Patio Enclosure Project

Ask the Expert: What You Need to Know Before Starting an Enclosed Patio Project

When exploring patio enclosures, there are some things you will have to decide before kicking-off your project. Knowing how often you want to enjoy your enclosed patio, how much protection from the outdoor elements you need, and a general idea of how you want it to look will save you time before you start your initial research.

But wait, there is even more to consider.

We worked with our in-house expert, Jeff Rafter (featured in the video below), to understand what is involved in planning a patio enclosure project and the in’s and outs of most projects. As Eze-Breeze’s National Sales Manager, Jeff has seen a lot of patio enclosure projects in his career. Here’s a Q&A with Jeff to help you prepare for your enclosed patio project.

Can I do an enclosed patio project on my own, or do I need outside help?

It is vital to either understand the construction trades (all of them) or have the assistance of a contractor. In-depth practical knowledge is required for an enclosed patio project.

Related: Get inspired by our gallery

What makes Eze-Breeze enclosed patio products different?

Firstly, Eze-Breeze is not a patio enclosure system in itself. Eze-Breeze is a sliding vinyl-glazed porch panel system. It is a component of what will become a “porch system” based upon a homeowner’s third-party design. Eze-Breeze products are intended to be used with construction practices applied by others to meet the homeowner’s local, state, and IRC Code bodies.

Secondly, the vinyl-glazed panels provide exceptional protection against impact from baseballs, golf balls, etc. As you can see in the image below, the vinyl is flexible. It even returns to its original shape within minutes of the disruption. Additional benefits include safeguarding your enclosed patio from harmful UV rays, the ability to maintain comfortable temperatures more easily, and privacy control with various tint options.

Enclosed Patio

What should I initially decide when considering patio enclosures?

A homeowner must decide if the end-use space he/she wants to create is intended to be habitable or non-habitable. Also note that, based upon the homeowner’s vision and planned use of construction, it must also be guided by all local, applicable codes. Eze-Breeze products are meant for projects like porches, enclosed patios, sunrooms, gazebos, pool enclosures, etc.

Related: The top 4 deck enclosure transformations

What do you mean by habitable or non-habitable?

Great question. When it comes to patio enclosures, the code is clear. If the end-user intends to “sleep or cook” (specific end-use activities that include Egress requirements for evacuation and or open flame, such as in the case of cooking, fireplaces, etc.) within a space under a roof or in development, then the area is considered habitable, and the typical codes of construction (inclusive of energy and fire codes) apply. To take it one step further, this means the components of cladding must comply with either or both IRC and or IBC as it relates to fenestration and more. This is why Eze-Breeze highly recommends working with a local expert on enclosed patio, sunroom, etc. projects.

When should I consider using Eze-Breeze products for my enclosed patio project?

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If your end project (sunroom, pool enclosure, enclosed patio, etc.) resembles the items listed below, then Eze-Breeze products may be considered ideal:

  • Acceptance of either vertical moving vinyl-glazed panels or horizontal moving vinyl-glazed panels
  • Only an artificial fireplace will be used in the space
  • If you plan to have an exterior mounted Micro HVAC unit(s)
  • If you choose to have exterior grade framing and wall material (preferably aluminum framing)
  • If you plan to use outdoor carpeting and/or exterior grade flooring or decking and trim materials
  • If you use GFCI wiring for lights, ceiling fans, etc.
  • If the finished project is a porch

Can you help me understand what the finished product might look like in my home?

Yes. I have given you a lot to think about when pondering an enclosed patio project, so now I invite you to take inspiration from our gallery and to also see our products installed by different contractors on our Facebook page.

Jeff has shared a lot of valuable information, and we hope this arms you with the details you need to have an in-depth conversation with your contractor or team helping you with your enclosed patio project. If you’re still not sure who you want to work with, please explore our go-to patio enclosure dealers. You can search for one in your area at


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