How to Close Off the Porch for Winter [4 Porch Panel Ideas]

As the warmth of summer dwindles into fall and the temperatures start dropping, you might think you have to clear your porch and stop using it for the winter. This doesn't have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to close off your porch for winter, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space during all four seasons! We've done some research and have some options for you.

To close off the porch for winter, try implementing the following ideas. These methods assume you already have a roof covering your porch.

  • Insulated Curtains
  • Clear Vinyl
  • Dropdown Panels
  • Premade Patio/Canopy Enclosures

Now that we've listed some materials you can use to close off your porch, let's talk about each in more detail. Some are more complicated than others, and each adds its own look to your porch. Continue reading to get all the information, as well as the answers to more questions you might have. 

A beautiful porch covered in snow, How to Close Off the Porch for Winter [4 Porch Panel Ideas]

Insulated Curtains

Outdoor, insulated curtains are perhaps the easiest way to block the elements from your outdoor area. 

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Extra wide outdoor durtain

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The best way to install these would be to use ceiling curtain rod brackets. These can be placed from the edges of your porch roof or into the ceiling joists, depending on where you want the curtains to be located. The curtains then go on a standard curtain rod.

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Ceiling mount brackets

View these ceiling mount brackets on Amazon.

Curtains are a nice solution because they come in various colors and patterns, so you're sure to find something that will match your style. They are also easily retractable, so if you find yourself wanting to enjoy more of the outdoors on an unexpectedly warm winter day, all it takes is drawing back the curtains to open your porch to it.

Cream painted house siding and matching white trims covered in snow

The downside to using curtains to close off your porch is that you won't be able to see what's going on outdoors. If you have a breathtaking view, traditional curtains will block it. That being said, there are clear plastic curtains you can use as opposed to heavy insulated ones. However, they do not provide as much protection from the cold and are generally used in showers and tubs.

Clear Vinyl

Clear vinyl is a great option if you already have a clear porch structure in place. It comes in rolls of plastic that can be cut and measured to cover the openings of your porch. Clear vinyl is inexpensive, and this is the cheapest way to enclose your porch for winter.

To use this method, you will need to use a staple gun to attach the measured clear vinyl sheeting to your porch, as well as a tape measure to ensure your sheets are appropriately sized.

The best thing about using clear vinyl is that you can still enjoy the view from your porch, as well as blocking a lot of the cold air. Additionally, it will help your space warm up during the day as it allows sunlight to filter in. Add an outdoor heater to your porch, and you'll be set!

Dropdown panels

Dropdown panels are preinstalled pieces of cloth or vinyl that are attached to your porch all year long. In the extremely hot or cold months, you can simply release them to cover the openings. Once installed, this is a very convenient option as it is not something you would have to remove in the warmer months.

Most of these dropdown panels come with the parts needed for installation. The material used for these products is generally lightweight and geared toward those looking for shade in the summer. Since they are not directly attached to your porch railings, some cool air will sneak around them as well. That being said, they will keep out wind and some cold in the winter. 

Like with insulated curtains, these will block your view of the outdoors, so keep that in mind when deciding on how best to close off your porch.

Premade patio/canopy enclosures

There are many premade panels you can use to enclose your porch. Most are made with vinyl and a cloth liner to protect the edges and grommet edges for hanging. These offer similar protections to the clear vinyl sheets but make using a staple gun unnecessary, so that's a plus.

These are premeasured and easy to install compared to just using vinyl sheets, but the price tag is significantly higher than just vinyl sheeting.

How Much Does It Cost To Close Off The Porch For The Winter?

There are a lot of variables pertaining to the cost of enclosing your porch seasonally. If you already have an existing structure and are using vinyl sheets, you can get it done for less than $100 as a do-it-yourself project, and that's assuming you have to buy a tape measure and a staple gun.

A beautiful porch covered in snow

Buying insulated curtains to cover the area could potentially cost a few hundred dollars when factoring in mounting tools, curtain rods, and the curtains themselves. 

If you don't already have a roof or porch railings on your porch, you are looking at a significant cost, up to several thousand dollars. To read more about the cost involved in closing off a porch, read out article, "How Much Does it Cost to Enclose a Porch?"

Do Outdoor Heaters Work In The Winter?

Blue colored house siding with white trims covered in snow

Outdoor heaters do make the cold outside more bearable. In fact, infrared heaters heat the objects around them as opposed to the air, so if you stay close to an infrared heater, you will stay warm. Remember, however, if there is a significant amount of wind, no heater will keep you very warm. This is why having an enclosed outdoor space blocked from the wind can be such an excellent addition for the winter months. 

How Do You Winterize A Porch?

If your porch is already screened in, you can winterize it by adding clear plastic vinyl over the screens. You can even build panels with plastic sheeting to place over your screens in the winter months. Many great resources on the web describe creating a window box that will fit neatly inside your screened panels and block off the outside elements. 

Additionally, it's a good idea to pack away anything that might be affected by extremely cold temperatures, such as glass, which expands and contracts with the temperature. 

Does Window Film Keep Cold Out?

Window film definitely keeps the cold out. It adds another layer of insulation, effectively adding another protective barrier from the cold. It keeps the heat inside and drastically reduces cold spots. If you live in an especially cold climate, window film could be the solution to reducing your energy costs.

In Closing

Closing off your porch in the winter doesn't have to be a super difficult undertaking. With the range of options available, you are sure to find one that meets your taste and your budget. Happy winterizing!

Want to read more about closing off your porch to the elements? Check out our article, "How to Keep Rain From Blowing on Your Porch (4 Great Solutions)."

A blue post colonial house with a roof and front yard covered in snow, How to Close Off the Porch for Winter (4 Porch Panel Ideas)

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