Options to Enclose Screened Lanai Windows

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A lanai adds to a home's living space.
A lanai adds to a home's living space. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

A lanai is a covered porch, balcony or veranda. In Florida, a lanai is typically screened to keep insects and other pests at bay. With a screened lanai, you can enjoy outdoor views and weather with protection from the overhead sun. In order to use the space year-round without losing the benefit of an outdoor view, you can enclose the space with vinyl, acrylic or glass, depending on your preferences.

Advantages of Enclosures

While a screened lanai gives you the opportunity to enjoy the out-of-doors, an enclosed lanai has advantages for some people. When you add windows or sliding panels, you can use the space as an all-season room for entertaining, dining, exercising or just relaxing with a good book. Enclosures give you protection from the elements, keeping out the wind, rain and cooler temperatures. The enclosures also provide protection for your porch furniture and give added security for your home.

Vinyl

Vinyl windows or panels provide protection from the outside elements, keeping out wind, dust and rain. You still have the option of opening them to give the effect of a screened lanai allowing the air to flow through the screens. The enclosures are available in clear or tinted styles, depending on the need to keep out sun in your location. Vinyl panels are durable and are a less expensive option than a glass enclosure.

Acrylic

Acrylic enclosure panels are more durable than vinyl and lighter weight than glass. Acrylic panels are available in a choice of styles including sliding panels or windows that are custom-made to fit your existing openings. The acrylic is available in either clear or tinted options for UV protection. The panels open to allow airflow, but when closed and locked provide security to your lanai.

Glass

Glass enclosures provide UV protection for your room. They are available in insulated glass that blocks out some of the heat from the sun as well. Glass enclosures are available to withstand hurricane force winds of 150 mph, giving added protection to those living near the Florida coast. Glass also adds sound insulation, an advantage if your home is near a busy highway.

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