Start To Finish — A Behind The Scenes look At A Screen Enclosure Project

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As a project manager I see projects go from a simple idea and become a visually stunning new enclosure. A lot of customers don’t realize the amount of time and work that goes into everything in-between. This article is a project review showing the step-by-step process a typical new screen enclosure project consists of.  This article gives current or prospective clients an idea of what will transpire during your project with Gulf Coast Aluminum.

Beginning The Screen Enclosure Project

The Idea & Estimate (08/26/13): Customer called the Gulf Coast Aluminum office to schedule an estimate on building a new screen enclosure with matching pavers to his existing Lanai. The team gave customer a ballpark price using their TPI mapping software. Customer wanted to proceed with an in-person estimate with our project estimator. Our project estimator took accurate measurements and noted details for the screen enclosure including roof over hangs and options for matching pavers.

Agreement & Deposit (10/10/13): Customer signed agreement with a copy of Florida driver’s license. Standard deposit of $500 to start initial project. Customer also provided a boundary survey for permitting purposes. Projects are subject to survey charges if home-owner does not currently have one.

Submit Engineering Design (10/18/13): Project Manager drafted the layout of the structure and submitted it to our engineering firm.  All new construction projects from a lanai, carport, sunroom or pool cage.

Signed and Submitted NOC (10/21/13): Customer signed official notice of commencement with officially stamp from a licensed notary. Customer filed with the Lee County Clerk of Courts for a fee of $10.

Received Signed and Sealed Engineering (10/27/13): Received certified, signed, and sealed engineering meeting Florida Building Code (FBC) and Florida wind code specifications.

 Related Post: Corey’s 9 Details On Screen Enclosure Engineering








Submit Permit: (10/29/13) Each county is different for their permit application process. For this project a few things were required.

  • Signed and Sealed Engineering
  • Boundary Survey
  • Sketch of Site Plan
  • Recorded Notice of Commencement


Approved Permit (11/8/13): Permit was approved by the City of Bonita Springs. Project Manager attached permit package to Gulf Coast Aluminum sign in the front yard of customer’s house.


Site Prep & Deposit (11/14/13): As you have noticed the majority of the project timeline takes part before any tool has dug into the ground.  When we first break ground we require a 50% deposit on the project, which was collected the day of the site prep. At this point the Gulf Coast aluminum team went out and did a site prep for the job. They removed any small bushes that would be in the way of the new enclosure.

The crew capped the sprinkler system that would be below ground from the new enclosure.  The groundwork was all dug up in one day using a sod cutter and applying soil if necessary to level out the area.  This project required footers so the crew placed form boards around the perimeter and applied rebar along the middle sections as specified in the engineering


Lastly, the City of Bonita Springs requires a termite and bug spray on all foundations before the concrete spray. The bug treatment was applied and all was ready for the pre-concrete inspection.

Pre Inspection (11/18/13): An official City of Bonita Springs Building inspector went on site to inspect the area for a foundation inspection and ensure the work completed was on point before the project went on to the next phase of construction. The foundation inspection was approved.

Footers/ Concrete (11/25/13): This is one of the most important days of the project because there is really only one chance to pour concrete for footers and it must be a sunny day because rain will interfere with the setting process. A cement delivery truck arrived outside of the house and the GCA team ran a pumping hose along the side of the house to the site location in the back. The whole process took roughly 2 hours and the whole setting process takes a minimum of three days.

Installed Pavers (12/09/13): After the existing lanai pavers had been matched, our paver crew arrived on site. They then took two days to install the pavers to the existing pad around the concrete footers. The customer was pleased at the progress we had achieved and he really enjoyed seeing visual results at this stage of the project.

 Install Aluminum & Fasteners (12/12/13): Some sections of the enclosure that had been built in the shop were delivered on site along with materials for sections of the cage that needed to be built on site. The order itself consisted of various aluminum beams, Nylotec and Protec screws, and Phifer 18X14 screen.

Our team began assembling all of the aluminum posts and doors by installing them into the footer foundation. The screen enclosure aluminum frame was completely installed and ready for the final screening process.

Install Screen (12/13/13): The screening process is very fast to install. Typically our crews can rescreen an entire 2,000 square foot cage in one day. This project was no different and the screen was all installed making the project complete and ready for final inspection by the county.


Final Inspection (12/17/13): The project manager called in the final inspection and we passed with flying colors. The inspectors make sure that we abide to the engineering diagrams and follow the structural design exactly to code.

Final Payment & Customer Satisfaction (12/18/13): Our customer was very pleased with the speed and efficiency of his new screen enclosure and gave us full 10’s on his project survey. At this point he paid us the remainder of his balance and mentioned that he would certainly recommend us to any friends.


Corey Philip Administrator
Corey began working on screen enclosures as a teenager in 2004 after hurricane Charley devastated his home town of Punta Gorda. 7 years later, after holding positions from foreman, to sales, to project manager, while attending college at Florida Gulf Coast University, Corey and childhood friend Thomas Davis founded Gulf Coast Aluminum in 2011. With a focus on delivering an unparrelled level of service, the company has grown by leaps and bounds under their leadership. Today you’ll find Corey answering the phones In his free time Corey likes training for triathlons, running the trails at Ding Darling park on Sanibel Island, and of course, working on growing Gulf Coast Aluminum.
11 replies
    • Anthony Jensen
      Anthony Jensen says:

      Rhonda, absolutely! We can match new pavers to your current paved section or add completely new pavers to your existing construction. We have a specialized paver team that specializes in paver installation for all screen enclosure designs.

  1. Scott
    Scott says:

    We want to retile and put up a new lanai cage. Which should be done first? Secondly, do you install panoramic screen cages? Thirdly, if you are replacing an existing cage do you need to get a permit?

    • Corey Windsor
      Corey Windsor says:

      Hello Scott
      1)Tiling is usually done first, but it really doesn’t make a difference.
      2) We do install panoramic enclosures.
      3) Yes you will need a permit to replace the cage. You may also be surprised to know, many building departments also require a survey before the permit is issued, and some even require a survey upon completion even though the footprint is not changing.

  2. Jim Smith
    Jim Smith says:


    I am contemplating having an 12′ x 18′ screened enclosure erected on my existing patio. I’ve called four vendors and have gotten prices ranging from $3,000 to $6,500 to do it. There have to be difference in specs or construction techniques to account for such a wide variance in price — What do I look for and how do I evaluate each?

    • Corey Windsor
      Corey Windsor says:

      Good question Jim. First of all make sure you know the screen, and screw type with each bid. If it will be solid roof, make sure you know if it is rollform roof or insulated composite roof. Structurally they are going to be similar. Also make sure it includes, permit, engineering, and surveys. Sometimes the estimator, or even the managers are not aware of all the requirements of the permit or have them confused with another municipality. After that choose a company that is extremely responsive, has a dedicated administrative/permitting staff, and has an established reputation.

    • Corey Windsor
      Corey Windsor says:

      Yes It can be done, however the pavers may need to be partially pulled up, a footer placed, and then reset.


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