Screen Door Options to Help Your Home Stay Cool and Comfortable

A screen door is an important but often unnoticed feature in a home. A functional design, rather than style, is the primary purpose of a screen door. Screen doors give homeowners the ability to leave solid doors open to allow light and fresh air into the home while keeping troublesome insects at bay.

Magnetic Screen DoorsView in gallery

There are four types of screen door options, so you can be sure of finding one that will work for your home.

4 Types of Screen Door Designs

According to Forbes, homeowners are seeking authentic ways to connect the outdoors to the home. With a greater interest in utilizing outdoor spaces, manufacturers have designed creative screen doors options. 


Traditional Screen Door

Traditional Screen DoorView in gallery
Knickerbocker Group

A traditional screen door, also called a hinged screen door, goes on top of an exterior door. Some traditional screen doors have minimal decorative detail so the emphasis is on the style of the exterior door beneath. Others have a unique design that is beautiful in their own right.

Traditional Screen Door: Pros and Cons

A hinged screen door is the most common type of screen door. Yet, this style will not suit the style of every door or work for every situation.

Pros

  • Hinged screen doors are the most common type of screen door, so there are multiple sizes and styles that are available including single-hinged doors and double-hinged doors.
  • This is a convenient option that most people can install themselves.
  • These doors have a rustic and historic style that works well on a particular style home.
  • Screen doors with dog doors are available in hinged doors.

Cons

  • Swinging screen doors, like storm doors, cover and inhibit the look of the primary exterior door.
  • Hinged screen doors create another layer over the exterior door that means you have to open two doors all the time.

Sliding Screen Doors

Sliding Screen DoorsView in gallery
Castle Homes

Sliding screen doors, also called rolling screen doors, are another popular screen door option. Unlike hinged screen doors, these doors slide or roll on a track. You can move them back and forth to an open or closed position. People use sliding screen doors on wide exterior doors like patio doors.

Sliding Screen Doors: Pros and Cons

Sliding screen doors have become a more popular option in recent years as people are utilizing their patio spaces for entertainment.

Pros

  • Sliding screens have a modern look that is more sleek than traditional screen doors.
  • Rolling screens have a less cumbersome style that you can operate with more ease than a traditional screen door.

Cons

  • The hardware for sliding screen doors is more complicated because of the hidden tracks and rollers. This closing mechanism malfunctions more than hinged doors.
  • Debris builds up in the tracks and on the rollers causing the doors to not slide well.

Retractable Screen Doors

Retractable Screen DoorsView in gallery
Phantom Screens

In some settings, you want a screen door that is hidden but easy to access when you need it. A retractable screen door is an attractive option because of its ability to be invisible. Homeowners install retractable screens on the top or along the side of the door frame.

Retractable Screen Doors: Pros and Cons

Retractable screens are a less common option to cover your exterior spaces, but they are a good option for some situations.

Pros

  • This is a screen door option that disappears until you need it. This gives you a full view of your landscape unlike visible screen doors.
  • Retractable screen doors are more durable because you do not need to leave them exposed unless you are using them.
  • You can customize retractable screens based on the color of your trim and the location and door size you want to fit.

Cons

  • Retractable screen doors are more expensive than other varieties of screen doors.
  • These screen doors are higher maintenance than other screen doors. They have more parts including housing hardware and braking systems so that the screens don’t snap back.

Magnetic Screen Doors

Magnetic Screen DoorsView in gallery
Overstock

Magnetic screen doors are a temporary option that homeowners use to enhance and protect their home during just the summer months. For these screens, weighted mesh panels attach to your house by using Velcro or other fasteners. After someone passes through the mesh panels, the magnets bring them together to close.

Magnetic Screen Doors: Pros and Cons

Magnetic screen doors are a less permanent option than others. Use this screen during the warm months and store it during the cold months.  

Pros

  • Magnetic screens are a temporary option if you don’t want to leave the screen up all year.
  • Installation of magnetic screens is easy. 
  • It is possible to transport this door to another location like an RV if you need it elsewhere.

Cons

  • The magnets are not always a reliable closure as they will wear down over time.
  • The opening of this door is a slit and the small opening at the top can be difficult for a tall person to fit through.
  • Magnetic screens are not as attractive as the more decorative screen doors like hinged doors or the screens that disappear.

Materials for Screen Door Frames

  • Wood – Wooden screen doors are the most traditional type of screen door. These are appropriate if you want to create a rustic or country-style home. Wooden screen doors require some maintenance like painting or staining if you want the wood to keep its integrity. Bare wooden screen doors will deteriorate if exposed to extreme weather and moisture.
  • AluminumAluminum screen doors are powder coated to resist rust and maintain the integrity of the metal material of the door. You can customize aluminum doors to complement many trim colors. Also, these are one of the lighter screen door options available.
  • FiberglassFiberglass has become one of the most popular materials for all doors including screen doors. This is a strong and durable material that stands up to all kinds of extreme weather. This low maintenance material is one of the most expensive screen door frame options available today.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl is one of the most cost effective options for screen doors available. Also, it does not require the maintenance that wood screen doors require. Vinyl is less durable than stronger materials like wood or fiberglass.
  • Steel – Steel screen doors are a more secure screen door option. These doors, also called security screen doors, have strong steel frames. The heavy-duty steel frame construction provides an extra layer of protection for your door.

Material for Screens

You can also customize your screen door by distinct varieties of screen material.  

  • Fiberglass Mesh – Fiberglass mesh is one of the most common types of screen mesh used in residential screen doors. It is flexible and easy to use, so it is common in DIY projects. Also, it is a low-cost screen choice.
  • Aluminum Mesh – Aluminum mesh is a good choice for high-traffic areas and doors that will receive constant use. Aluminum mesh is more rigid and can bend and warp during installation. 
  • Vinyl Coated Glass Mesh – Vinyl coated glass mesh is one of the clearest types of screen mesh. Vinyl is also more energy efficient because it can trap cool air inside better than other mesh materials.
  • PVC Mesh – PVC mesh is a flexible and long-lasting mesh material. It is easy for anyone to use, and it will not become brittle like fiberglass or rust like aluminum mesh might. It is one of the most cost-effective mesh options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Do screen doors go on the inside or outside?

Most screen doors go on the outside of exterior doors. Having an outside screen door means that when you open your solid door, you will have the protective layer that allows in natural light and fresh air.

What is the difference between a storm door and a screen door?

A screen door is a door that manufacturers have fitted with a screen to allow you to open your side or front door to allow in light and fresh air while keeping bugs at bay. Storm doors are glass door that homeowners put over their exterior doors

What type of screen door is best?

The type of screen door you use is based on your personal needs. For example, if you want to add more rustic charm to your home, consider a wooden screen door. If you are interested in more protection, you could choose a steel screen door. Every screen door has benefits and drawbacks, so the one you choose should be based on personal considerations.

Where can I find the best screen doors near me?

Screen doors are available at local DIY stores like Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and Lowes. If you want a vintage screen door style, look for architectural salvage yards in your area. For more custom options, call around to window and door companies. Most of these companies will come to your home and give you a quote for their screen door options.

Conclusion

Screen doors are a useful element in home design. They allow you to save money on your energy bills by bringing valuable light into your interior spaces. Screen doors create a more usable connection between your indoor and outdoor spaces. This is not just convenient for entertaining, it is good for your personal well-being.