Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040016183 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/205,682
Publication dateJan 29, 2004
Filing dateJul 24, 2002
Priority dateJul 24, 2002
Publication number10205682, 205682, US 2004/0016183 A1, US 2004/016183 A1, US 20040016183 A1, US 20040016183A1, US 2004016183 A1, US 2004016183A1, US-A1-20040016183, US-A1-2004016183, US2004/0016183A1, US2004/016183A1, US20040016183 A1, US20040016183A1, US2004016183 A1, US2004016183A1
InventorsStacy Hoffman
Original AssigneeHoffman Stacy L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Retractable enclosure system
US 20040016183 A1
Abstract
A retractable enclosure system for providing outdoor comfort to individuals adjacent to a building. The retractable enclosure system includes a housing attachable to a building structure, a foldable frame attached to the housing and/or building structure, and a covering surrounding the foldable frame. The foldable frame preferably includes a plurality of support members connected to one another by a plurality of lower extension members and upper extension members. A plurality of support cables are preferably dispensed from a cable reel within the housing adjacent to the upper portions of the support members for providing additional support to the covering. The covering is preferably comprised of a netting for allowing enjoyment of the exterior surroundings while preventing the entry of insects.
Images(12)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(20)
I claim:
1. A retractable enclosure system, comprising:
a housing having an interior portion;
a foldable frame attached to said housing or a building structure, wherein said foldable frame is positionable within said interior portion when in a storage position; and
a covering attached to said foldable frame.
2. The retractable enclosure system of claim 1, wherein said covering is comprised of a netting material.
3. The retractable enclosure system of claim 1, wherein said foldable frame forms an inverted U-shaped structure.
4. The retractable enclosure system of claim 3, wherein said covering encloses a top and opposing sides of said foldable frame.
5. The retractable enclosure system of claim 1, wherein said foldable frame is comprised of a plurality of support members, a plurality of upper extension members attached between said plurality of support members, and a plurality of lower extension members attached between said plurality of support members.
6. The retractable enclosure system of claim 5, wherein said plurality of support members are comprised of a first support member, a second support member, a third support member and a fourth support member.
7. The retractable enclosure system of claim 6, including an upper support member pivotally attached to said third support member.
8. The retractable enclosure system of claim 6, including a pair of hinges attached to distal ends of said second support member, said third support member and said fourth support member.
9. The retractable enclosure system of claim 1, including a plurality of sleeves attached to said covering and engaging said foldable frame.
10. The retractable enclosure system of claim 1, wherein said housing has an inverted U-shaped structure.
11. A retractable enclosure system, comprising:
a housing having an interior portion;
a foldable frame attached to said housing or a building structure, wherein said foldable frame is positionable within said interior portion when in a storage position;
a cable reel positioned within said housing;
a plurality of support cables attached to said cable reel and slidably extending adjacent to an upper portion of said foldable frame; and
a covering attached to said foldable frame.
12. The retractable enclosure system of claim 11, wherein said covering is comprised of a netting material.
13. The retractable enclosure system of claim 11, wherein said foldable frame forms an inverted U-shaped structure.
14. The retractable enclosure system of claim 13, wherein said covering encloses a top and opposing sides of said foldable frame.
15. The retractable enclosure system of claim 11, wherein said foldable frame is comprised of a plurality of support members, a plurality of upper extension members attached between said plurality of support members, and a plurality of lower extension members attached between said plurality of support members.
16. The retractable enclosure system of claim 15, wherein said plurality of support members are comprised of a first support member, a second support member, a third support member and a fourth support member.
17. The retractable enclosure system of claim 16, including an upper support member pivotally attached to said third support member.
18. The retractable enclosure system of claim 16, including a pair of hinges attached to distal ends of said second support member, said third support member and said fourth support member.
19. The retractable enclosure system of claim 11, including a plurality of sleeves attached to said covering and engaging said foldable frame.
20. The retractable enclosure system of claim 11, wherein said plurality of support cables include a plurality of hooks that selective engage a corresponding plurality of eyelets attached to a fourth support member of said frame.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not applicable to this application.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not applicable to this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] The present invention relates generally to enclosure structures and more specifically it relates to a retractable enclosure system for providing outdoor comfort to individuals adjacent to a building.

