Terrace enclosure guide

The terrace enclosure is a must for enjoying your patio during the summer months. It provides effective protection against strong sunlight, gusts of wind, and inclement weather. It plays a decorative role by enhancing the design of your outdoor layout. There are several different types of terrace enclosures. This can sometimes make it difficult to choose the right model. To help you decide, it is important to consider several criteria such as material, shape, finish, and type of enclosure. We explain everything in this article.


How to choose a terrace enclosure?

Choosing a patio enclosure can be quite daunting. With good reason, there is something for every taste and style on the market. Firstly, the choice of enclosure depends on the climatic conditions in your region. If you live in a particularly windy region, it is best to opt for covers with adjustable slats or closed slats rather than canvas. The reason is simple, these types of enclosures provide better resistance against gusts and can easily conform to the users’ requirements.

Secondly, an enclosure is built according to the materials used. You can pick between models with a wooden structure, aluminium, PVC, and even mixed models. Wooden terrace enclosures are appreciated for their natural and somewhat rustic design. It can be easily integrated into a garden. Your home’s aesthetic appearance can be greatly influenced by it. It is also highly resistant to the elements, provided it is regularly maintained and treated. Aluminium enclosures have many advantages. Not only is aluminium a light, robust, and easy-to-maintain material, but it also has a contemporary design and comes in a wide range of colours. This gives you the opportunity to customise the final look of your terrace enclosure as you please. For smaller budgets, the PVC model is a suitable alternative. It is affordable requiring very little maintenance in the long term. PVC is a strong and durable material that can be adapted to all configurations. In addition, you can mix and match material to design your enclosure. The most popular are wood, glass, and aluminium alloys. This is the ideal way to achieve unique and original results.

Terrace enclosure: what does the law say?

The installation of a terrace enclosure requires compliance with certain standards and regulations. To find out more, it would be advisable to consult the Local Urban Plan (PLU) to ensure the construction’s conformity, the right choice of materials, and the appropriate dimensions. In this context, the PLU may require you to select expensive material, especially in protected areas. Before starting the work, it is vital to declare the construction of the enclosure, regardless of the size and shape chosen.

In addition, a building permit is required if the surface area exceeds 20m2 or a height of 1m80. It should be noted that this formality is more complex to carry out than the declaration of works. To make it easier, it is recommended that you entrust the construction of the enclosure to specialist companies. They already have solid expertise in the field. In most cases, they will take care of the legal procedures involved in the installation of the terrace enclosure for you.

The main types of terrace enclosures on the market
The terrace can be covered in various ways: by means of an awning, a pergola, a garden arbour, or a terrace enclosure with a retractable opening.


An awning is a good choice for providing cover for your terrace. It is multifunctional and has many advantages. It offers a wide range of customisations and colours. You can choose the design, shape, and size of the awning that best suits your terrace. An awning is surprisingly elegant and has an authentic charm. It enables you to enjoy your terrace in all seasons. It is distinguished by its curved roof that extends from the house. Generally transparent, the roof structure enables a maximum of light to pass through. In addition, the awning can serve many purposes. It extends the pleasure of summer and can be transformed into a shed in winter to store gardening tools and furniture.


The pergola

The pergola is a terrace enclosure enabling you to create an additional living space. As a shade solution, you can create an open-air area to relax while enjoying the sun. And on extremely sunny days, it offers you an enclosure from the sun’s rays and intense heat. Conversely, during the rainy seasons, the pergola promises a protected outdoor space against heavy weather and strong winds. It can also become a decorative installation that adds character to your garden. It is available in many shapes and finishes. You can also choose between many different types of pergolas. On the one hand, there is the lean-to pergola that is built in continuity with the façade of the house. The advantage is that its construction does not require any major work. On the other hand, the freestanding pergola is independent and has four pillars that hold it to the ground. As for the bioclimatic pergola, it is equipped with adjustable slats that can be oriented according to the weather. These slats can be opened to let the sun’s rays in during the winter or blocked in the summer to provide shade.

The terrace enclosure with retractable opening

The terrace enclosure with a retractable opening enables you to create a new living space next to the house. Its wooden or aluminium structure mounted on rails enables you to cover or uncover your terrace in a few seconds. Made up of modules with retractable openings, these modules fit into each other to enable maximum exposure to the outdoors. The terrace enclosure thus enables you to enjoy your garden in all seasons. You will be protected from bad weather and you will be able to leave your furniture there without any risk of it being damaged. The terrace enclosure with a retractable opening is an interesting alternative for creating a genuine extension that can be adjusted according to the season and the weather.

The garden arbour

The garden arbour is known for being a veritable haven of peace and quiet and for providing protection from the heat and sun. Just like the pergola, it comes in different types. There is the wall-mounted or lean-to arbour that is an extension of the house. This system enables a space to be created that links the outside and inside of the house. It is fixed to the ground with screws and is often complemented by curtains to create a space where it is pleasant to relax. Particularly customisable, the arbour can take various shapes, be it round, rectangular, or square. In addition, it allows a wide choice of material. For collapsible and folding arbours, metal structures are preferable. However, for lean-to and permanent arbours, you can opt for wood or metal, in this case aluminium or wrought iron.

What type of terrace enclosure is best for your budget?

Before choosing a terrace enclosure, it is a good idea to compare prices to determine which enclosure combines quality design with a low price. Generally, price ranges differ depending on specific criteria such as the type of cover, materials used, labour, and type of land. The terrace enclosure can be either lean-to, folding, freestanding, or bioclimatic. As far as folding covers are concerned, they are practical and independent. They can be folded and unfolded as required. 

Lean-to or wall-mounted enclosures are in continuity with the façade of the house. They can be pergolas, arbours, awnings, and even enclosures with a retractable opening. 

On the other hand, there are so-called self-supporting enclosures that do not need any additional support. They have a fixed structure and solid mountings. Their greatest advantage is that they can be installed anywhere and in most configurations.

Furthermore, bioclimatic pergolas can be found on the market. They are appreciated for their adjustable slats that are able to adapt to the vagaries of the weather. They enable the temperature under the pergola to be better regulated so as to ensure optimum comfort for its users.

As far as installation costs are concerned, a terrace enclosure is available in either a kit or a custom-made version. The kit model is the most economical because you can assemble the parts yourself. But for reasons of reliability and safety, don’t hesitate to entrust the assembly to a professional installer who guarantees a careful and durable installation.
Finally, the design of the terrace enclosure can also have an impact on the overall budget. Of course, if you want a unique and customised look for your enclosure, you will have to allocate more money.