Fixed vs. Retractable Screens for a Screened-in Porch

Porch screens are available in a number of different options and configurations that are designed to suit your specific preferences and match the aesthetic and architecture of your home. Customized three-season screened-in porches offer exceptional UV and insect protection along with privacy, so that you and your loved ones can truly enjoy your outdoor space.

Outdoor Screen Room in Muskoka

Fixed screen doors are permanently affixed to the framing of your enclosed outdoor space and they stay in place. Retractable screens, on the other hand, can be lifted up and pulled back into their discreet housing units when not in use. Whichever one you choose depends largely on your stylistic and practical preferences as well as your budget. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of both fixed and retractable screen doors for your screened-in porch.

Advantages of Fixed Screens

Advantages of fixed screens for your screened-in porch include the following.

Cost-Effective Screening Solution

Fixed screen doors are incredibly affordable to purchase and install. Since they can’t be removed for the winter season, fixed screen doors are also composed of high-quality mesh and metal materials that give them the ability to withstand harsh winter conditions for many years to come.

Inexpensive Maintenance and Easy Repairs

Fixed screens for your screened-in porch are also very easy to clean and maintain. When your screens get dirty or dusty, simply used a mild detergent and warm water mixture along with a soft cloth to gently clean the screen and let it air dry. Repairs are equally easy. Most snagged or torn screens can simply be replaced by taking the damaged panel down and replacing the screen fabric. 

Elegant Aesthetic Appeal

Screened-in porches increase the curb appeal of your home by adding an air of elegance and making your outdoor space more enjoyable during three seasons out of the year. They also serve the practical purpose of providing an effective barrier against harmful UV rays exposure and annoying insects without completely obstructing the view from your backyard.

Disadvantages of Fixed Screens

Here are some of the disadvantages of fixed screened-in porches.

They’re Fixed in Place

Unfortunately, one of the main advantages of fixed screen doors also happens to be one of their major downfalls. Fixed screen doors are permanently secured to your home structure. In places with warmer climates, that’s not much of a problem. But in Ontario, where the winters can be cold and brutal, fixed screens are constantly exposed to the harsh elements and this can accelerate wear and tear, which means the screens will have to be replaced more frequently.

Less Flexibility

Fixed screen doors are completely stationary and can’t be moved up or down at your whim. Even when shade is in abundance, they can’t be lifted up or moved, which gives you no control over the amount of natural lighting that enters into your home during the day. Plus, if you ever decide to change the aesthetic of your screened-in porch, fixed screens are very rigid and difficult to remove once they’ve been installed.

Advantages of Motorized Retractable Screens

Motorized retractable screens are a great alternative to fixed screens because they offer more flexibility. Here are some of the advantages.

Retractable and Easy Storage

Retractable screens are, well, retractable. You can lower them when you need a little shade or insect protection and then lift them back up to retract into the discreet housing unit for safekeeping when you’re done. Automatic retraction makes it convenient to store your retractable screens when not in use, especially during the winter months. This mechanism also protects your screens and extends their lifespan by protecting them from exposure to harsh winter elements such as snow, heavy winds, and frigid temperatures.

Eliminates the Need for a Door

Motorized retractable screens offer unparalleled versatility by eliminating the need for glass doors to cover your outdoor space. With this advanced technology, you can seamlessly convert your deck, patio, or porch into an extension of your indoor living space. A variety of screen transparency options are available to suit your visibility and lighting preferences.

Wide Openings for Expansive Views

The screens can be customized to fit practically any space and architectural design. Modern motorized retractable screens require fewer columns and can typically be directly attached to your existing structure for fewer visual obstructions. Wider openings allow you to take more advantage of expansive views of nature or cityscapes from your backyard while still taking advantage of the protective barrier of a retractable privacy wall.

Three-Season Usage

Motorized retractable screens are fit to be used in spring, summer, and fall. They offer optimal protection against heat and insects such as wasps, mosquitos, and even annoying flies buzzing around you as you try to enjoy your outdoor space with family and friends. All it takes is the simple push of a button to completely transform your deck or porch into an outdoor safe haven or oasis for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Once the weather starts getting colder in the fall, bring out a heat source and the screens will help contain the heat and extend your time on your covered porch. When winter comes simply retract the screen into its mechanical housing unit and you won’t have to worry about it all season.

Multiple Porch Connection

With retractable screens, you can bridge the gap between multiple porches, decks, or other outdoor structures on your property. Alternatively, you can also install a motorized screen to act as a divider between two porches or decks or to cover only a certain portion of your deck. This is a great option if you have a barbeque on your deck and want to keep that space wide open when you’re grilling but want to enclose your outdoor dining and living space. If you want to keep your barbeque within your screen enclosure, just make sure the open lid is 12” away from the screen fabric.

Disadvantages of Retractable Screens

Expensive Compared to Fixed Screens

Motorized retractable screen doors come at a higher price point than fixed screens because they offer more value in terms of design and style flexibility and versatility. The return on investment, however, is well worth the higher cost.

You can’t go wrong with a fully customized and expertly crafted motorized retractable screen from Dreamscreens Canada Inc. We pride ourselves on top-notch design, workmanship, and professional installation along with technological innovation to maintain high performance and aesthetic standards. Contact us today to learn more about our products.