Florida is the perfect environment for those of us who love being outdoors. However, our sub-tropical climate dictates otherwise at times, doesn’t it? One reason we can be driven indoors is the bugs. They thrive here and seem to prefer traveling in swarms whenever you’re congregating outdoors—especially in the evening! Outdoor enclosures play defense for you. In fact, they completely eliminate the problem because bugs and mosquitoes aren’t getting through. You can pack away the citronella and flyswatters for good!
Outdoor enclosures offer other benefits that include:
- An added level of privacy—Some homeowners report if they’d known the difference it made, they’d have installed their outdoor enclosures sooner!
- A degree of UV protection—They don’t completely block the sun, but every bit of shade is a good bit of shade around here. Agreed?
- Added safety—You can keep kids and pets in or out by simply locking the door.
So, now that we’ve determined why Floridians love their outdoor enclosures. Let’s talk about some popular styles.
Enclosing your lanai
Lots of homes here include a lanai in their original design because they provide an outdoor area for friends and family to gather. Lanais are incorporated as part of the home and, therefore, are tucked under the roofline. Back before homes were air-conditioned, the lanai provided a place where families could come together in the evening while hopefully catching a cool breeze or two after enduring the sweltering heat all day. It wasn’t uncommon to see hammocks hanging in the space because sleeping outside was so much cooler than sleeping inside.
Today, families still plan to use the space as an outdoor living area. Hammocks may still be part of the decor—and kids will want to be spending the night in them—but you’ll likely find patio furnishings and outdoor kitchens or grills occupying the space for sure.
Most screen enclosures are constructed with aluminum frames. Don’t let that alarm you though because any outdoor structure must be built to meet Florida’s strict building codes. So your lanai enclosure will be built to withstand hurricane-force winds. They’re less inexpensive to install than other options and go up quickly.
Brand new patio
If you don’t have a lanai or pool area to enclose, build a patio or deck instead!
Lanais are designed to be under the roof of the home, however, backtracking to install your lanai “retro style” leaves a lot to be desired. Unless your contractor knows his stuff inside and out, you could run into leakage issues. Worse if it isn’t caught, it will grow continually worse.
Your new patio doesn’t have to be elaborate. However, once your enclosure is installed, you won’t be able to believe the difference. You’ll have your own backyard getaway to enjoy.
Extend your current floor space
If your lanai could be larger, extend the space! Again, there are lots of options available so you won’t have to spend a ton of money. After you extend the space and enclose part or all of it, it will likely become your family’s favorite hangout.
Sunrooms are considered enclosures too
However, sunrooms are more costly than screen enclosures due to the fact that you need to build actual walls to hold your windows. If you have an existing lanai or porch that is under your roofline, it’s totally doable. Unless you’re going for the permanent sauna effect, don’t forget to figure the air conditioning into the budget. It’s likely to be as simple as running the ductwork from your existing unit.
Popular pool enclosures
In the pool category, we have the mesh screen vs glass enclosure competition. We believe that mesh screen enclosures bring more to the table. They are less costly and offer all the benefits of glass and something they don’t.
Mesh pool enclosures allow free airflow which allows the entire space to dry out. It’s your best defense against mold and mildew. It doesn’t take much for that stuff to get started in hot and humid conditions. Glass enclosures don’t allow airflow unless, of course, you’ve added a ventilation system. Another problem is that some people report beginning to feel claustrophobic after spending a short time in a glass pool enclosure. This, too, is related to the fact that there isn’t any air flowing through the enclosure.
A true backyard getaway
We’d like to tell you about one last difference between mesh screen outdoor enclosures and any other type of enclosure. Many companies offer a customization feature using digital imagery. Any image can be reproduced directly onto the screens. Special UV-treated dyes are used to ensure your images remain vibrant for years.
The results are truly remarkable.
Imagine walking out your backdoor and into a beautiful tropical garden or gazing at the surf or… Well, you get the idea. Add your own lighting and decor to complete the look and voila! Your getaway is all set. It’s sure to become your family’s favorite gathering spot.
You’ll never be run inside by bugs or mosquitoes again. Mesh screen enclosures provide some protection from the sun as well. That means you won’t need to reapply sunscreen as often. And, if you need to keep kids and pets inside or out, all you need to do is lock the door.
Friends and family will look forward to gatherings at your place. Don’t forget to keep the phone handy. You’re going to be making lots of wonderful memories in your new space and sometimes, you might want to grab a few pics.