Title:
SCUPPER FOR ENCLOSED PATIO, PORCH OR POOL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A scupper, for providing access to a screen enclosed area, comprising a stationary base plate, for securing to a frame member, and a pivotable door. The base plate has an elongate groove therein for securing a screen to the base plate and supports a first component of a hinge. The pivotable door carries a mating component of the hinge which mates with the first component of the hinge to facilitate pivoting of the door relative to the base plate. The scupper provides an access opening for an enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area to facilitate passage of a garden hose, or the like, therethrough and/or facilitate cleaning thereof with water.



Inventors:
Smoronk, Dean V. (Framington, NH, US)
Application Number:
11/761462
Publication Date:
12/18/2008
Filing Date:
06/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIS & BUJOLD, P.L.L.C. (CONCORD, NH, US)
Claims:
I/We claim:

1. A scupper for providing access to a screen enclosed area, the scupper comprising: a stationary base plate for securing to a frame member, the base plate having an elongate groove therein for securing a screen to the base plate, and the base plate supporting a first component of a hinge; and a pivotable door carrying a mating component of the hinge which mates with the first component of the hinge to facilitate pivoting of the door relative to the base plate.

2. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein the scupper includes a mechanism for securing the base plate to a pair of adjacent frame members.

3. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein the mechanism for securing the base plate to a pair of adjacent frame members comprises a pair of attachment holes in the base plate.

4. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein the door has at least one handle to facilitate one of opening and closing of the door.

5. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein the door has a handle, on each opposed surface thereof, to facilitate one of opening and closing of the door.

6. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein the door is substantially pentagonal in shape without any exposed sharp edge or surface.

7. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein, following installation of the scupper, the frame members form a stop which permits the door to only open in one direction and assists with maintaining the door in its closed position.

8. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein, following installation of the scupper, the door is spaced from the frame members so as to permit the door to open in both directions.

9. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein the base plate has a length of between 4 and 6 inches and a width of between 1 and 3 inches and the door has a surface area of between 3.5 to about 5.0 square inches.

10. The scupper according to claim 1, further comprising a latch assembly comprising a latch bar slidably mounted to the door by a slot and at least one handle and engagable with the base plate for preventing pivoting motion of the door about the hinge in at least one direction.

11. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein, following installation, a weight of the door biases the door toward into a closed position which generally lies in a plane defined by the base plate.

12. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein a resilient spline, which has an interference fit with the elongate groove, is provided for captively retaining an edge of a screening panel within the elongate groove.

13. The scupper according to claim 1, wherein the elongate groove extends along an edge of the scupper spaced from the door.

14. A scupper for providing access to a screen enclosed area through an enclosure panel, the scupper comprising: a scupper base plate for mounting diagonally in a corner of the enclosure panel, between a horizontal base member of the enclosure panel and a vertical frame member of the enclosure panel, and a pivotal scupper door hinged to the scupper base plate by a hinge, the scupper door including a rectangular portion hinged to the scupper base plate within a rectangular cutout in the scupper base plate, and a triangular portion extending away from rectangular portion into a corresponding triangular space between the scupper base plate and the corner of the enclosure panel,

15. The scupper according to claim 14, further comprising a latch assembly including a latch bar slidably mounted to the scupper door by at least one bar bracket and movable for engaging with the scupper base plate to prevent motion of the scupper door about the hinge in at least one direction.

16. The scupper according to claim 15, wherein the latch assembly further comprises at least one handle fixed to the latch bar and extending through a bar slot in the scupper door for moving the latch bar between a position engaged with the scupper base plate and a position where the scupper door is moveable about the hinge.

17. The scupper according to claim 15, further comprising at least one restraining bracket, on the scupper base plate, to prevent motion of the scupper door about the hinge.

18. The scupper according to claim 15, wherein a weight of the scupper door biases the scupper door toward a closed position with respect to the scupper base plate.

