Screen doors let the breeze in and keep the bugs out. They open your home to the sounds and scents of summer, and help cool your house without wasting energy on air conditioning. Want to let in a little more summer this year? Here’s what you need to know about picking the perfect door.

Screen doors have come a long way from the hard-to-open metal models and flapping wood doors of your childhood. Available in metal, vinyl or wood, many feature smooth hydraulic or pneumatic closers and springs or chain stops that keep them from slamming shut or swinging open. Designed for both practicality and curb appeal, doors are available in a wide variety of colours, styles and finishes. Your choices include:

  1. Basic vinyl or aluminum. Durable and affordable, these doors come in a surprising variety of attractive styles; you’ll find everything from traditional designs to art deco-inspired geometrics.
  2. Storm/screen door combo. Traditionally, people replace the screen door with a storm door in the winter. A combination door makes the “swap” easier; simply remove or slide the glass down in summer and replace it with a screen.
  3. Wood. From rustic doors featuring carved animals to pretty “granny doors,” wood can really add to the look of your home. However, winter cold and damp can be hard on them, so manufacturers suggest that you take them down when it gets cold to prevent warping.
  4. Sliding. Inexpensive and easy to maintain, sliding screen doors that go with patio doors make it easy to open up your home to a fresh breeze.
  5. Retractable screens. If you don’t like the look of a screen door, these are a great option, and are available at your local home improvement store. Screens pull out from the sides and lock shut with a magnetic catch. Handy homeowners will be able to install them with little effort.

With the right screen door for your home, comfort and curb appeal are a breeze!

Tips for installation

Thinking about installing your screen door yourself? Manufacturers include installation instructions that only require hand tools, but most DIY resources suggest an intermediate level of “handiness.” If that doesn’t sound like you, consider using an experienced carpenter or the store’s installation service.

Condo Cool

You don’t have to live in a house to kick back and enjoy the breeze. Welcome summer into your space by installing a screen door to your balcony. It’s a great way to make your indoor and outdoor spaces feel unified and to make your condo feel more spacious.