Bugs and debris are a fact of life for the Florida homeowner. They can be an eyesore on a clean porch, patio or pool deck. Both can also wreak havoc on a pool or spa filtration system and cause extra work in cleaning the outdoor living space. Enter screening. Available in several styles and colors, it is a necessary component in order to enjoy the Florida outdoor living area, but the cumbersome support structure can be unsightly.
Advances in new materials and engineering have allowed for the introduction of the “picture window screen” – an expanse of screening unbroken by aluminum uprights or crossbars. Especially effective in combination with a “vanishing edge” pool, this treatment of the pool cage is gaining in popularity among owners of custom built homes.
“This is a very desirable feature among our clients,” said Brad Kiraly, director of sales for Florida Lifestyle Homes of Fort Myers. “We are pleased to offer it. It has become so popular that we have begun incorporating the picture window screen in a number of homes under construction. All of our luxury custom home models have a lanai (a porch under a trussed roof) and most of our clients opt to put in a pool, so we have begun to refer to it as a ‘picture window lanai.’ Our clients appreciate both the aesthetic value and the practicality. The wide, unbroken expanse of screen adds a little more light to their outdoor living areas and eliminates disruptive shadows cast by aluminum supports. We also maximize the visual effect by incorporating recessed sliding glass doors leading onto the lanai, so nothing interferes with the sight line.”
“You can also add to the visual effect of the picture window screen by adding different elevations to the pool itself,” explained Dennis Gray of Bahama Pools in Ft. Myers, Florida. “For example you can add raised areas to one or even both sides of a vanishing edge pool, giving the appearance that the water is falling from a higher point than it actually is. In nature we rarely see things that have straight lines, so for homeowners who are looking for something a little different, they can design a freeform pool and simply incorporate the vanishing edge feature into a portion of it, spanning the vanishing edge with the picture window screen technique” added Gray.
The visual effect of the picture window lanai can be enhanced by the homeowner’s choice of landscaping or pool design. And if the home happens to be sited on the waterfront, as many custom built Florida homes are, the illusion of endless water is possible.
“Retractable screens are popular as well,” noted Kiraly. “This is a motorized screen similar to storm shutters. If you want the lanai closed , simply push a button on a remote control and the screens roll down and enclose the under roof area on the home. If you want an unobstructed view, push the button and the screens roll up and disappear.” Typically mounted on the exterior of the home, motorized retractable screens can also be mounted in the recess above an archway or large opening to protect the architectural integrity of the home. The screen’s motorized system can be programmed to come down and retract with sun and wind sensors, and can be connected to a building automation system.
Employing innovations in technology such as the picture window lanai and motorized retractable screens are two of the many ways Florida custom home builders can satisfy their clients’ desires for year-round outdoor living in their luxury Florida home.
For more information on including a picture window lanai or motorized retractable screens on your Florida custom home, call Florida Lifestyle Homes of Fort Myers at 239-561-8022 or visit http://www.flhfl.com.