19. The scupper according to claim 18, wherein: the scupper includes a latch assembly including a latch bar slidably mounted to the scupper door by bar brackets and moveable to engage with the scupper base plate and at least one handle fixed to the latch bar and extending through a bar slot in the scupper door for moving the latch bar between a position engaged with the scupper base plate and a position wherein the scupper door is moveable about the hinge and wherein a weight of the latch assembly increases the biasing of the scupper door toward the closed position.

20. A method of attaching a scupper to an enclosed area in which the scupper comprises a stationary base plate for securing to a frame member, the base plate having an elongate groove therein for securing a screen to the base plate and a mating resilient spline, and the base plate supporting a first component of a hinge; and a pivotable door carrying a mating component of the hinge which mates with the first component of the hinge to facilitate pivoting of the door relative to the base plate, the method comprising the steps of: cutting a lower corner of a screen; securing one end of the base plate to a first frame member and attaching an opposite end of the base plate to an adjacent second frame member; and placing the spline within the groove so as to captively retain screen panel therein.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a scupper or trap door for an enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area as well as a method of modifying an enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area to provide a small access door or scupper to facilitate cleaning of the enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area and/or facilitate passage of a garden hose, or the like, therethrough.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In many parts of the United States, the areas of houses or other buildings providing outdoor access to porches, patios, lanais, pool areas and similar areas, are not only covered but are completely enclosed by screening or netting to prevent unwanted bugs, insects, animals and the like from entering the enclosed area. However, due to the enclosed area also being exposed to the environment, the enclosed area has as tendency to become soiled or dirty due to the passage of pollen, dust, dirt, fine particulate matter and other debris through the screen and entering the enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area, and settling on the furniture and/or base surface of the enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area. Although these enclosed lanais, pools, patios, porches or other areas may be provided with a door or access opening, it is often difficult to remove the larger particulate matter and other debris which may collect in the enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area the enclosed area. In addition, if the enclosed screened area is enclosing a swimming pool, hot tub or Jacuzzi, for example, it is frequently necessary to fill the swimming pool, hot tub and/or Jacuzzi with water, via a garden hose, for example, which is typically connected to an exterior faucet. If the enclosed screened area is equipped with a human access door, it is undesirable to run the garden hose through the doorway due to the creation of a potentially hazardous condition where a person using the doorway may trip over the garden hose, and the garden hose generally prevents the screen door from being latched or locked, this also may result in the high winds forcing the door open and damaging either the spring or the door hinges or possibly permitting access to the enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area by an intruder.

As is typical with many of these enclosed screened areas, the framework defining the enclosed area is manufactured from aluminum and the base surface is manufactured from concrete, stone, brick, tile or some other material which is resistant to water or moisture and can be sprayed or washed to facilitate cleaning thereof. As a result of this, many homeowners frequently like to wash or spray the base surface and/or portions of the framework of the enclosed screened area, with water discharged from a water hose, and direct and collect such debris which will not readily pass through screening into a corner area of the enclosed lanai, pool, patio, porch or other area. Thereafter, such debris or other matter can be collected by a shovel, a broom and a dust pan, or some other collection device and disposed of in a conventional manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Wherefore, it is an object of the present invention to overcome the above mentioned shortcomings and drawbacks associated with the prior art by providing a scupper according to the present invention.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a trap door, or an access port, for an enclosed screened area, which allows a garden hose or the like for example, to be passed through the trap door and into the enclosed screened area, partitioning the enclosed screened area from the exterior environment, to allow washing of the enclosed screened area, filling of a pool, hot tub, etc.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a trap door, an access port or a scupper which is suitable for readily modifying an existing enclosed screened area to easily adapt or modify such enclosed screened area to allow passage of a garden hose or the like through the enclosed screened area to facilitate washing of the enclosed screened area, filling of a pool, hot tub, etc.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a trap door, an access port or a scupper for allowing water carrying pollen, dust, dirt, fine particulate matter and/or other debris to pass therethrough and facilitate cleaning of the base surface located within the enclosed screened area.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a trap door, an access port or a scupper which is relatively easy and inexpensive to manufacture and relatively simple to install on either an existing enclosed screened area or a newly erected enclosed screened area.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a trap door, an access port or a scupper which has a relatively small access opening so as to prevent an infant, a pet or a child from passing therethrough while, at the same time, still being sufficiently large in size to allow a garden hose and/or pollen, dust, dirt, fine particulate matter and/or other debris and/or water carrying such debris to readily pass therethrough.

The present invention also relates to a scupper for providing access to a screen enclosed area, the scupper comprising: a stationary base plate for securing to a frame member, the base plate having an elongate groove therein for securing a screen to the base plate, and the base plate supporting a first component of a hinge; and a pivotable door carrying a mating component of the hinge which mates with the first component of the hinge to facilitate pivoting of the door relative to the base plate.

The present invention also relates to a method of attaching a scupper to an enclosed area in which the scupper comprises a stationary base plate for securing to a frame member, the base plate having an elongate groove therein for securing a screen to the base plate and a mating resilient spline, and the base plate supporting a first component of a hinge; and a pivotable door carrying a mating component of the hinge which mates with the first component of the hinge to facilitate pivoting of the door relative to the base plate, the method comprising the steps of: cutting a lower corner of a screen; securing one end of the base plate to a first frame member and attaching an opposite end of the base plate to an adjacent second frame member; and placing the spline within the groove so as to captively retain screen panel therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1A is diagrammatic top plan view showing a building having an enclosed screened area surrounding a swimming pool;

FIG. 1B is a diagrammatic top plan view showing a building having an enclosed screened lania and a front entry;

FIG. 2A is diagrammatic view showing a base corner region of the enclosed screened area of FIGS. 1A and 1B;

FIG. 2B is diagrammatic view showing a ceiling corner region of the enclosed screened area of FIGS. 1A and 1B;

FIG. 2C is are diagrammatic view, along section line 2C-2C of FIG. 2B, showing the screen being secured to the framework;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic exterior view of a base corner section of an enclosed screened area following modification of the enclosed screened area to include a pair of adjacent scuppers according to the present invention;

FIG. 4A is diagrammatic front elevational view of an installed scupper according to the present invention;

FIG. 4B is a diagrammatic top plan view of the scupper according to the present invention;

FIG. 4C is a diagrammatic cross sectional view along section line 4C-4C of FIG. 4B; and

FIG. 4D is a diagrammatic rear plan view of FIG. 4B.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Turning now to FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 2A-2C, a brief overview of the present invention will first be provided. As can be seen in FIGS. 1A and 1B, a house, or some other building 2, is diagrammatically shown with an enclosed screened area 4. In FIG. 1A, the enclosed screened area 4 is a patio area surrounding a swimming pool 6 while in FIG. 1B the enclosed screen area 4 comprises a lanai and a front entry of the building. In each instance, however, the enclosed screened area 4 is generally completely enclosed and comprises an interconnected framework 8, constructed of interconnected horizontal base members 10, horizontal upper members 12 and vertical members 14 which together form the framework 8 which, as discussed below in further detail, supports a plurality of separate netting or screen panels 16 that provide a barrier between the enclosed area 4 and the exterior environment. Each member of the interconnected framework 8 is typically manufactured from an elongated extruded section of metal, such as aluminum, steel, etc., but also may be manufactured from other conventional materials, such as plastic, wood or wood enclosed in a protective material.

FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate an exemplary and typical construction of the framework 8 and the supported screen panels 16 for defining an enclosed area 4. As shown, the framework 8 typically includes a pair of adjacent horizontal base members 10 which are secured to the base surface 12 by conventional fasteners 22. The horizontal base members 10 are typically arranged, end to end in a sequential, continuous and uninterrupted manner, around a perimeter of the screened area 4, except for any doorway(s) and the corners, to form a lower support and anchor for the lower edge of screen panels 16. As shown in FIG. 2B, the framework 8 also typically includes horizontal upper members 12 which are secured to the ceiling 21 of the house or other building 2, by conventional fasteners 22, or otherwise suspended above the base surface 12 in a conventional manner. The horizontal upper members 12 are also typically arranged, end to end in a sequential, continuous and uninterrupted manner, around a perimeter of the screened area 4, except for the corners, to form an upper support and anchor for supporting the upper edge the screen panels 16.

In each corner, generally a vertical frame member 14 is located between the adjacent horizontal base members 10 and the vertical frame member 14 extends vertically from the horizontal base members 10 to a location between the adjacent horizontal upper members 12. In addition, one or more vertical frame member(s) 14 may also be located between the horizontal base and horizontal upper members 10, 12 and extend vertically therebetween in straight sections of the enclosed area 4, at desired spaced intervals, to interconnect the horizontal base members 10 with the horizontal upper members 12 and define a perimeter boarder defining each of the screen panels 16. Each vertical frame member 14 is typically located at the joint between two matting horizontal base members 10 and the joint between two matting horizontal upper members 12, although a vertical frame member 14 may, if desired, extend between a top surface of an intermediate section of a horizontal base member 10 and bottom surface of an intermediate section of a horizontal upper member 12. It is to be appreciated that the spacing of the vertical frame members 14, from one another, may accordingly range from, for example, three to fifteen feet. In the event that any vertical or horizontal frame member(s), is located closely adjacent to the building or other structure 2, such vertical or horizontal frame member is normally directly secured to the floor, the ceiling 21 or the side of the building or other structure 2, via conventional fasteners 22.

To facilitate securing the screen panels 16 to the framework 8, each of the vertical frame members 14, each of the horizontal base members 10 and each of the horizontal upper members 12 has an elongate groove 24 (see FIG. 2C) formed in a surface thereof for receiving and retaining a perimeter edge of the screen panel 16. The elongate groove 24 extends along the entire length of each of the vertical frame member(s) 14, each of the horizontal base member(s) 10 and each of the horizontal upper member(s) 12 to ensure a secure attachment of the perimeter edge of the screen panel 16 thereto without any significant gap(s), small opening(s), leak(s) or void(s) being formed between screen panel 16 and the members 10, 12, 14 which may possibly allow an insect(s) or bug(s) to pass therethrough. It will be appreciated that there are a number of commonly known methods for securing and retaining the perimeter edge of the screen panels 16 within the elongate groove 24 of the horizontal base members 10, the horizontal upper members 12 and the vertical members 14, but probably the most common method is a conventional “groove and spline” method. According to this method, as illustrated in FIG. 2C, an exposed face of each framework member, e.g., an outward or inwardly facing surface, has the elongate groove 24 formed therein which extends along and parallel to the entire length of each framework member. The elongate grooves 24 of the horizontal base members 10, the horizontal upper members 12 and/or the vertical frame members 14 each generally terminate at the intersection between adjacent framework members 10, 12, 14 so as to form a substantially continuous interrupted groove around the perimeter for securely attaching the screen panel 16 thereto. The perimeter edge of the screening panel 16 is then forced into the corresponding elongate groove 24 by an elongated, resilient spline 26 which has a resilient interference fit with the elongate groove 24 so as to captively trap and retain the edge of the screening panel 16 within the elongate groove 24 and thus secure the screen panel 16 to the framework 8 with the screen being sufficiently stretched.

According to other implementation, the screening panels 16 may be attached to the frame members by a variety of other methods. For example, the edges of screening panels 16 may be trapped and retained between strips of beading (not shown) and the faces of members 10, 12, 14, or the screening panels 16 may be mounted into or onto separate screen frames (not shown) that are then mounted to the members 10, 12, 14 in a conventional manner.

As discussed previously, each screen panel 16, such as described with reference to FIGS. 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2C, is suitable for providing a barrier which prevents an intruders or bugs, insects, birds, animals and other undesired wildlife from entering into the enclosed screened area 4. The mesh of the screen or netting of the screen panel 16, however, generally does not prevent entry of, for example, dust, sand, dirt, pollen and other small debris, other materials or whatever may be tracked into the enclosed area 4 by human and/or pet traffic or debris generated by grilling and/or consuming meals within the enclosed area 4, for example. In addition, the debris may be generated within the enclosed area 4 by soil or dirt being washed from or leaves or flowers falling from potted plants or the like. As also discussed above, although the enclosed screened area 4 is typically provided with a door which facilitates direct communication with the exterior environment surrounding the enclosed area 4, passing a garden hose through that doorway tends to create a hazardous and/or unsafe condition such that it is often difficult to safely and conveniently remove dirt and debris which may collect within the enclosed area 4, wash the base surface 12 of the enclosed screened area 4 and/or fill a hot tub, a swimming pool 6, etc., with water, for example.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 4A-D, 5 and 6, a detailed description of an embodiment of the present invention will now be discussed whereby the scupper 18 is installed and forms part of the screen panel 16 to permit passage of, for example, a hose into or facilitate removal of dirt and other debris from the enclosed area 4 through the scupper 18 while still continuing to prevent bugs, insects, birds, animals and other undesired wildlife from entering the enclosed screened area 4. As generally indicated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the scupper 18 may be installed at a variety of different locations, within the enclosed screened area 4 and, in a typical exemplary installation, one or a pair of adjacent scuppers 18 are provided in one or more desired corners 20 of the screened area 4. If the screened area 4 encloses a pool, for example, a pair of adjacent scuppers 18 may be installed in one or more corners 20 of the enclosed area 4 (see FIG. 3), that is, one on each side of a vertical frame member 14 separating adjacent screen panels 16 from one another, to facilitate cleaning and removal of dirt and other debris from the enclosed pool area by providing a pair of entrance paths for a hose, to supply water to a pool, or corresponding removal or ejection paths for removing dirt and other debris by, for example, a stream of water emitted from the hose.

As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4A-4D, the scupper 18 generally comprises a rectangular scupper base plate 32 which is sized to be mounted or fastened to the framework 8, i.e., to the horizontal base member 10 and the vertical member 14. The rectangular scupper base plate 32 has a pair of attachment apertures or holes 24, provided in opposed ends thereof, which receive a screw, or some other attachment member 25, to facilitate attachment of the rectangular scupper base plate 32 to horizontal base member 10 and to the vertical frame member 14. The rectangular scupper base plate 32 typically has a length of between 4 and 6 inches, preferably a length of about 5 inches, and a width of between 1 and 3 inches, preferably a width of about 1 and ⅞ inches. All of the exposed edges of the rectangular scupper base plate 32 are generally ground or rounded to avoid any exposed sharp edges, corners or points which could cause cut or otherwise injure a person or a pet, for example, occupying or using the enclosed screened area 4 or operating the scupper 18. A central region of the scupper base plate 32 has a rectangular cutout section 36 which accommodates a scupper door 38, the function of which will be discussed below in further detail. An upper elongate edge 40 of the scupper base plate 32 is provided with an elongate groove 42 for receiving a corresponding edge of the screen of the screen panel 16. A resilient spline 43 which has a resilient interference fit with the elongate groove 42 so as to captively trap and retain the edge of the screening panel 16 within the elongate groove 42 and thus secure the screen panel 16 to the framework base plate 32 with the screen being sufficiently stretched.

The rectangular scupper base plate 32 carries a first component 44 of a hinge 46 (e.g., a sleeve) while the scupper door 38 carries a second mating component 48 of the hinge 46 (e.g., a pin) to facilitate pivoting movement of the scupper door 38, via the hinge, relative to the rectangular scupper base plate 32. For example, as shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, opposed ends of the rectangular scupper base plate 32 each receive and captively retain one end of a longitudinal pin 50 while the scupper door 38 carries a central section of the pin 50 to facilitate pivoting movement of the scupper door 38 relative to the rectangular scupper base plate 32.

