Retractable Screens 101
French Door Screens
Retractable Screens - A screen by any other name...
Retractable Screen Doors are often called by several other names- all essentially meaning the same thing. They are:
- Vanishing Screens (also the name of a brand)
- Invisible Screens
- Phantom Screens (yet another brand)
- Disappearing Screens
And there are lots of Manufacturers including:
- ODL- sold at Home Depot
- Phantom - sold at Lowes
- ClearView Retractable Screens
- Mirage Screens
- Wizard Screens- also available at some Home Depots
- Some lesser brands- Genius, Reel (now changed to Casper, Stoett, Festerman Screens)
DIY Retractable Screen Doors
There are 4 grades of Retractable Screens
- DIY - you can buy these at home depot or online at several places- around $250 not installed or built
- These never look like they came with your home- different color components, like bottom tracks in white on a black threshold
- Some are decent in quality if installed and measured correctly- but you really have to know what you are doing, have access to a really good miter saw with a good metal blade, and have LOTS of patience.
2. Slightly less expensive Retractable Screens - usually in the $350 range
- Tend to be companies like Casper Screens, Vanishing Screens
- Are installed same day you order- cut right in your driveway!
- Always have a step that you have to be careful not to trip over on the threshold.
- Made of thinner aluminum that can bend when stepped on- which often leads to bent tracks that will drive you crazy.
3. Better Quality Retractable Screen Doors - usually in the $350-$400 range.
- Ironically all made in British Columbia
- Stonger aluminum components that won't bend if you step on them
- Only sold professionally installed
- Won't fall apart after use
- - All slam very aggressively when let go
- - Most are an enamel finish- except Mirage, that will fade over time
- - All are 3 sided only- so you see the tube and the screen from inside
Clearview Retractable Screens
4. Clearview Retractable Screens - usually around $400
- The only patented retractable screen - it won't slam when you let it go!
- The thickest, highest grade aluminum- won't bend or break when you step on it
- Color matched to both your home and your threshold
- Powder coated so it won't fade and is scratch resistant
- The only retractable screen with some aesthetics in mind.
- Professionally measured, manufactured locally, and installed by a national network- Made in the USA