With any project, there are always some considerations that should be addressed from the beginning. Here we answer four common questions from homeowners who are planning to get a new screen enclosure, or lanai built.
- Why do I need a permit?
There are a myriad of reasons why a permit is required for a screen enclosure. These reasons will vary based on where you live but are mainly focused on zoning and building code enforcement. The building department where you live will have guidelines, based on zoning ordinances, for where on the house the enclosure can be located and how far from the property line it must be. There is no “standard” as each municipality has its own ordinances, for this which is why it is important to work with an Aluminum Association Of Florida Contractor who understands the local ordinances, and regulations of your area to avoid hang ups in the permitting process. All new enclosures must be built to the current building code and the local building department will review every set of plans to ensure the structure will be strong enough to handle a certain wind speed and exposure. This ensures that new enclosure will not be underbuilt, and that it is in compliance with the community development standards.
- Can I build a screen enclosure here (in my yard)?
This question could have two determining factors. The first would be your local zoning ordinances. Like all other structures, screen enclosures must be built in compliance with easements and setbacks. Reputable contractors will have a general idea, of where on your property and enclosure can/cannot be built, but in many cases a survey must be completed and reviewed to make a final decision. If you live in a home owner’s association, or other private property association, they (the association) would be the second determining factor. They have restrictions in addition to the zoning ordinances which can limit what you can build. It is always best to check with the association before embarking on a screen enclosure project.
How long does a screen enclosure project take?
Several factors will influence the answer to this question, the resources and knowledge of your contractor, the speed of your local building department and how high the current demand for enclosures is. Generally, you can expect you a screen enclosure project with a permit to be completed between 3-9 months from date of signed contract. During building booms, or during hurricances, the process can take longer. Due to the nature of field service work, and third parties (such as engineers, surveyors, and building department) we generally recommend planning for your screen enclosure at least a year in advance. While this might seem like a long wait, there are often many ‘behind the scenes’ processes involving engineering, surveying, and permitting that consume much of the time. Once ground is broken, the projects move rather fast.
How big of a “clearview” can I have?
For readers who might not know, a ‘clearview’ or ‘picture window’ is a opening in the enclosure unobstructed by aluminum members. When you have a nice view, or want to eliminate the ‘cage’ feeling it is a great choice. The largest clearview you can have on your enclosure is actually limited by the largest piece of screen mesh and aluminum member manufactured. As of this publication the a 37’ x 10’ clearview is the largest that can be incorporated into a new enclosure and foundation. Limitations may apply apply when a foundation is already existing, or for high windzone and exposure areas.