How to Install an Invisible Screen

Invisible Screens: Now You See Them, Now You Don't

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Screens that Let in Light, Keep out Bugs and then Disappear

Have you ever wished that your aluminum or wood frame screen door would stop blocking either your view outdoors or your lovely front door? Retractable screens, also known as invisible screens, will grant that wish.

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When not in use, these screens store away in a small housing next to the opening and, when needed, pull out and lock into place. Though they are virtually invisible when in use, these screens will keep out insects, keep in your pets and allow cool breezes to flow through the house.

Retractable screens can easily be installed in less than a half hour and range in price (depending on size) from under $100 to $200. They do not need to be removed in the fall or replaced in the spring. They come in many different colors or wood grains and some companies can even color match the trim of your house. If you are thinking green, these screens are available in solar fabrics to block the harmful rays of the sun and prevent your fabrics and floors from fading while still flooding your room with light. The use of the screen may also cut down on your air conditioning bills in the spring and fall.

Retractable screens can be found at your local improvement store or check out these top manufacturers: Phantom, Clear View, Plisse and Zanzar.

Once you find a style and color you like, here are steps for ordering, installing and maintenance:

Step 1

Measure: You will need to measure the height and width of all four sides of your door and take these measurements to your home improvement store. If ordering on line, check the individual manufacturer for specifics on measuring for their particular styles.

Step 2

Unpack the screen and housing from the carton and make sure not to lose any of the enclosed hardware.

Step 3

Measure the aluminum frame against your door frame and, using a miter saw, trim to fit.

Step 4

The top and bottom sections of the frame fit together and are held in place by tightening the tension screws.

Step 5

The frame of the screen is then screwed into your doorframe. Use a drill to position the screws provided by the manufacturer. Screw into place.

Step 6

The frame of the screen is then screwed into your doorframe. Use a drill to position the screws provided by the manufacturer. Screw into place.

Roll out the screen and the magnets on the other side will hold it in place.

Once you have installed the screen, you may be inspired to check out invisible, retractable window screens. Kits are available for double doors and French doors.

Like any screen door, the mesh will be subject to wear and tear from animals, children or houseguests who have had one too many Margaritas and walked through the screen door, without first opening it. In such instances, small or medium holes can be repaired or the entire mesh roll can be replaced.

With just a minimum amount of care, your invisible screen should work beautifully for many summers to come.

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