it's still not a bad idea to have a professional on call to answer any questions or help if you need it.