Five years ago I had never even heard the term pool cage. Then, two years ago we began looking at homes in Florida and I knew that if we were going to have a pool down here we would definitely want one of these enclosures. Fast forward again to this summer and I am now researching the pros and cons of replacing or refurbishing an existing cage.
This was how our pool and the cage appeared in June of this year.
We bought this home about a year and a half ago but the house is fourteen years old - just old enough that it is requiring some added maintenance.
We started updating this part of the house last fall when we resurfaced the pool and replaced the tile.
We knew the cage was starting to look tired but we had turned our design thoughts and dollars toward renovating the kitchen. We thought the cage could wait another year. Then, a couple of weeks ago, a storm blew through and we were left with a sunroof in our pool enclosure.
The simple fix would be to have someone come out and repair the missing screen but the more we thought about it, the more we realized that this is the part of the house we enjoy the most. The cage had several small tears and we had noticed more bugs recently. The aluminum structure was also looking faded and a number of the support screws were rusted. Maybe we needed to think about more than a simple repair.
So we started scouring the internet for pool cage specialists in our area. We will be going with Gulf Coast Aluminum. It was interesting that they were able to give us an estimate using Google Earth software without even coming out to the house. The software zeros in on our house, the pool and lanai area, takes measurements and figures the estimated cost. Wow!
We were given two options. We could either tear down the existing cage and replace it with an entirely new structure or we could have all the screening removed, rusted bolts and screws replaced with aluminum non-rusting screws, repair and repaint the existing aluminum cage and then rescreen with new no see um screening for a little over half of the cost of a total replacement.
We went back and forth for a bit. This is one of our favorite places to relax so we want to be happy with the end result but we also want to spend our dollars wisely.
There are some options in the new cages, like these picture window size openings that I would love to have.
Photo courtesy of Gulf Coast Aluminum
But, we will be returning to our coastal home in about a month and we would like to be able to use the lanai. We really don't mind the existing structure. It just needs some TLC.
I am one of those people that mosquitoes just seem to be drawn to, so a pool without a cage or an enclosure with a gaping hole is not an option I want to think about.
News of the Zika virus, while perhaps overblown, is an added concern. Totally replacing the cage would require building permits and it would be about three months before the project would begin. Whereas repairing, repainting, and rescreening can be done within the next two weeks. Cost is always a concern but for us, timing is everything and we will be going the restoration route.
Interestingly enough, the biggest cost of either starting over or rescreening is the screens themselves. Maybe because we are going with the no see um option which is a finer, more bug- resistant screen.
I hope this company pulls through for us. They are very well rated on the various social networking sites and with the BBB.
I will follow up as this project moves forward.
In the meantime, I will be staying inside or bathing in DEET.
Sharing my pool cage reno here: