Tony Mora, Director of Suncoast Outdoor Living, was recently speaking with 4BC host Spencer answering some common questions we get asked about our patio and pool enclosures. Have a listen below or read the transcript.
Spencer: And this morning, I want you to meet Tony Mora. He’s the owner of Suncoast Outdoor Living. Hello, Tony.
Tony: Good morning, Spencer. How are you?
Spencer: Very well, thank you. Thank you for coming in. And thank you for supporting 4BC. Hopefully we send lots of business your way. Now, if you’ve got a question for Tony about your place as we chat about what Suncoast Outdoor Living offers, what might be possible at your place, call now, 133 882, or you can text in on 0499 880 882. Of course, you can get in touch with Tony and the team after the show as well. But, here’s your chance, if you want, just pick up the phone, give us a call. What’s your story and the story of the company, Tony? How long have you been around?
Tony: Suncoast Outdoor Living, we’ve been in business for over 20 years now. So, obviously, we live in a very unique environment in Queensland and, you know, creating perfect outdoor living. We all work hard during the day, usually in air conditioning. We get home, be great to go outside, spend time sitting outside having a barbecue and entertaining. But we get those little nuisances, mosquitoes, midges. You know, you look outside, you don’t wanna have to wipe up all the bird droppings all over your outdoor furniture, it’s full of leaves. So, what Suncoast Outdoor Living do, we create usable outdoor living. So, it means that it’s a seamless transition from inside your house to the outside of your house, still maintaining a nice breeze, still maintaining your views. But it’s really important to have a good team come in there and help you design a usable, functionable area.
Spencer: And we’ll get to some of the things that you sort of specialise in. But I wanted to ask you about where you work, where you do most of your work because some people might hear the name Suncoast and assume that means Sunshine Coast.
Tony: Absolutely, yeah. So, the word Suncoast actually derived from Florida of all places. So, “Suncoast the Fun-coast”. And we specialise in what they call Florida rooms, so our screen enclosures. So, hence the name became, you know, Suncoast. People automatically think that we’re from the Sunshine Coast, but we’ve always been a Brisbane-based company. Doesn’t mean we don’t go up the Sunshine Coast. We’ve just finished a job up at Airlie Beach of all places. So, we predominantly work in the Brisbane area. We only do patios in Brisbane area. But yeah, Brisbane-based, Brisbane-bred, and Brisbane-born.
Spencer: Excellent. I had to ask that question because it was sort of the elephant in the room. And the first time I heard the ads, I was like, “Oh, yes, Sunshine Coast Outdoor, no, no, no, no, no, no, it’s Suncoast, and they’re in Brisbane.” Let’s talk about patios. What can be done to enclose a patio?
Tony: Enclosing a patio is very much an optional extra. So, first and foremost, having a good patio is…especially if you’re starting afresh, but having a usable patio, having a good design. I mean, there’s no point in having a patio where we live in an environment where we get a lot of rain and we get our big storms and suddenly you’ve got a small envelope of dry area. So, the design of the patios first and foremost is the important thing.
Spencer: And you build the patios themselves as well.
Tony: We actually build the patios and design the patios if someone needs the whole structure built as well. When it comes to existing alfresco areas or existing patio areas, you know, we have an outdoor screening system. We specialise in outdoor screening. We have seven different screens. It comes back to why people wanna enclose their outdoor area. So, it may be the fact that they wanna maintain their…you know, keep their pets inside. You know, a lot of councils are jumping up and down on people with cats now.
Spencer: And I know you’re a cat person.
Tony: I’m a cat person. I’ve got three beautiful fur babies at home.
Spencer: And, look, I’m wearing one of my cat T-shirts today.
Tony: You’ve got your best dad cat T-shirt on fantastic. A lot of it is mosquitoes, midges, but being able to open the doors and have a seamless transition from inside to outside, not having to come home and clean up the mess. You know, it’s just beautiful to come home and have a barbecue. They can go out and barbecue. Mum can go out and barbecue and not get eaten alive.
Spencer: I think for us…I was just thinking about this last night, sitting on our back deck. We’ve got a deck that’s almost like a veranda that wraps around two sides of the house, but it’s a deck, technically. And we’ve got cats. And so, it’s a real problem in summer, knowing just, like, what to do with screen. We’ve got French doors and the deck’s big. And it just seems an insurmountable challenge, just the scale of it, not saying we live in a palace by any means, but just the size. But I look at the photos on your website and your guys, you would turn up and just go, “Yeah, no worries. Here’s what we do.”
Tony: Well, I’m probably a classic example of that. You know, we’ve got a small…an old…it’s almost like a miner’s cottage. It’s a very small Queenslander. But our outdoor entertaining area is probably half the size of our house again. And we live outside. Your cats wanna be out there with you. I go to so many people’s houses, and I walk in and I see their back doors being destroyed, you know, the cats have been pawing at it.
Spencer: It’s like you’ve been at our place.
Tony: They wanna get outside. Once they get outside, apart from the initial, “Hey, we’re outside, and there’s a bird landing on our screens on the outside,” they just wanna find a beautiful spot during the day, go and sit out there. And, you know, we know that we can go out for the whole day and know that they’re safe and they’re sound.
Spencer: So, there’s no limit to the size then of a deck or a veranda that can be enclosed?
Tony: Definitely not. Obviously, there’s a limit to the panel sizes we can do with our screening system, you know, depending on what screen. So, there’s a lot of things that come into become involved in that. Places, say, up on the Gold Coast Hinterland where it’s highly exposed to wind, we have to reduce our panel sizes for the amount of…you know, how big the screen panels are gonna be. What type of screen we use, you know, the denser the screen, the smaller the panel is going to be. So, you know, it’s about making it so that in 5, 10 years’ time, we’re not getting phone calls, people saying, “Hey, our screen’s starting to flap around.” We guarantee that they stay taut, and that’s really important as far as your views on that go.
Spencer: Why would they be dense? Like, because you said there are seven different types that you use.
Tony: Yeah, look, you know, if I walk into someone’s house and they go, “Look, we get a really bad western sun during the afternoon. We’d like a bit more protection from that.” Maybe they’ve got a block of units next door that they want a bit more protection from that. So, it’s about customising it, but it’s also bringing our experience in to go, “Hey, you know, we don’t wanna reduce airflow. We wanna make sure that this is usable.”
Spencer: It all comes back to what do you want it for, what you’re putting in your place.
Spencer: If you’ve got a question for Tony, this is Tony Mora, if you’ve just tuned in. He’s the owner of Suncoast Outdoor Living. You’ve heard the ads on 4BC. Here’s your chance to call up and ask Tony what might be possible at your place. We’ve talked about patios and enclosing patios, keeping the cats in. I mean, like, pet enclosures is a thing. You could just have a little bit of your veranda sort of screen for cats to play in.
Tony: Our enclosures are more designed for humans, and cats, and dogs. So, you know, we’ve done a couple in the past where we’ve done half and they’ve come back and said, “Look, can you do the whole thing? Because we actually spend more time in the enclosed area than we do on the outside area.”
Spencer: And there’s a great couple of photos of cats clinging to the screen.
Tony: That is my crazy Norwegian forest cat.
Spencer: But that scares me there because I’m imagining, you know, holes, that’s probably our other fear because we’ve got cats. But what you said before is once they’ve got used to it, then they don’t even think that those screens are there and they don’t worry about them.
Tony: Apart from the odd frustration that the cats get from lorikeets and that making a lot of noise. Now, it’s to the point where before it was, “I want to get out there and get them.” Now, it’s like, “Would you guys just be quiet? I’m sleeping.”
Spencer: The other thing you do is enclose swimming pools. And so, you’ve got…and these, they just look brilliant. Like, just have a look at them on the website again. So, we’ve got a pool, and leaves are the big problem. And then I look at your website, and you put these structures over the top so it screens the pool, so it stops the leaves, but also then you can sit inside there and you don’t have the mozzies attacking you.
Tony: Correct. Yeah. A lot of other benefits too, obviously, reduces water evaporation, chemical usage, better UV protection. But, primarily, it’s creating, again, that seamless transition from bringing your entertainment area with your house, with your pool, opening your backdoors, not having any mosquitoes, and giving you time back. You know, a lot of our clients, they’ll spend an hour and a half a day sometimes cleaning their pools out. So, a lot of time during the week. So, we’re saying, “Look, create a Florida room or a screen pool enclosure, and we’ll give you some time back.”
Spencer: How do you get the leaves off the top of the enclosure?
Tony: Good question. Look, they, there’s a lot of airflow. So, they pretty much blow up, they dry up, and they blow off, but then you’ve got the blow-off vats. The main thing is you’re not looking down, you’re looking up, you’re not looking down, and they’re not on your pool.
Spencer: And you can put lights as well, I guess, on the inside. You can actually light a pool, into a structure.
Tony: Yeah, look, lighting. There’s a lot of great lighting that’s available now, especially with the LEDs, and that we’ve got available. So, you can get that. That’s not something that we do with the enclosures, but we can definitely point people in the right direction for the companies that do do that.
Spencer: And what’s your plan for the next, you know, I’m sure you’re extremely busy at the moment, but the next 5, 10 years, you’d say you’re working in Airlie and you’re working around South East Queensland.
Tony: We’re always keeping up to date with what’s available worldwide. So, next year we’re actually going over to a trade show over in the States, having a look at what’s the latest and greatest. We source the best products that are available because our environment chews anything that you put up on your outside of your house. It’ll just destroy it. You know, we live in such a harsh environment. So, there’s unfortunately no one that manufactures screens in Australia. So, we source our screens from the best company in America. And they are designed to copy our UV. So, you know, again, you don’t want five years’ time, you don’t want something that’s going to look all gray and old like us. And making sure that the right product…so we’re always in the forefront. We use a great locally manufactured patio company, Ausdeck. We’ve been using… You know, so, again, it’s just about having the right products for our environment.
Spencer: Thanks for coming in, Tony.
Tony: That’s all right.
Spencer: Tony Mora is the owner of Suncoast Outdoor Living. I’ve been talking about the photos. Just have a look at the website, suncoastoutdoorliving.com.au, and have a look at the pictures, especially the photos of the cat on the enclosure screen. And there’s a text question that’s just come in from Brenda. She says, “Question for Tony, do people run into the screens?” It’s a fair question. The one screen we have added to our place is we’ve got French doors off our main bedroom and we’ve got this really long screen that we sort of pull along. And the cats walk into that sometimes. And then it flick, it’s not one of yours, but it’s…you know what I’m saying. And it flicks back into, you know, the casing. Yeah, I guess, what’s your answer to Brenda there?
Tony: Sure. Good question, Brenda. We get asked that a lot. Two of our screens are actually pool-compliant. And the way that we attach our screen to our powder-coated aluminum extrusion, it allows us to have quite a high impact. Now, they’re not security screens. They’re not designed for security, but Spencer is looking at me right now. I’m not a small chap.
Spencer: Fairly similar to what I’d say.
Tony: I can stand on a meter-by-meter panel that we take to the home show and jump up and down, and I won’t go through it. Eventually, like, if I wanted to kick it in, like any security door, you can do the same thing. But yeah, leaning against it, it actually self-tensions. So, it’ll go back to being taut. But can cope a fair bit of a battering.
Spencer: Fair question. And thanks for asking it, Brenda.
Tony: Awesome, Brenda. Thank you.
Spencer: That’s what this was all about, giving you the chance to phone up. You’ve heard the ads, and here’s the…anyway, you can get on the website, and you can find out about Suncoast Outdoor Living, and then you can call Tony, and you can chat to him off air about what might be possible at your place. Good to meet you. Thanks for coming in.
Tony: Thanks, Spencer.
Spencer: And thanks for my new T-shirt.
Tony: All good.
Spencer: So, if you’re watching… Because I knew you were a cat lover, I put one of my cat T-shirts on today and then tomorrow…because we got cameras here in the studio. So tomorrow I will wear the Suncoast Outdoor Living T-shirt all day on the…
Tony: Fantastic. Yeah. Thank you.
Spencer: Good on you. Thanks for coming in.
Tony: Thanks, Spencer.
Spencer: It is 14 to 12 on 4BC.