Why Windows and Screens Make the Perfect Patio Enclosure When Used Together

Screens or windows? Windows or screens? The decision of what materials to use for the enclosure on your patio can be a difficult one. Each one provides different benefits, and it can be hard to weigh the pros and cons for each one.

The great news for you is that you don’t have to settle on just one. At Impact Enclosures we are all about meeting your needs and wants, so we can build you an enclosure that includes screens and windows. This way, you will get the best of both worlds. No compromising needed.

Think about how great it will be to be able to enjoy your enclosure in the colder weather when the windows are closed. You can still take in the gorgeous scenery around you as you lounge on your comfortable patio chairs and sip a cup of coffee. When the temperature turns warm, you can open up the windows to let in the fresh air, but you can still stave off those pesky mosquitos and flies because you have the screens installed. If it suddenly starts to rain, you can quickly close up the windows without having to worry about going inside.

When you choose to have screens and windows, the opportunities are endless. There is no more versatile enclosure available, and you can use it in so many different ways that you will never be held back from your desires. Open all the windows to soak in the sun, or open a few to get just enough fresh air to appease your senses without making it too windy in your space. At Impact Enclosures, we are in the business of making dreams a reality, so if you can dream it, we can make it happen.

How to Make Your Screened Room Cohesive with Your Patio Design

Once you decide that you want to enjoy the many benefits that a screen room has to offer, it is time to get busy thinking about what you want your screen room to look like. For ideas on the design of your screen room, you should take a cue from the design of your home. After all, your screen room is an extension of your home, so it is important that the finished look is cohesive with everything around it.

There are many different options available to you when designing the screen enclosure for your home. The types of materials and color options are vast and varied, so your imagination is really your only limitation. As a suggestion, if your home has a modern vibe, a simple, dark-colored aluminum framing with very little detail may be the perfect choice for you. On the contrary, if your home has a country feel, then a white, wooden-framed enclosure with curved details will be the ideal option.

The next thing you need to decide on is what you want the ceiling of your screen enclosure to be like. Do you want a lowered, fully-enclosed ceiling to provide a more cozy feel and extra protection against the elements, or do you prefer a high screen ceiling to add to the open-air ambiance you want to create.

When making your final decisions, it is important to remember that you will be able to see your screen room from the inside of your home, as well as from the outside. You want to make sure that the enclosure will add to the overall aesthetic of your home and not detract from it. If you can do this, then you cannot go wrong when designing your new screen enclosure.

Find the right door placement!!!

I’ve learned that most people when asked to pick a door placement will pick a placement that won’t get them the most function out of the area they’re building. If your going to be putting a lot money into building a beautiful screen or glass room used to add additional space to your home it’s wise to pick a door placement that doesn’t ruin a traffic pattern; meaning that if you have to walk around a table and chairs to get to your exit the space becomes split or ruined. You’re not going to be able to put a sofa, or any furniture in front of that door and you don’t want your guest to have to squeeze around your furniture or other guests sitting down enjoying the room. If you want to get the most money out of the space you’re building, consciously think about where that door will go.

Apply the 3’ foot rule!!!

The 3’ foot rule means that you and your guests should be able to walk freely through traffic patterns by making sure there’s 3’ of space in between. To make it easy, think of a doorway. Most doorways are 3’ wide. It’s not a ton of room to get through but it’s enough to be comfortable. Apply the 3’ rule while designing. Sketch it on paper lightly with a pencil so you can erase and see if it works. At that point add more space or buy smaller furniture.
I hope that helps! Good Luck! 

Ryan Hammers
Background in 2d and 3d design
Building Contractor
Impact Enclosures

Types of screws:

  • Zinc
  • Ceramic
  • Stainless
  • Nylotec

When picking a screw to use it is wise to know the properties of each.

  • What is the head made of?
  • How was the screw tested?
  • How long will it last?
  • How does it react with a dissimilar metal?
  • How strong is the screw?

Zinc

It was originally the most used screw on the market and still is heavily prevalent. It is a steel screw coated with zinc. It is the least expensive and lasts the shortest amount of time out of any screw. The rusting process starts quick when the drill chips the paint off when driving it into aluminum. These screws will show the wear and tear of rust faster than any other on the market. Since it is primarily made of steel it is a strong screw. Roughly lasts 1-5 yrs. Medium reaction to the aluminum.

Ceramic

Ceramic is an upgrade of zinc. It’s a steel coated screw with a ceramic coating. When the drill chips the paint when fastening it, it starts the rusting process. Since it’s primarily made of steel it is a strong screw, and lasts roughly 5-10 years depending on your location. It has a medium reaction to the metal.

Stainless

There are 2 grades of stainless, the 300 series and the 400 series. The 400 series has more steel & carbon in it than the 300 series, making it a stronger screw but it rusting faster than 300 series (marine grade) in the long run. I like to use gold as an example. The more pure the gold the softer and the same goes for stainless. The 300 series is more pure so it’s softer. It doesn’t rust as quick as the 400. ALL stainless DO in fact rust. It just takes longer than others. 300 series reacts to the aluminum more than the 400 series causing the aluminum to oxidize. There’s a big difference in the dissimilar metal contact and it creates what’s known as white rust on the aluminum itself. Both fasteners last far longer than zinc and ceramic coated screws.

