Screened in Patio using an Aluminum Frame

Hi All,
My wife and I (living in Texas) visited family in Florida last week, and being my first time to Florida in many years I noticed many homes had Aluminum framed screened-in porches and patios. I also saw many homes had screens on their garage door as well. I've never seen this type of construction in my area, but we would like to add such a patio to our home.
The patios we saw weren't made of wood, but instead used an Aluminum frame. I want to build the patio myself, but I've yet to find any place local who carries these aluminum frames. Can someone suggest an online resource or any ideas on where to locate the parts or a kit to build such a patio? I've worked with a wood screened-in patio before where the screen was just stapled down, but the aluminum framed patios look so much nicer.
Thanks for any ideas -- and if anyone has installed such a patio or porch, any caviets or suggestions for the DIY'er who's about to take on such a project?
Thanks ---
Alex
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Where in TX? does it ever snow? Those patios in FL will never see a snow load on the roof and may explain why you don't see so many near your home. You should be able to find a suitable construction though, have tried yahoogling "aluminum patio cover" there are plenty to look at.
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Alex wrote:

You can purchase the materials from a glass shop, a pool enclosure shop etc., but I wouldn't call this a DIY project.
Unless of course you have some kind of experience with fabricating aluminum framing.
The way it works is, the installers come to your house, you tell them what you want, they take some measurements and then go back to the shop and fabricate it. Then they come back out and install the sections, screen it and caulk it.
You need jigs and other uncommon tools to fabricate it correctly.
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If you want to make your own, have you considered simple screen doors mounted side by side with H channels between and U channel top and bottom. The problem would be finding doors without holes for handles predrilled. In Arizona senior citizen parks, I've seen old sliding patio doors mounted this way to make solid glass walls. Cheap if you can find a bunch of surplus doors. Which reminds me that you can buy aluminum screens for sliding patio doors...might work in place of screen doors although they are pretty flimsy.
Tom G.
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On Tue, 21 Mar 2006 22:17:03 GMT, someone wrote:

Oh thrilling, just what he wants, to make his place look like some low budget senior park.... Would that be mobile home park?
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
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Alex, I live in Florida and have a screened in patio just as you explained. I built it my self, was a piece of cake. Lowes has the material 1X2s 2X2s roof panels and corner brackets. And a big box of self drilling screws. All the aluminum components are cut with skill saw or better yet a chop saw. BE SURE TO WEAR EYE PROTECTION!!! Lowes catalog or go to store and have the wood trim guy help you to order. Oh yea the screen is held in place with a rubber spline. My patio is about 12X12 feet was an easy DIY> Muff

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Muff (nospam) wrote:

I was talking about 5x2 framing which is what pool enclosures are made out of.
What you built isn't flimsy?

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Not flimsey at all. Infact at my last house (I sold it 4 yrs ago) It had a big 30000 gal pool with a big screened in incloseur that was all 2X2 with 5" beems on top was built many years ago and was not flimsey at all Muff

on
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On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 13:22:04 GMT, "Muff"

Screen cages are pretty rare where it snows, unless you have a load bearing roof, made of other material. The big issue in other (tropical) places is wind load. These things are more like a biplane than a bridge when you look at the engineering. Most of the structural strength comes from the cables that make the structure dimentionally stable. You are taking a bunch of rectangles that are strong in compression and adding diagonal cables that makes the structure triangles, strong in tension. Every time we have a storm they fine tune the engineering for the "next" thing that failed. Don't underestimate the cables though. Every cage failure I investigated here in the last 4 or 5 storms started with a cable failing, usually the anchor in a top outside corner failed first and then the structure started shaking itself apart. Once you lose a section, the rest is close behind.
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Alex wrote:

Try, for instance: http://creativesunroomcom.nxg.verizonsupersite.com/sunrooms.nxg
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Alex wrote:

Oh, well...try this then: http://creativesunroom.com
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