As illustrated, scupper door 38 has a generally pentagonal or “home plate” shape or configuration and a first portion 52 of the scupper door 38 is received within a corresponding rectangular cutout section 36 of the scupper base plate 32. The scupper door 38 also includes a pointed or triangular section 56 which extends outwardly past the longitudinal lower edge of the rectangular scupper base plate 32. Preferably, the scupper door 38 has a surface area of between 3.5 to about 5.0 square inches and all of the exposed edges of the scupper door 38 are ground or rounded so as to avoid any exposed sharp edges, corners or points which could cause cut or otherwise injure a person or a pet, for example, occupying or using the enclosed screened area 4 or operating the scupper 18. The scupper door 38 is provided with at least one handle or knob 58, or a pair of opposed handles or knobs 58 with one being provided on each opposed side of the scupper door 38, to facilitate opening and/or closing of the scupper door 38 from either inside the enclosed screened area 4 and/or from outside of the enclosed screened area. In addition, if desired, a stop may be provided to allow the scupper door 38 to pivot or open only in one direction, e.g., either outwardly away from the enclosed screened area or possibly inwardly toward the enclosed screened area. Further, if desired, a latch assembly 60 may be provided to lock the pivotable door in its normally closed position, e.g., a position in which the door 38 generally lies in a plane defined by the scupper base plate 32.

According to one exemplary embodiment of the latch assembly 60, it generally comprises a latch bar 62 slidably mounted to scupper door 38, by one or more brackets 64 and a slot 66 provided in the scupper door 38 so that the latch bar 62 is slidable along an axis extending generally parallel to hinge axis 46A. The position of latch bar 62 is adjustable by either one of the handles or knobs 58 that project from one or both sides of the scupper door 38. The bar slot 66 limits the amount of sliding movement of the latch bar 62 which is controlled by the handles or the knobs 58. When the handle(s) or the knob(s) 58 moves the latch bar 62 to either end of the slot 66, one end or the other end of the latch bar 62 engages with a surface of the scupper base plate 32 to prevent the scupper door 38 from pivoting to its open position about the hinge 46. However, when the handle(s) or the knob(s) 58 moves the latch bar 62 to a central position of the slot 66, the latch bar 62 is substantially aligned and coincident with the scupper door 38 so as to permit the scupper door 38 to freely pivot to its open position about the hinge 46. It is to be appreciated that the length of the bar slot 66 determines the range of sliding motion of the latch bar 62. As illustrated, the length of latch bar 62 and the length of bar slot 66 and thus the range of positions available to latch bar 62 are selected so that latch bar 62 will abut or engage with an inner or an outer surface of base plate 32 and restrain pivoting or hinging motion of the scupper door 38 relative to the base plate 32.

In a typical exemplary implementation, the scupper door 38 will typically have a width of between 2.0 to 3.0 inches, preferably about 2.5 inches or so, and a height (between hinge 46 and the tip of triangular portion 56 of the scupper door 38) of between 2.0 to 3.0 inches, preferably about 2.25 inches or so. All of the exposed edges of the scupper door 38 are preferably filed, ground or otherwise rounded so as to avoid having any exposed sharp edges, corners or points which could cut or otherwise injure a person or a pet, for example, occupying or using the enclosed screened area 4 or operating the scupper door 38.