Nylotec

The paint on the head is warrantied against chipping or rust when fastened. You eliminate the dissimilar metal occurrence in the head because the nylon is touching the aluminum. The fastener though from the inside does in fact rust and the head of the screw can break when fastened It’s still better than ceramic and zinc in our opinion.

Overview

If the overall question is do all these screws rust? The answer is YES! They all rust over time. If the question you’re asking is…… Which screw is the best?. The real question you may want to ask yourself is…. which screw is best for my situation. Depending on your location, how long you plan on staying in your home, and the look your trying to acquire should be the reasons to pick a different fastener. The truth is that if you plan on living in your home for less than 2 years there’s no reason to spend extra money on upgrading. Don’t let someone sell you on something you don’t need. It’s only worth spending the money if you get the value out of it. Take a good look at your situation, your finances, and weigh out the pros and cons. Our recommendation for someone living in their house longer than 5-7 years should go with 400 series stainless especially if they are close to salt areas.

Are There Differences in Screen Enclosures?

There’s plenty of things to upgrade in a screen enclosure. Despite what one may think they aren’t all built equal. We have a lot of customers that ask us to price things out, site unseen, but the example I chose to give is this: If someone walks into a car dealership and asks for a four door car that drives there’s quite a difference in models. The same goes for most things and is such for screen enclosures.

Upgradable things on a enclosure:

  • Thickness and sizes of super gutter
  • Types of doors
  • Hardware on doors
  • Screen upgrades
  • Screw upgrades
  • Thickness of aluminum
  • K bracing
  • Cable ties
  • Size of downspouts
  • Drains to let the water out

So next time someone gives you a price and doesn’t talk about one feature he may be selling you a Ford Pinto when you were assuming it was a Honda Accord or maybe even a Mercedes.

Happy shopping
Ryan Hammers
Owner of Impact enclosures

Dress for Success and More

The construction industry has got to have one of lowest expectations for employees when it comes to dress code. And quite honestly, that’s one of the perks of the job! When I worked in corporate medical sales, I hated getting up early to shave and put on the old suit and tie every morning. Now that I am in the construction industry, I realize how easy, and how little you have to do to set yourself apart. And despite how ridiculously easy it is, I am constantly surprised how many companies can’t seem to do the bare minimum!

1) Make company shirts for your employees

I vividly remember the first time I realized the importance of this, while building a screen enclosure in Jacksonville, FL. There were two other subcontractors onsite during the process. A framing crew, comprised of four burly, heavily tattooed gentleman barking orders at each other. They were unshaven and honestly a little intimidating! Not the kind of guys you would cut in line.

Then there was a fence company with a couple of clean cut young men. These employees looked like you could trust them to babysit your kids. They would fit in as a bank teller or manager at your local supermarket. But if you asked me who I would want working on my house while I was away at work with my wife and kids all alone, I would answer with a resounding, “I want the framing crew, get those fencing guys off my property”!
Why I would rather leave a group of guys who might possibly moonlight as Hell’s Angels all came down to one thing. Four guys all wearing matching t shirts. The shirts looked pretty cool, too. They had a tough logo that fit their personalities, and their trucks had matching logos as well. They looked the part. And as crazy as this sounds, their boss showed up and despite having “profanity” tattooed on his knuckles, he had a polo shirt with the same emblem. Although I would never recommend getting curse words scarred onto your fists, my initial response was, this ain’t these boys first rodeo. And while the other company had employees you would rather (much rather) have your daughter introduce you to, one was wearing a fishing shirt and the other was wearing some kind of fraternity shirt. Their boss eventually pulled up and he was in his favorite football team’s jersey. They looked like day labor. They may have built a thousand fences, but I just couldn’t help but think they looked green.

2) It’s Really That Simple! Now Get Started

As this illustration will tell you, company shirts for your employees is such a simple concept, but it amazes me how many builders and subcontractors don’t wear them. Now that we have the company shirt as a staple of our culture, it solidifies brand recognition. I have people come up to me at lunch or even at the gym after work inquiring about their upcoming projects, asking for ideas and ultimately, a bid. And our guys have the same situations happen all the time. Not only does this lead to more quotes, by adding brand recognition, you really are adding value to your company as a whole.

3) Enforcement

I try to encourage our guys to always wear their company shirts. I can’t be onsite, every job, everyday, so it can be a hard code to enforce. There are a couple of ways to get everyone on board. One way is to demand they wear them or face the consequences. This is the cheaper of the two. Since a lot of my employees are also close friends, I like to create a fun work atmosphere, so I take a different approach. Marvin Himel, owner of Ideal Coach, in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, works with different businesses in Northeast Florida solving all kinds of problems company owners face. He has written only three books, and desperately tries to take credit for a fourth one (his son Brad wrote it). “While working with one of my clients, Snyder Heating and Air, we implemented positive reinforcement techniques to get great results. We rewarded simple desired behavior with scratch off tickets. Relatively inexpensive, The employees loved them and it created a fun working environment” After using this technique to reward the guys for wearing their shirts, the crews love when I pull up and divvy out the tickets. And what’s better is seeing the ribbing the odd man out receives if he “forgot to do his laundry”

Justin McCullers is an owner of Impact Enclosures
They specialize in Outdoor Living construction in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida