Screen doors are an often overlooked part of a home’s exterior. But with the right style, they can add charm and elegance to your entryway while still being functional. Screen doors with mesh allow airflow and light into your home while keeping out insects and debris. When chosen thoughtfully, they can complement your home’s architecture and design aesthetic beautifully.
Consider Your Home’s Architectural Style
The first step in picking the perfect screen door is taking into account your home’s exterior style. Screen doors come in a wide variety of configurations to suit different home designs.
Traditional and Farmhouse Styles
Homes with traditional or farmhouse-style architecture tend to have simple, clean lines. For these homes, a classic full-view aluminum or wood screen door is often the best fit. The crisp lines blend in with the home’s straightforward styling. Full-view doors also allow maximum airflow and visibility.
Craftsman and Bungalow Styles
Arts-and-crafts-inspired homes like craftsman bungalows have more handcrafted, intricate details. Here, a door with finer design elements can accentuate the home’s overall look. Wood screen doors with distinctive top or sidelights are ideal. Or consider woven rattan in an open diagonal lattice pattern for an earthy, textured look.
Victorian and Cottage Styles
Intricately decorated Victorians and storybook cottages deserve a screen door with personality. For these homes, a decorative metal or wood door adds flair. Look for customized designs with scrollwork, finials, arches, and other ornate details. Make sure the door’s styling complements any existing trim work.
Mediterranean, Spanish, and Tuscan Styles
Homes imbued with Tuscan warmth or Spanish/Mediterranean romance are perfect backdrops for stylish wrought iron doors. Choose an elegant grille design that makes a bold statement. Mixing materials like iron and wood can also create appealing contrast against the home’s stucco walls.
Contemporary and Modern Styles
For sleek modern homes, minimalism is key. Skip the fancy decor and opt for an aluminum or metal screen door in a simple style. Go for a plain, industrial look or slightly more updated version with clean horizontal or vertical lines. The door should blend in, not grab too much attention.
Consider Your Climate
A screen door’s ventilation properties are another big factor to weigh. Think about your local climate and how much air circulation you need.
Hot and Humid Climates
Homes in steamy southern states need screen doors that maximize airflow. Look for styles constructed from metal, fiberglass, or vinyl mesh. Avoid ornate grille designs that obstruct too much air movement. Full-view aluminum doors are a top choice for allowing air to flow freely.
Moderate and Temperate Climates
In temperate northern states, moderate ventilation from screen doors is fine. Composite wood doors with louvers or decorative ironwork that partially block air are suitable. It’s more about style than maximizing ventilation here. Just ensure the door allows some airflow when needed.
Up north where frigid winters reign, you’ll want a tighter screen that insulates better. Look for doors with smaller, tighter mesh patterns constructed from materials like vinyl and fiberglass. These block more air while still allowing some circulation on milder days. For maximum insulation, glass storm doors are also an option.
Match Your Entry Door Style
When shopping for a screen door, you’ll also want to consider your main entry door’s style. The two doors should coordinate aesthetically.
Solid Wood Doors
For classically styled solid wood entry doors, choose a matching wood screen door. Opt for painted, stained, or natural unfinished wood in a similar shade and grain pattern. Simple profiling that mirrors your main door’s lines also helps tie the two together.
Metal or Fiberglass Doors
If your front door is steel, iron, or fiberglass, get a screen door in a compatible metal material like aluminum or bronze. Pick a color that matches or complements your door’s hue. Clean, contemporary styling is usually best for coordinating with sleek modern entry doors.
Double Entry Doors
For homes with grand double front doors, you have options. Select a screen door that’s also a doubles style, or choose two narrow doors designed to flank your existing doors. Make sure the new doors’ proportions fit the entryway properly. Styling should match your home as well.
Consider Your Budget
Screen door prices span a wide range, so setting a budget is key. Here are some typical price ranges for various styles and materials:
- Basic aluminum full-view screen doors – $75 to $200
- Decorative wooden screen doors – $200 to $800
- Intricate wrought iron doors – $500 to $2,500+
- Custom-made wood and iron doors – $1,000+
Measure your entryway and research options in your price range. On a tight budget? You can still find aluminum, vinyl, or basic wood doors for under $100. With higher budgets, the possibilities expand greatly. Just remember to balance cost with the value great styling adds to your home.
Additional Features to Look For
Beyond basic style and materials, screen doors come with convenient extra features to enhance functionality.
Doors with a self-closing spring or hydraulic arm automatically swing shut after you pass through. This prevents the door staying open and insects flying in. It’s great for households with kids or pets.
Standard mesh is easily torn by cat and dog claws. But pet-proof screen made from vinyl or puncture-resistant fiberglass stays durable despite scratches. It’s smart for rambunctious pet homes.
Latch or Lock
For security, look for screen doors with a slide latch, hook lock, or lockable handle. This allows your door to stay shut from the outside when needed. Latches also help block full wind gusts.
Rubber or brush stripping around the door’s edges blocks out dust, debris, and insects. It also stops air leaks for improved insulation. Dual-brush products work even better.
Best Materials for Durability and Performance
Screen door frames and mesh screens come in a variety of materials. Each has pros and cons:
- Pros: Most affordable option, easily customized, lightweight, resistant to rust/rot
- Cons: Can dent, not as insulated as other materials
- Pros: Very strong yet lightweight, won’t warp or crack
- Cons: Can rust over time if untreated
- Pros: Natural beauty, abundant styles, renewable material
- Cons: Prone to warping and rotting, requires refinishing
- Pros: Strong, dent/scratch-resistant, insulated, low-maintenance
- Cons: Limited style options, can discolor over time
- Pros: Unparalleled beauty, very durable, custom styles
- Cons: Heavy, expensive, prone to rusting
Consider how much wear-and-tear the door must withstand, as well as your aesthetic preferences. Low-maintenance and durable vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum are ideal for active households.
Installation Tips for Getting a Perfect Fit
Proper installation ensures your new screen door functions smoothly while looking seamless. Follow these best practices:
- Carefully measure your entry width and height. Leave room for jamb and hardware clearance.
- Use shims during installation to ensure the door is perfectly plumb and square.
- Make sure the door’s edges sit flush within the frame, with even spacing all around.
- Adjust the self-closing tension so the door moves freely yet closes fully.
- Check that latches, locks, and closers function properly after install.
- Seal the edges with weatherstripping to prevent air leaks, bugs, and dust.
- Do regular visual inspections to check for damage, rips, or holes.
- Apply protective sealant to wood doors as needed to prevent weathering.
With accurate sizing, conscientious installation, and routine maintenance, your new screen door will serve you faithfully for many years.
Let Screen Doors Enhance Your Curb Appeal
Putting in a little thought when choosing a screen door for your home pays off in spades. The right style and material blends beautifully with your home’s exterior. It adds charm and functionality while protecting your living space. And upgrading to a stylish new screen door offers one of the best bang-for-your-buck curb appeal boosts. So let screen doors mesh seamlessly with your home’s style for added elegance and value. Carefully selected, they become an integral part of your home’s essence and design.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some common questions people have about screen doors:
Q: What is the main purpose of a screen door?
A screen door’s primary function is to allow air flow and light into a home while keeping insects, debris, and pets from entering freely. Screen doors add ventilation to interior spaces while protecting privacy and acting as an added barrier compared to an open doorway.
Q: Should I get a wood or metal screen door?
This depends on your home’s style and needs:
- Wood doors come in more decorative styles that complement homes like Victorians and bungalows. They require more maintenance.
- Metal doors are very durable, low-maintenance, and fit modern styles well. But they come in fewer ornate designs.
Consider your architectural style, climate, and desired features when choosing between wood or metal.
Q: How do I make a screen door close slower?
If a screen door’s self-closing mechanism slams too quickly, there are a few fixes:
- Adjust the closing tension screw to reduce spring tightness.
- Add a pneumatic closer that regulates speed via air flow.
- Install a hydraulic closer which uses oil flow to control closing speed.
- Switch to a magnetic closure for the gentlest closing action.
Q: Why is my screen door not closing all the way?
This issue typically arises from improper installation or component failures:
- The door may be out of plumb or square in the frame. Adjust shims during install.
- The self-closing mechanism may need tension adjusted or have broken springs.
- The door may be warped and no longer flush with the stop molding. Plane or replace it.
- Weatherstripping may have failed, allowing the door to swing out too far before closing.
Q: How do I make a screen door more pet-proof?
To deter pet damage:
- Get screens made from puncture-resistant vinyl or fiberglass mesh.
- Install kick plates on the bottom where pets try to push through.
- Use flexible rubber beading to cover and reinforce screen edges.
- Place double-sided strips on the door to discourage scratching.
- Consider an additional heavy-duty screen behind the main one.
Q: What’s the most secure type of screen door lock?
Hook and eye locks or multipoint locks provide the most security for screen doors. Other good options include:
- Spring or slide-action security latches
- Handle locks with keyed cylinders
- Gravity or magnetic pins that engage automatically
- High-quality deadbolts designed for screen doors
Prioritize locks rated for outdoor use and check effectiveness regularly.
The perfect screen door can greatly enhance a home’s curb appeal and livability. When chosen with your home’s style and climate in mind, it becomes an asset that provides elegance, comfort, and protection. Taking the time to ensure a screen door flatters your architecture ensures this small feature makes a very big positive difference. So let stylish screen doors mesh flawlessly with your home’s essence to let the breeze in while keeping problems out.