Last Updated: Sep 19, 2020

Where We Started

  • Large screen enclosures are not new. They were built in Florida for many years before we discovered them in 1991. Here's a short history of how Suncoast Enclosures here in Canada came to be. Back in the late sixties two of my Dad's brothers and their families emigrated to Sydney, Australia to start a life insurance company. When they moved, my cousin, Court James, and I were about 12 years old. Sometime between those years, and after we were older and had started our families, Court discovered the screen enclosure business from Florida and contacted me to tell me that he thought this could work in Canada if I could figure out a way to have them stand up to our Canadian winters. In the winter of 1991 I went to Sydney to see for myself and before long I was convinced that there was a definite need for a product like this in Canada and that we could somehow figure out how to make them strong enough to carry the snowloads here in Canada.

    We calculated the amount of material required to build a room on my house here in the Edmoton area and on my brother-in-law's house in southern Alberta. This would be the snow test in the north and the wind test in the south of the province. The material finally arrived late in the summer of 1991 and so did one of my cousin's builders from Australia. He trained me and a friend who later became our first builder. Harry is still building for us today. One of his sons is on his team.

    The screen room was great to have on our house for the remainder of that season and I braced for the snow load test during the winter of '91-'92. At that stage I fully expected to have to design some sort of system where we could remove the roof sections for the winter and re-install them each spring. I thought if I couldn't figure that out I would give up the whole idea and chalk it up to experience. It was just screen on the roof, after all. To my great surprise the roof held up under 6", then 12", then over 2 feet of snow and continued to hold up through the remainder of the winter.

    The pleasure me and my family got out of the screened in area during the late summer and fall of 1991, and the fact that the screens weren't damaged over the winter, made me begin to believe that we could actually turn this idea into a business enterprise. We set up a display in the spring home show and before we knew it we had some sales. We sold and built over 30 screen rooms that first year.

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