4 Signs That You Should Hire A Designer Beforehand

Many of our projects are pretty straight forward.  A 12 x 24 screen room is pretty simple to visualize.  A 20 x 40 pool enclosure with mansard roof is also pretty easy to visualize.  Anyone who is familiar with Florida Patio Structures will know what these basic and rectangular structures will look like.  Things often […]

Our Top 8 Most Popular Services

Most people think of Gulf Coast Aluminum as a ‘pool cage builder’.  That is true (kind of).  We do build quite a few pool cages.  In total though, pool cages are a very small amount of what we do overall.  We tend to think of ourselves as more of a service provider.  You’ll see why starting with our first service (in no particular order).

Screen Repairs

Have a screen out?  We’ll fix it.  Screen repairs from one to a few panels are our most popular service.  Our service guys usually see around 20 people per day.  We can get screen repairs done quickly, with scheduling usually no more than a week out.

Full Re-screens (and fastener replacements)

The most common screen used as a lifespan of 7-9 years.  Many of the homes in our area were built just over 9 years ago.  That means the pool enclosures are at re-screen time.  Our crews can get most re-screens done in 1 – 2 days.

CLICK TO ENLARGE: Common builders grade screen enclosure turning green, and fasteners rusting. We will be doing a restoration on this enclosure.

Screen Enclosure Restoration

Many of the pool cages that were built during the housing boom, used metal with a low grade epoxy paint, and cheap steel fasteners.  10 years later they look pretty… awful.  The aluminum members have turned green, the lower rails have corroded, and the steel fasteners have rusted leaving red stains running down the structure.  Our restoration process rescreens, upgrades the fasteners, and repaints the enclosure to have it looking like new, at about half the cost of a new screen enclosure (our new enclosures used a 2604 powdercoat and Nylotech fasteners for a much higher quality enclosure than builders grade).

Epoxy paint is turning green. Fasteners are rusted. Soon enough though, we will have this enclosure looking like new.

Front Entryway

Screening in the front entryway is extremely common.  The projects generally cost $1,000 – $2,000 and in most areas can be done without permit (this means things happen faster).  We have several dozen doors and many features.

Screen Rooms

Screen rooms have a solid roof and are often referred to as a lanai or added on lanai.  They’re popular because most home builders leave a lanai that is too small to be used (like 8′ x 8′), or worse, leave no lanai at all, only a slider door that opens to the back yard.  Our screen rooms offer the ability easily add on an under roof lanai with screen which can be used as a sitting area, dining area, or entertaining area.

Pool Cages

Finally we get to pool cages.  We no longer offer builders grade enclosures, only our GCA Standard.  Our GCA Standard uses long lasting materials, a 2604 powder coat, so that in the future you won’t need the restoration.  You can read more about the: GCA Standard Pool Enclosure

Romano Patio & Pergolas

The Romano uses wood grain finished aluminum to give the visual appeal of classic wood with the resilience of aluminum.  A solid roof could be done for rain protection, or a pergola style roof for strictly shade.  The Romano is one of our newest and most inquired on services, so we expect this to move higher up the list through 2017.

This sunroom is constructed of implact glass with a tiled insulated roof to match the home.


Sunrooms are one of the more complex and pricey structures we offer.  Our sunrooms are done with seamless fabrication which means that custom pieces made to conceal all screws.  They start around $10,000 for a small acrylic ‘fill-in’ (under existing roof) and have been priced as high as $200,000 for a large impact glass sunroom under air, with tiled roof (click on picture to the left).



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The Pre Estimate Checklist For New Structures

The process of getting any home improvement project done starts well before you even get an estimate.  If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve started the process (research) already, and are considering contacting us for an estimate, or perhaps you have us scheduled for an estimate already.  Here are a few things to ‘check’ or at least consider before you get an estimate.  After-all, nothing hurts more than having an awesome idea, only to find out that it can never come to fruition.

Verify Our License and Insurance

The State of Florida makes it easy to verify a contractors license.  Just go here and look it up.  Here is a direct link to our state license.  Unlike many companies who advertise ‘insured’ but seemingly hide their insurance information (likely because they don’t have it), we do things quite differently.  We make our insurance certificate, the actual insurance certificate, transparently available.  No smoke and mirrors.  You can find ours right here: View Our Insurance Certificate.