In order to install the scupper 18 in an existing enclosed area 4, a triangular cut is made in the screen panel 16 in a lower corner 20 and this triangular cut is sized to accommodate the scupper 18. The triangular cut is made adjacent the intersection of a horizontal base member 10 and a vertical frame member 14, e.g., the triangular cut in the screen panel 16 typically measures about 3.5 inches by about 3.5 inches by about 5.5 inches. It is to be appreciated that the triangular cut is preferably somewhat smaller than the size or dimensions of base plate 32 so that a sufficient amount of the netting or screen of the screen panel 16 still remains and can, upon installing the scupper to the framework 8, be forced into and retained within the elongate groove 42 by a spline 43, thereby providing continuity of the enclosure area 4. Once the triangular cut is achieved, one end of the base plate 32 is attached to the horizontal base member 10 by inserting a conventional fastener 25 in a first one of the attachment holes 24 while the oppose end of the base plate 32 is mounted to the vertical frame member 14 by inserting a second conventional fastener 25 in the second one of the attachment holes 24. The conventional fasteners 25 may be, for example, a self drilling screw, a bolt, a nail, adhesive, etc. As illustrated, the scupper 18 is mounted so that triangular portion 56 of door 38 fits relatively closely in the corner region between the horizontal base member 10 and the vertical frame member 14, but with a slight overlap, so that the scupper door 38 slightly overlaps a corresponding edge of the horizontal base member 10 and a corresponding edge of the vertical frame member 14 to provide a stop and permit the scupper door 38 only to pivot outwardly away from the members 10, 14. Alternatively, if a two way swinging door is desired, the longitudinal edges of the scupper door 38 are spaced from the adjacent frame members 10 and 14 by a small distance of about 1/16 to about a ¼ of an inch or so to provide a very small clearance therebetween to prevent small animals and insects from entering into the enclosed area 4 but allow two way pivoting motion of the scupper door 38. To complete the installation, the free perimeter edge of the screen panel 16 is then forced into the elongate groove 42 and retained therein by a spline 43 to seal and provide continuity of the enclosure area 4.

It will be appreciated from the above description of the scupper 18 of the present invention that control of the opening and closing of scupper door 38 is an important aspect of the scupper 18 including, for example, whether it will permit or block the opening of the door 38 in either direction by a pet(s), a small animal(s) or an insect(s). For example, the provision of latch bar 62 by itself, that is, without restraining bracket(s) 64, on the inside or outside face of the scupper 18, can provide a one way door opening which only opens inwardly or outwardly. The addition of restraining brackets 64 will, in turn, provide a scupper door 38 that can be secured and prevent undesired inward or outward opening, or both, unless the latch bar 62 is centrally located in the unlatched position.

The location of a handle or handles 58 on the inside or outside of the door 38, or on both sides, will similarly determine whether the door must or may be pulled open from a given side, by use of a handle 58, or must or may be pushed open from a side that lacks a handle 58. It should also be noted in this regard that the position of hinge 46, along an upper side of scupper door 38, will generally result in the weight of the scupper door 38 normally biasing the scupper door 38 into the closed position, and that the weight in scupper door 38 with one or more handles 58 will accentuate this tendency. It will also be understood that the scupper door 38 and the scupper base 32 and/or the hinge 46 may possibly include, if desired for a particular application, a spring for normally biasing the scupper door 38 into the closed position. It is to be appreciated that in many applications some type of latch and/or spring arrangement may be utilized, although this is not an absolute requirement for facilitating closing and/or securing the scupper door 38 in its closed position.

It will be appreciated, from the above description of the scupper 18, that it is possible for the scupper door 38 to permit or block the opening of the scupper door 38 in either direction by pets, small animals or insects. Although the above merely depicts one way of providing a scupper door 38 which pivots in one or both directions, it is to be appreciated that there are a variety of other known techniques which are readily applicable to the present invention and thus considered to be within the spirit and scope of this invention. Further, the above merely depicts one way of latching and/or controlling operation of the scupper door 38, it is to be appreciated that there are a variety of other known techniques which are readily applicable to the present invention and thus considered to be within the spirit and scope of this invention.

Lastly, it will be appreciated from the above that one or more scuppers 18 of the present invention may be installed during the original construction of a screened area 4, or may be installed at any time thereafter.

Since certain changes may be made in the above described improved trap door and method of installing the same, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention herein involved, it is intended that all of the subject matter of the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted merely as examples illustrating the inventive concept herein and shall not be construed as limiting the invention.