HomeOutdoor Living Ideas9 Temporary Patio and Deck Enclosures for Winter

9 Temporary Patio and Deck Enclosures for Winter

January 9, 2023
A back deck at dusk features an overhang protecting the deck and furniture below it.

When you first installed your deck or set out new patio furniture, you likely imagined enjoying your morning coffee in the sun or long summer nights chatting with friends. These experiences are great perks for your outdoor living space, but you don’t have to give up fresh air when the winter season rolls around. 

There are several temporary patio enclosures for winter and ways to cover and keep your deck clean when cold chills arrive. Temporary enclosures are especially great since you can take them down as part of your spring cleaning routine, but more permanent home projects can also add value and function to your yard. 

If you’re not ready to trade sunshine for snow, check out these deck and porch enclosure ideas to enjoy your patio no matter the weather. 

Patio and Deck Enclosure Ideas:

  1. Sunrooms
  2. Clear Vinyl Walls
  3. Covered Pergolas
  4. Gazebos
  5. Curtains
  6. Canopies
  7. Awnings
  8. Porch Screens
  9. Shade Screens

1. Install a Sunroom

An enclosed sunroom includes a couch, armchair, and coffee table facing a fireplace.

Sunrooms are often permanent structures that are built with a home or added with a renovation, but they’re also available in prefabricated panels that can be installed for a full or partial sunroom. You can install them yourself with some time and effort, and they’re best left up year-round. But they can be removed when the spring showers pass, too.  

A complete sunroom allows you to use your patio without worrying about precipitation or intense sun, while also protecting your space and furniture from the elements. 

Pros:Cons:
• Permanent and temporary options available
• Complete or partial coverage options
• Protects from the elements
• High upfront costs
• Complex installation

2. Hang Clear Vinyl Walls

A simple solution to protecting your deck or patio is to install clear vinyl walls around your space. Vinyl tarps are a lightweight DIY solution that usually include grommets around the edge, so you can easily hang them with zip ties and a simple frame. 

If you’re looking for a more durable enclosure, clear vinyl panels are also available to create a temporary sunroom for your deck. In either case, clear vinyl allows sunshine to seep through and warm the space without obstructing your view, while rain, snow, and wind are blocked out. 

Pros:Cons:
• Easy to install or DIY
• Affordable choice
• Versatile options with tarps and panels
• Not as aesthetically pleasing as other options
• Less durable than permanent or semi-permanent enclosures

3. Enjoy Covered Pergolas

 A sunny deck with woven furniture looks over the yard with a pergola and open louvers installed above.

Pergolas come in a number of styles and high-end features like StruXure’s Pivot 6 Slide design that can fully close and open for a full sky view. Many modern pergolas offer simpler features like motorized screens and adjustable louvers for comfort in every season, while basic designs benefit from a simple roof cover and curtains to protect you from wind, rain, and sun.

While the structure’s accessories are easy to install or remove, the structure itself is more permanent than some other solutions. Still, the adjustable accessories give you the freedom to choose between full sun and a nice breeze, or shade and privacy. 

Pros:Cons:
• Flexible protection from sun and elements
• Adds function and value to your property
• Permanent installation
• Costs vary by preferred product and style

4. Build a Gazebo

Gazebos offer a range of product options, from affordable pop-ups made of canvas to permanent installations made of wood. They can be placed on or near your patio or deck, depending on the size and location, to provide relief from winter weather. 

Pop-up gazebos resembling tents are likely your best bet for protecting your space, as they often come with screened or plastic sides that can prevent drifts from blowing in. They won’t cover your whole space, but they can provide some cover for you to enjoy your yard. 

Pros:Cons:
• Temporary and permanent structures available
• Vary in size and shape to fit your space
• Won’t cover the entire patio or deck
• Pop-up options are less durable

5. Add Privacy With Curtains

A cushioned chair and ottoman sit on an elevated deck with white curtains tied in the background near the railing.

Curtains can be an especially beautiful way to enclose a patio, with a variety of materials, patterns, and designs to choose from. They’re great year-round, offering privacy and protection from the elements, and are easy to install or put away when you’re done. 

There’s no shortage of outdoor curtains and installation options to choose from depending on your need. Pull-down screens are a great addition to a poolside cabana, while billowing curtains work well with a partially enclosed sunroom. 

Each of these offers different perks, so it’s important to do your research before you invest. In any case, curtains are a nice addition to your outdoor space without compromising on looks or budget. 

Pros:Cons:
• Many style and installation options to choose from
• Low-maintenance enclosure can be enjoyed year-round
• Some curtains offer less protection than others
• Requires an existing structure for installation and overhead protection

6. Repurpose a Canopy

Similar to pop-up gazebos, canopies and tents are a low-cost way to keep the snow and ice at bay. There are plenty of sizes and styles available, but it may be difficult to find something that covers your whole deck. But with some creative tarp placements and zip ties, this can be an effective temporary winter cover.

Pros:Cons:
• Affordable and easy to install
• Versatile sizes and styles
• Won’t cover the entire patio or deck
• May not withstand strong weather

7. Hang Out Under an Awning

A front porch with white railing showcases a blue and white pinstripe fabric awning hanging between porch posts.

Awnings are an attractive and classic way to protect windows, patios, and more from intense sun and weather. Corrosion-resistant awnings can provide some cover from rain and snow, but they won’t stop precipitation from blowing in from the sides unless you have screen accessories or tarps attached. 

Awnings are more permanent installations, but modern retractable awnings provide versatility and are easy to put away or pull back out as needed. 

Pros:Cons:
• Custom and prefabricated options widely available
• Attractive and classic look
• May not protect from drifts or wind without accessories
• Less temporary than other options

8. Try Porch Screens

If you’re interested in a screened-in porch but don’t want to invest in motorized screens or expensive panels, you can DIY a cover with relative ease. Rolls of porch screen, lumber, and fasteners are available in most home improvement stores, so you don’t have to wait for a special order, either. 

We don’t recommend stapling screens to your deck or patio, which would damage your structure and lacks the load capacity to stand up against heavy snow. With some creativity, you can build a simple frame from new or recycled pressure-treated lumber, then attach the screens. 

You may also segment screens into panels so they’re easy to remove come spring. If preserving your view isn’t a top priority, you may also consider tarps or woven alternatives over screens for increased durability and protection. 

Pros:Cons:
• DIY options for a simple cover
• Highly customizable to your space and needs
• Requires some experience with woodworking and framing
• Strength and protection vary by material choice

9. Buy Shade Screens

A backyard pergola with couches and a tabletop fire pit showcase motorized screens half down on each side.

Shade screens can be more durable than curtains when it comes to heavy winds and ice, but they’re also more permanent installations for your home. You’ll likely need to install tracks and they may even be motorized, so some light electrical work may be involved.

Once you have shade screens installed, they’re easy to roll back up when you don’t want them, and are great for blocking sun, rain, and snow. They can be installed on select awnings or pergolas, but you’ll need some type of overhead structure to begin with. This also means they won’t stop snow from falling from above, but they can block winter storms from the sides. 

Pros:Cons:
• Easy to put away when not in use
• Provides UV Protection for you and your patio furniture
• Requires an existing structure to install
• Won’t provide overhead protection

Winterizing and waterproofing your deck or patio is a great way to preserve its look and integrity for years to come. There are plenty of temporary patio enclosures for winter to choose from considering your budget and needs, from simple pop-up canopies to screened porch panels for optimal protection. 

Already planning your spring home improvement project? Order free decking samples today and consider how a new deck can boost your property value and quality of life. 

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