Many homeowners have screen doors installed in their residences. Screen doors keep insects and other pests from entering your home at times when the exterior door is open. So, when the weather is warm in the summer months, you can open the door, keeping the screen door closed, and allow air to circulate throughout your home (without pesky flies and other bugs letting themselves in).
Some screen doors swing open and are attached to the door frame with hinges. There are also sliding screen doors that side in and out of the door frame. These types of doors are often found throughout a home, from the front door to the door leading out to a deck and more. Screen doors are typically installed along with the exterior door and can be purchased at any home improvement store.
Screen doors are versatile and used quite often in the design of a residence. Plus, this type of door is generally inexpensive and a practical solution for weather and pest protection. While screen doors can rip and become damaged over time, many models are durable and last for years.
While screen doors are a standard installation in homes, condos, and apartments, there are alternatives available. Some people may prefer a different option than a screen door because they find screen doors unattractive. Or, a screen door might not provide the appropriate level of protection against bugs, rain, and debris for a homeowner’s needs.
Here, you’ll find 4 fantastic alternatives to screen doors that can be installed in your residence. Offering numerous features and benefits, these screen door alternatives are worth all homeowners’ consideration.
What is a Magnetic Door?
A magnetic screen door is a screen door that uses magnets as a closure system. You don’t even have to use your hands to open and close a magnetic door; it will do so on its own. So, whether you’re carrying an armful of groceries, a sleeping child, or heavy boxes, this magnetic door will allow you to pass in and out of your home without leaving the space wide open for bugs to enter.
Magnetic doors can also be called “walk through” screen doors. This type of door typically has the opening down the middle. So, when you walk through it, the two sides of the door part and reconnect easily. Homeowners may choose to install a magnetic door in their front doorway, or even in the doorway leading to and from the garage.
Benefits of Magnetic Doors
Magnetic doors are a popular choice among pet owners because they allow pets the freedom to come and go as they please. The door will close behind your cat or dog automatically, thus protecting your home from unwanted pests. This freedom isn’t allowed by a traditional screen door, which needs to be swung or slid open and closed.
Magnetic doors are preferable to traditional swinging or sliding screen doors for those who need to enter and leave their homes hands-free. Unlike a typical screen door, magnetic doors will seal behind you to lock out pests and debris. This is especially convenient in the summer months for homeowners with small children. The kids can go out and play in the yard without you having to worry about the door closing or not behind them.
Magnetic doors are easy to install and will fit over many sizes of the door. Generally, a magnetic door is installed using a small tension rod or strong adhesive. Depending on which door you select, everything you need for installation will likely be included. You can easily install a magnetic door in a single afternoon. Depending on the model, it may only take a few minutes.
This type of door allows you to enjoy the breeze from outside in warm weather for more air circulation in your home. But, in the winter months, when the door is no longer needed, it’s quite simple to take down. A traditional screen door can’t simply be taken away and put back, but a magnetic door offers this convenience. It’s an awesome benefit for homeowners who dislike the look of an extra screen in their doorway.
Drawbacks of Magnetic Doors
For those who dislike the look of a screen door in their home, a magnetic door is likely not the best choice. Magnetic doors often have a bulky look due to the magnetized strip in the center and may detract from the appearance of your entryway.
Additionally, some magnetic door models are installed using only adhesive strips. This doesn’t provide as much durability as a traditional screen door and will likely show wear and tear over time. If you choose to install a magnetic door, plan for repairs and reinstallations fairly regularly.
What is a Retractable Door?
A retractable door is basically a rolled up screen that can be retracted to create a protective door. Retractable doors offer a great deal of versatility, as you can keep one rolled up when you don’t need it and unroll it when you do.
Retractable doors create a screen that typically goes on the exterior side of your home. It will keep out pests and debris while allowing for air circulation in your home during the warmer months. You always have the option to roll a retractable door back up, making it a quite versatile screen alternative.
Benefits of a Retractable Door
If you dislike the look of a screen door, a retractable door is a good option for you. You can keep the screen retracted until the moments when you need it so that your doorway is more attractive. A clean, sleek look is one that many homeowners prefer; a retractable door will help to achieve that aesthetic.
Compared to the average screen door, a retractable door offers far more flexibility. At times when the screen isn’t needed, you’ll hardly know it’s there; it will stay rolled up and in place above the door. But, when a screen is needed, all you have to do is pull it down.
