Updated: Jul 11
To screen or not to screen is the questions and yet it seems almost a no-brainer to have a pool cage for your Florida home’s pool area. However, some homeowners pass on the screen, opting instead to utilize alternative methods of shade and protection. They may choose to save on the extra homeowner’s insurance or prefer the more open feel of no screen. Either way, we’ve gathered some ideas as you prepare for your new home construction or remodel to help you make the decision that’s best for you.
WHY TO SCREEN
Security The best feature of a screened enclosure is that it provides security both from dirt (insects, dust, and debris like fallen leaves) and unwanted visitors (snakes, birds and of course alligators!). Especially if your backyard is not fenced in, a screened enclosure will keep your pool area safer.
Easier Pool Maintenance Cleaning your pool is much easier with a screen installed, as it will keep out that much extra debris.
More Swim Time A pool heater and enclosure is the perfect combination to extend your swim time. While pool heaters give you the option to dive in even on cold days, an enclosure will help protect you from rain. (Just watch out for lightning!). Having a hot tub attached is also a great idea so you can just soak anytime you prefer.
Sunlight Protection Let’s think about the very reason that Florida is known as the Sunshine State. Except for those extremely rare grey rainy days, we virtually never run out of an abundance of sunlight. Although the majority of people love to be outside soaking up the rays, we must keep the health of our skin top of mind. To this extent, screened pool enclosures cut down on 30-80% of UV rays, so you can enjoy longer periods of pool time without worrying about overexposure to the sun.
Designed to Withstand Strong Winds Though Florida is a hurricane-prone state, pool enclosures are designed to withstand winds up to 130 miles per hour. However, strong storms like 2017’s Hurricane Irma are much more likely to cause damage.
WHY NOT TO SCREEN
Landscaping and Pool Design Limitations When you have a screened pool enclosure installed, you won’t have quite as many landscaping options. The enclosure can cover a significant portion of your yard, taking away green areas.
Pool Water gets Colder Because of limited sun exposure, the pool water can get a bit cooler in summer and winter months. If the temperature drops below your comfort level, you’ll have to turn on the pool heater to extend and fully enjoy your swim season.
TYPES OF SCREENS There are four types of screen that every Florida homeowner needs to know about in order to take full advantage of the year-round outdoor living that comes with living in our region, states First Coast Home Pros. These are:
18/14 screen – This is the standard weave used for screen doors, window screens, and along the sides of enclosures. The numbers refer to the density of the screen mesh, and 18/14 provides the strength and durability needed to withstand the elements, while still letting the breeze blow through freely through your open windows or lanai.
20/20 screen – This screen is so tightly-woven that it can even keep those pesky no-see-ums and other tiny insects outside, while still allowing plenty of ventilation and fresh air into your enclosure.
Tuff Screen – This specialty screen material holds up especially well to tears and punctures, and typically comes with a 10-year warranty, so you know you’ll be enjoying it for years to come. Families with young children should consider TuffScreen. It also provides added protection against rips and tears if you have trees and other vegetation close to your home and enclosure.
Pet screen – Our pets like to enjoy the outdoors too, but their excitement coupled with their claws can spell disaster for screened enclosures and screen doors. Specialty pet screen can stand up to pet’s paws and claws while still allowing the privacy and protection from bugs and debris that we want.
A final tip for your pool enclosure remodel decision: Longtime screen installer Kenneth Wilson of FL Screens strongly recommends to always make sure the fasteners are kept to meet their original specifications, indicating that steel fasteners can lose as much as 75% of their original strength in the first 12 months.
Sweet Construction puts 25 years of new home construction and remodeling experience to use in our projects. Contact us for advice and a quote, with honesty and integrity.