A screened patio typically adjoins a house and provides additional living or entertaining space in warm months. Rather than walls and windows, a screened patio is usually surrounded by a railing and covered by a roof of some sort. A screen will then be suspended between the roof and the railing, providing protection from pests, like insects. Since the space is open to the elements, it often remains cool in warm conditions due to being shaded and susceptible to breezes passing through the screens. Screened patios are generally popular in warm climates, where insects and other pests are also prevalent.
Constructing a screened patio can consist of three steps, each of which can provide a benefit on its own. The first is to build a patio that adjoins a house or other building. This is typically accomplished by laying a cement slab over a properly prepared bed of sand, gravel, or other substrate materials. A patio can also be made from tile, slate, composites, or a variety of other things. The utility of a simple patio like this may be limited by the presence of excess sun, rain, or pests.
The next step in constructing a screened patio is usually to cover the slab with some kind of roof. This can be as simple as an awning or sheets of corrugated steel, or as complex as a covering that mimics the roofing of the main building. Once installed, this covering can provide a measure of protection from the elements, allowing the patio to stay dryer during rain and cooler during hot, sunny days.
To finish up a screened patio, the last step is often installation of the screen itself. This can take the form of netting, nylon screening, or any material suitable to keeping out the local pests in a given area. This screen is normally installed between the railing and the roof, and a screen door of some sort is hung as well. This completes the screened patio as a sort of extension of the main house that will tend to remain shaded, comfortable, and protected from some elements of the outdoors.
In some parts of the world, the word 'patio' can refer a variety of similar structures. In countries like Australia, it may be used to describe virtually any kind of veranda or balcony. In other places, patio may be applied to very specific structures, such as those used as outdoor drinking areas by restaurants. The term may also sometimes be used to refer to the enclosed, roofless area often featured in a Spanish-style house.