A lanai screen enclosure is a patio, veranda or porch that is enclosed on all sides by a screen. The name is thought to have originated on the Hawaiian island of Lanai where many dwellings feature the architectural design.
Lanais are designed to cheaply increase the living space of a dwelling. Screen lanai enclosures offer protection from the sun's ultraviolet rays, and the added benefit of keeping unwanted insects, pollen and debris from invading the lanai. Many lanai screen options are designed to block up to 65 percent of UV rays and can assist in reducing overall home cooling costs for owners.
Lanai screen enclosures are generally built using a wood, aluminum or vinyl framing material. Lanai screen wood framing is normally chosen for its aesthetic appeal. However, the wood material deteriorates much more quickly than the aluminum and vinyl options. Furthermore, in hot and humid climates where lanai screen enclosures are so popular, wood framing has a tendency to shrink and contract, which could eventually ruin the lanai screen material.
Aluminum and vinyl framing materials are far more durable than wood framing and are generally easier to work with when installing or replacing lanai screens. Where wood framing requires numerous hand and power tools to remove old screening and replace it, aluminum and vinyl hold the screen material in a custom-cut channel, which makes the screen easy to remove using a single spline tool.