What are Retractable Screen Doors?

Rachel Burkot
Rachel Burkot
Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Retractable screen doors are screen doors covered by roll-up blinds that open either vertically or horizontally. Most blinds are covered by a durable, lightweight material to protect the screen when it isn’t being used. Some retractable screens are attached to an aluminum tube, as well as a tension control device or clutch system. These allow the screen to retract safely without rolling up too quickly. Additionally, speed reducer mechanisms can be purchased separately, which protect fingers when opening and closing retractable screen doors and also avoid the slamming noise.

Retractable screen doors are not designed to provide security or barriers of entry for either people or pets. Advantages of these screen doors are that the blinds protect the door, and they are safe and easy to use. The screen is out of sight, safe and secure when not in use, as the blinds roll up. Retractable screen doors are adjustable for different heights, and the speed and tension involved in rolling up the blinds are adjustable as well.

Retractable screens can be used regardless of if the doorknob is on the right or left side, and the screens come in a variety of colors and styles. Retractable screen systems fit almost any kind of doors, such as standard front or back doors, doors that swing either in or out, double French doors and sliding patio doors. To use retractable screen doors, use your foot to push down on the bottom bar handle. This will open the pull-down retractable screen. When the doors are out of season, the tabs on the mounting clips can be pressed to remove the screen.

To install retractable screen doors, fewer screws are required than for standard screen doors. Typically about four wood screws are used for installation into the door frame. Retractable screens can be mounted inside or outside the brick molding. The bottom track of the screen should line up exactly with the threshold, which may require an extra piece of wood to support the track.

Careful measurements should be taken from the threshold to the brick molding on top of the door and from side to side for a width measurement. The numbers should then be used to cut the aluminum parts if necessary. Retractable screen systems come with an end cap, which inserts into the screen cassette. Handles are then mounted on the pull bar, and mounting brackets attach to the side of the cassette. Finally, two screws can be used to fasten the cassette to the brick molding.

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Discussion Comments


These screens are great except that if the screen rips or needs replaced, you need to have it professionally done.


clearview retractable screens of southern california are professionally installed - and the only screen that won't slam.

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