See What Our Past Customers Say

When choosing any service provider, hearing from their past customers, and checking out their reviews is something that must be done.  Some companies provide bottom of the barrel service, or worse, don’t deliver anything at all.  That is reflected in their reviews, and many go out of their way to hide them.  We take pride in delivering service far superior to our competitors.  Check out our reviews and you’ll see what our customers have to say.  Unlike many contractors, we have nothing to hide.  You can view all of our reviews here.

Know You Want A Patio Or Screen (all parties involved).

I know you probably think this sounds silly, but it’s not.  Trust me.  Knowing that you do or do not want a patio or screen in your backyard is the key to making sound and rash decision on what will be an expensive project.  Earlier this week I had a lady, we’ll call her Jan, call me with big plans for her patio in Fort Myers.  A new screen enclosure, with a picture window for a lake view, and a wood grain finish pergola within it for shade.  It was an awesome idea and would’ve looked astounding.  All I had to was convince her husband that he wanted the astounding patio too.  While I certainly empathize with Jan’s dilemma, I had to tell her that such was not my job.  It’s not what I or our company does.  We’re not in the business of convincing people that they want a patio or screen enclosure.  We help people, who know they want a patio or screen enclosure, choose everything properly, get the right materials, get the project completed headache free, and build a patio that will add value for years to come.

We also have the Learning Center and our Featured Projects to help you get ideas for what is possible and how           it will look.

 Check With Your HOA

The HOA is the official buzz kill of home improvement projects.  Many times, customers have spend hours detailing their ideas, given us a deposit, had plans drafted, and then found out their HOA will not approve it as designed thus incurring costly change orders.  While plans do cost money and are not available until after a deposit is received,  most of the time, a little communication in the very early phases of research will establish what can or cannot be done, long before we arrive on site.

Make Sure Your Proposed Structure Is Within The Buildable Area Of Your Lot.

Despite the fact that you own your property, local zoning ordinance prohibit what you can build and where you can build it on your lot.  On every parcel, property line setbacks exist, meaning that you cannot build right to the edge.  In most places the setbacks vary according to structure type.  As a rule of thumb, we suggest eyeballing other similar structures on your block.  For example, if you want to build a screen enclosure that goes 15′ further back than all of your neighbors, chances are it cannot be done.  If every house on your block is about 50′ from the road and you want to put a carport in front of your home (meaning carport will be 30′ from the road), chances are it cannot be done.  In some cases, a survey of the property will need to be reviewed or a new one ordered to determine exactly what is feasible within zoning constraints.  We can help you review and make the determination, but do just have an idea that these constraints do exist.


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Is It Wood or Is It Aluminum?

Romano Patio wood finish end cuts.

Its got cut ends.  Its got a textured finish.  To the average passer by, its got the visual appeal & characteristics of classic wood.  Considering you know our name is a Gulf Coast Aluminum, a good guess would be…. aluminum.  And you would be right.  We now have the Romano Roof & Patio which looks like wood and gives our customers an alternative to traditional Patio’s and screen rooms.

Besides the fact that you get an awesome looking patio, lets take a look at the advantages of doing these patios out of aluminum, as opposed to wood.

  1. Termite Resistant.  This is rather simple.  Termites live in wood.  They need wood.  Termites cannot live in metal.  The Romano Patio is wood.
  2. Fire Resistant.  Wood burns and can be susceptible to catching/spreading fire.
  3. Warp & Crack Resistant.   Ever seen a wood structure in Florida?  After a few years of sun and salt, they dry out and become brittle.  Pieces of the wood flake awake.  The finish weathers.  Due to the properties of metal, this doesn’t happen to aluminum.

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Eureka! A Patio Roof That Doesn’t Look Like One

We build LOTS of  solid roof lanai’s here in Southwest Florida.  We call them as screen rooms.  We generally use a 3″ insulated composite roof, which is a step above  the economical grade rollform roof (thin sheet metal).  Occasionally though we get requests for something that doesn’t look like a ‘basic’ add on rood.  Something that […]