A retractable door may be the best option for homeowners with uniquely shaped doors. A typical sliding or swinging screen door is rectangular and may not be able to be installed in a French door frame, an arched door frame, or certain types of double doors. Retractable doors come in all different sizes and hang over any door frame to work with many types of door designs.
Installing a retractable door is, while somewhat more difficult than installing a magnetic door, a simple process. All you really need is an electric screwdriver to secure the frame mounts and the side tracks. Then, the retractable screen should easily unwind to create a convenient outer screen. Installing a retractable door takes less than a day and can be done by one person.
Drawbacks of Retractable Doors
The main drawback of a retractable door is cost. Retractable doors are an expensive option compared to other screen door alternatives and may be out of reach for budget-conscious homeowners. But, do keep in mind that you get what you pay for; pricier retractable doors will work well and last for years to come.
What is a Storm Door?
A storm door is a popular alternative to a screen door as additional protection for the interior of your home. It’s basically just an extra door that goes on the outside of your entry door. Storm doors come in various styles and colors to compliment your home.
Storm doors have multiple benefits and purposes. One common use for a storm door is as protection against harsh weather, such as rain, snow, or hail storms. The storm door will also prevent cold air from entering your home in the winter months, offering an extra layer of insulation.
In addition to providing insulation for your home, a storm door will protect the finish of your entryway door. Even years after the entryway door installation, it will be in top condition when a storm door is installed outside of it. This is because rain, snow, hail, and wind will only affect the outermost door.
This type of door is also used to bring natural light into a home during the warmer months. In late spring and summer, you can open up the interior door and leave the storm door closed, allowing more light and air in without completely opening up your home to pests.
Storm doors offer greater versatility than screen doors as far as design goes. This type of door may feature panes of glass for cold weather or screens for warm weather. The panels can be switched out and removed depending on the season so that your home is always prepared for the weather to come.
Drawbacks of Storm Doors
The main drawback of storm doors is the installation process. Especially compared to the simple installation of both magnetic and retractable doors, installing a storm door will take time, preparation, and money. Due to the fact that a storm door is a full door, not just a screen, it’s much heavier than the other screen alternatives and may take to people to set in place.
Before installing your storm door, be sure to make any repairs and touch-ups to the entryway door. It will be much easier to make these changes before the storm door is in place.
While shopping for the perfect storm door to fit your needs, look for one with a top-quality finish that requires little maintenance. The storm door will be exposed to the elements, so it’s wise to invest in one that’s built to last. Additionally, be sure to take precise, accurate measurements to ensure that the new storm door is a perfect fit.
What is a Fly Screen?
If you need a screen door for the sole purpose of keeping out bugs, a fly screen may be a great option for you. Fly screens (also called bug blinds) are vertical blinds, typically made of plastic, that keep flies from entering your home.
In the hot summer months, fly blinds are a cheap and easy way to keep out bugs while you have the door open. So, you can let the summer breeze circulate your home without pests coming in. Fly blinds look like blinds for the windows, except for the slats run vertically and extend the entire length of the doorway.
Benefits of Fly Screens
The main benefit of fly screens is affordability. Bug blinds are quite inexpensive and are an awesome choice for homeowners on a budget. The cost-efficiency of this screen door alternative also makes it a good option for people who aren’t ready to commit to installing a storm door or other long-term fixture.
Fly screens are also a fitting option for homeowners who won’t use a screen door year-round. Fly screens are incredibly easy to put up and take down; you can keep one installed during warm weather months and take it down when it gets chilly outside.
Due to their simplistic design, fly blinds can work great as a screen door alternative when your home is being renovated or in an unfinished basement. Fly blinds are generally used as temporary screens and therefore make a convenient back-up option in various circumstances.
Fly blinds can be purchased at home improvement stores, as well as a number of online retailers including Amazon.com. If you choose to order a fly screen online, be sure to double check the measurements so that it fits the size of your door frame.
Drawbacks of Fly Screens
The low price of fly blinds is reflected in their quality. Fly blinds are generally flimsy and are only suitable for a few months of use. Fly blinds will also be damaged when exposed to weather such as rain or snow and must be installed on the interior side of the door.
Fly blinds are also not the most attractive fixture in a home. The least expensive fly blinds are often especially lacking when it comes to aesthetic. So, homeowners may choose to only keep fly blinds up during the hottest months of the year when the air circulation is needed the most.
Lisa has a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Arts. She is an experienced blogger who enjoys researching interesting facts, ideas, products, and other compelling concepts. In addition to writing, she likes photography and Photoshop.