[0005] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0006] Enclosure devices for keeping insects away from individuals have been in use for years. Conventional enclosures are comprised of a frame structure with netting attached about the frame for enclosing the individuals. Conventional enclosures are not suitable for attachment to a building structure. In addition, conventional enclosures are not suitable for extension and retraction with respect to a building structure.

[0007] Examples of patented devices which may be related to the present invention include U.S. Pat. No. 5,549,129; U.S. Pat. No. 4,102,353; U.S. Pat. No. 2,255,837; U.S. Pat. No. 5,598,668; U.S. Pat. No. 3,952,463; U.S. Pat. No. 4,561,227; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,145,855.

[0008] In these respects, the retractable enclosure system according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of providing outdoor comfort to individuals adjacent to a building.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of enclosure devices now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new retractable enclosure system construction wherein the same can be utilized for providing outdoor comfort to individuals adjacent to a building.

[0010] The general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a new retractable enclosure system that has many of the advantages of the enclosure devices mentioned heretofore and many novel features that result in a new retractable enclosure system which is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art enclosure devices, either alone or in any combination thereof.

[0011] To attain this, the present invention generally comprises a housing attachable to a building structure, a foldable frame attached to the housing or building structure, and a covering surrounding the foldable frame. The foldable frame preferably includes a plurality of support members connected to one another by a plurality of lower extension members and upper extension members. A plurality of support cables are preferably dispensed from a cable reel within the housing or building structure adjacent to the upper portions of the support members for providing additional support to the covering. The covering is preferably comprised of a netting for allowing viewing of the exterior surrounds while preventing the entry of insects.

[0012] There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and that will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

[0013] In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0014] A primary object of the present invention is to provide a retractable enclosure system that will overcome the shortcomings of the prior art devices.

[0015] A second object is to provide a retractable enclosure system for providing outdoor comfort to individuals adjacent to a building in a cost effective manner.

[0016] Another object is to provide a retractable enclosure system that may be utilized upon various sizes and types of building structures.

[0017] An additional object is to provide a retractable enclosure system that may be extended to various distances from a building structure.

[0018] A further object is to provide a retractable enclosure system that may be operated by a single person.

[0019] Another object is to provide a retractable enclosure system that is quickly setup and stored away.

[0020] A further object is to provide a retractable enclosure system that may be conveniently stored against the building structure.

[0021] Another object is to provide a retractable enclosure system that may cover various areas such as but not limited to patios.

[0022] A further object is to provide a retractable enclosure that is extended and folded as a single unit.

[0023] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become obvious to the reader and it is intended that these objects and advantages are within the scope of the present invention.

[0024] To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

[0026]FIG. 1 is an upper perspective view of the present invention fully extended with the cover removed.

[0027]FIG. 2 is an upper perspective view of the present invention fully extended.

[0028]FIG. 3 is an upper perspective of the present invention with the front portion folded.

[0029]FIG. 4 is an upper perspective view of the present invention with the entire structure being folded.

[0030]FIG. 5 is a side view of the present invention full extended.

[0031]FIG. 6 is an upper perspective view of the present invention with the support cables being extended.

[0032]FIG. 7 is an upper perspective view of the present invention being retracted with the cover removed.

[0033]FIG. 8 is an upper perspective view of the present invention being retracted with the cover removed.

[0034]FIG. 9 is an upper perspective view of the present invention in the stored position.

[0035]FIG. 10 is an upper perspective view of a first alternative embodiment of the present invention.

[0036]FIG. 11 is an upper perspective view of a second alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0037] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, FIGS. 1 through 11 illustrate a retractable enclosure system 10, which comprises a housing 20 attachable to a building structure, a foldable frame attached to the housing 20 and/or the building structure, and a covering 80 surrounding the foldable frame. The foldable frame preferably includes a plurality of support members 30, 40, 50, 60 connected to one another by a plurality of lower extension members 70 and upper extension members 72. A plurality of support cables 74 are preferably dispensed from a cable reel 78 within the housing 20 or the building structure through or adjacent to the upper portions of the support members 30, 40, 50, 60 for providing additional support to the covering 80. The covering 80 is preferably comprised of a netting for allowing viewing and outdoor comfort of the exterior surrounds while preventing the entry of insects.

[0038] As shown in FIGS. 1 through 11 of the drawings, the housing 20 has an interior portion 22 for receiving the foldable frame and covering 80. The housing 20 preferably has an inverted U-shaped structure as best illustrated in FIG. 9 of the drawings. Various other shapes may be used to construct the housing 20 for receiving the support members 30, 40, 50, 60 and cover 80. The interior portion 22 is formed for easily receiving the support members with the covering 80. The housing 20 and/or the foldable frame may be attached to a building structure either permanently or removably utilizing conventional fastening devices.

[0039] As shown in FIGS. 1 through 8 of the drawings, a first support member 30, a second support member 40, a third support member 50 and a fourth support member 60 are all interconnected to one another via a plurality of foldable lower extension members 70 and a plurality of foldable upper extension members 72. A base support member may be attached within the housing 20 and connected to the first support member 30 as best illustrated in FIG. 5. The support members 30, 40, 50, 60 may have various shapes, however it is preferable that the support members 30, 40, 50, 60 have an inverted U-shaped structure for maximizing the useful interior area beneath the covering 80. A hinge 42 preferably pivotally connects the distal ends of the second support member 40, the third support member 50 and the fourth support member 60 thereby eliminate the need for lower extension members 70 between thereof as best shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 of the drawings. As shown in FIGS. 5 through 8 of the drawings, an upper support member 52 is pivotally attached to the third support member 50 for providing additional extension of the covering 80 with respect to the frame.

[0040] As shown in FIGS. 5 through 8 of the drawings, a plurality of support cables 74 are attached to a cable reel 78 within the housing 20 or on a building structure and slidably extend preferably through eyelets within the support members 30, 40, 50, 60. The distal ends of the support cables 74 preferably have respective hooks 76 for selectively engaging eyelets 62 within the fourth support member 60 as best illustrated in FIG. 6 of the drawings. The cable reel 78 is preferably spring loaded for drawing the support cables 74 in when the frame is folded within the interior portion 22 of the housing 20.

[0041] As shown in FIGS. 1 through 4 of the drawings, a covering 80 is attached to the frame for enclosing an area. The covering 80 is preferably comprised of a netting material, however various other materials may be utilized that are suitable for allowing outdoor comfort while keeping insects outside. The covering 80 preferably extends/retracts about three or more sides of the frame as illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings. It can also be appreciated that a door may be positioned within the covering 80 such as by utilizing a zipper structure or related opening. In addition, additional materials may be added to the covering 80 for providing protection from sunlight and other weather elements.

[0042] A plurality of first sleeves 82 are attached to the covering 80 and movably engage the extension members 70, 72. A plurality of second sleeves 84 are attached to the covering 80 and movably engage the support members 30, 40, 50, 60.

[0043]FIG. 10 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the present invention wherein the third support member 50 and the fourth support member 60 are not utilized thereby forming a generally rectangular structure. FIG. 11 illustrates a second alternative embodiment of the present invention wherein the first support member 30 is not utilized creating a relatively shorter structure. Various other configurations may be utilized to construct the present invention.

[0044] As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

[0045] With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed to be within the expertise of those skilled in the art, and all equivalent structural variations and relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

[0046] Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.

Index of Elements for Retractable Enclosure System
ENVIRONMENTAL ELEMENTS
10. Retractable Enclosure System
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20. Housing
21.
22. Interior Portion
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30. First Support Member
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40. Second Support Member
41.
42. Hinge
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50. Third Support Member
51.
52. Upper Support Member
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.
58.
59.
60. Fourth Support Member
61.
62. Eyelets
63.
64.
65.
66.
67.
68.
69.
70. Lower Extension Members
71.
72. Upper Extension Members
73.
74. Support Cables
75.
76. Hooks
77.
78. Cable Reel
79.
80. Covering
81.
82. First Sleeves
83.
84. Second Sleeves

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7900417 *Apr 22, 2005Mar 8, 2011Richard LeinesPergola having posts, beams, joists, strips, clips, and internal support stiffeners
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/64, 52/73
International ClassificationE04H15/38, E04H15/52
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/38, E04H15/52
European ClassificationE04H15/38, E04H15/52