When the weather gets warmer, a screen door provides the perfect opportunity to invite in sunshine and soft breezes and keep out pesky bugs and debris carried in by gusts of wind. If your screen door is on the fritz and is starting to look shabby (or you don't have one at all), it may be time to invest in a new one.
Screen doors differ in appearance, material composition, and price as well as in how they operate, how they install, and how they fit with entry doors. Most screen doors are reversible so that they can open on the same side as entry doors. With all these options, choosing a new screen door for your home can be difficult. Learning about the different types of screen doors can help you choose the right one.
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1. Hinged (Traditional) Screen Doors
Hinged screen doors, also known as traditional screen doors, top the list for popularity because they're used in the majority of homes. Simple to install, hinged screen doors are great for those who love a good DIY project. These screen doors use hinges to mount to the trim of the exterior door and come in an array of material choices, including aluminum, vinyl, and wood, and they're a choice that complements every decor style, from traditional to modern farmhouse, coastal, country cottage, and more.
Paint wooden doors in an antique or distressed finish for a rustic look, stain and varnish hardwood to showcase wood grain, or apply a fresh coat of paint every year or so to boost your curb appeal. Since most hinged doors include locks, they offer security and style all in one. Hinged screen doors start at $100.
Manufacturers make two types of retractable screen doors: flexible and retractable screen storm doors. With a flexible retractable screen door, the screen rolls up into a special casing installed along one of the door's side jambs. A track located at the top and bottom of the door holds the screen in place. When used with French doors, retractable screens allow full coverage when the doors are open, and the included screen won't obstruct the view.
Retractable screen storm doors, on the other hand, integrate with storm doors. These doors contain a screen panel that slides out of the way when not in use by rolling up the screen into the top of the door where it's stored. Retractable screen doors start at around $200.
3. Sliding Screen Doors
Sliding screen doors operate using two rollers positioned on the bottom of doors that fit and slide along a track located at the top and the bottom of door frames. Since most sliding screen door manufacturers make wheels out of plastic, they often stick, requiring homeowners to put sliding doors back in the track, which many people consider an annoyance.
Most sliding doors come with standard patio latches that lock. While the locks don't offer much security, they can keep the screen from sliding open in the wind. The cost for most standard sliding screen doors ranges from $40 to $100.
4. Magnetic Screen Doors
Can you imagine a hands-free screen door? You've found it. Magnetic screen doors make an ideal choice for pet owners because your furry friends can let themselves in and out without needing a pet door (although there are options for magnetic pet doors).
Manufacturers make magnetic screen doors out of mesh covers or fiberglass that attach to door frames with adhesive. They have two panels that meet the center of the door opening where the edges are magnetized. To enter and exit, you just walk through the center, and the two panels come apart. When you're through the screen, they automatically come back together. You can even buy them for sliding doors or French doors. The cost ranges from $20 to $40 per screen door.
5. Security Screen Doors
When security is a must-have, consider a security screen door for your entryway. These have a metal framework filled with a pattern of bars that provides security while letting air and light through. You can lock them at night and open the main door to take advantage of cool breezes. Because an intruder could break the screen and reach in to access a lock, these doors often include double-cylinder deadbolt locks that use a key from both sides. For safety, it's important to keep a key inside near the door so that no one can be locked inside during an emergency.
Most security screen doors are constructed with heavy-duty frames, mitered corners, and square-tube pickets that deter burglars from entry. Choose a steel door rather than aluminum for better durability, although you'll pay a little more. Security screen doors come in various decorative styles and in powder coat finishes, making these doors as stylish in appearance as they are secure. They're easy to install yourself with a few basic tools. These doors run between $300 and $900.
6. Storm Doors
A storm door is a secondary outer door that adds an extra layer of insulation and protects your home from the elements. Storm doors come as full-view storm doors with interchangeable glass and screen panels and as partial view, or combination, doors with sliding window panes that open to let in fresh air.
Storm doors typically include their own frames that mount to the exterior door trim. Most storm doors are lockable and offer a modest degree of security — much less than a security door but quite a bit more than a standard screen door with a simple lock. Storm doors with screens cost between $150 and $1,000.
7. Pet Screen Doors
When your pet needs a potty break or wants to run around the yard, a pet screen door gives your pooch or feline access to the outdoors without interrupting you. Pet screen doors work well off porches, patios, kitchens, and bedrooms or anywhere else in your home with a door.
Made of hard plastic or aluminum frames and durable mesh, pet screen doors snap to existing screen doors and come with locks when you want to keep your four-legged friends indoors. Pet screen doors come in various sizes depending on the weight and size of your pet. The drawback is that it can take first-timers some time to adjust to a pet door, and lightweight plastic materials might not hold up to big dogs. Pet screen doors average between $150 and $300 but can cost up to $1,500 for aluminum doors made for larger pets.