USA: Screen Doors: Screen Door Manufacturers
ABOUT SCREEN DOORS
Screen Doors are external doors which have panels of mesh to keep out insects while allowing air to circulate. Screen Doors are available in three main forms. Applied Screen Doors are fixed to the inside or outside of existing doors, and may be hinged or sliding retractable. Integral Screen Doors are normal wooden doors, but with mesh screen in place of glass. These screen doors substitute for a normal external door. Lightweight Screen Doors can be attached without tools to the inside or outside of an existing door, using tension rods which press against the door jamb.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE
The two main considerations are the operation of the door and its appearance.
Types of operation
In terms of operation, there are three main types: hinged, retractable, and flap.
Hinged doors normally fitted outside the main door. Most commonly they have an aluminum frame, with a plastic mesh to keep out insects. Alternatively they may have a wooden frame, including a wooden frame with decorative fretwork inset in the lower part of the door. These wooden doors can be a striking decorative addition to a home, and are particularly suitable for rural wooden homes. They are available in a range of hardwoods, including Red Oak, Poplar, Mahogany, Red Cedar, and Douglas Fir.
Retractable doors use a mechanism similar to that of a roller blind. They can be used with both hinged or sliding main doors. They have the advantage over hinged doors that they disappear into an unobtrusive cassette when opened. They can retract horizontally or vertically. Horizontally retracting doors are top hung, and retract either onto a roller (like a roller blind) or fold up using a pleated construction. In both cases only a light push is required to open or close the door. Vertically retracting doors retract onto a roller at the top of the door, and are held in position by a grooved aluminum frame at each side. In all these cases, the frame a cassette is available in a range of colors, including white, beige, light brown and dark brown. The mesh is available in two types: one provides maximum view and light transmission; the other is designed to cut down light transmission, in order to reduce solar heating.
Flap doors, such as those supplied by Bug Off, are made up of simple top-hung flaps of plastic mesh fabric into which magnets are sewn to provide closure. Their advantage over hinged and retractable doors is that they can be pushed through from either side, even when carrying things. They also require no tools or screws into the door frame for fixing. They are held up by a top rod with a compression spring which presses firmly against the inside of the doorway. Because they require no drilling into the doorway they are particularly suitable for use in apartments where no such drilling is allowed.
We strongly recommend choosing a door which is as unobtrusive as possible. This avoids the door looking cluttered and fussy. Choose a door which is as lightweight as possible, and whose color with blend with that of the other doors and windows in the house.
LEADING USA MANUFACTURERS
The leading suppliers, described below, have comprehensive websites, with information on all aspects, including online catalogs, specifications, colours and materials, and care and maintenance.
Bug Off. Bug Off, of Cambria, California, supplies a lightweight portable screen door, which requires no tools for fixing. Fixing is by spring tension rods, which press against the door jamb. The Bug Off door is particularly suitable for condominiums and apartments which do not permit permanent fixings. The Bug Off doors are portable, and can be moved from one door to another in a few minutes. The Bug Off Door opens in the middle, using centre and bottom magnets sewn onto the screen. Users can therefore push through the door with their hands full. Bug Off argues that their doors provide natural 'do it yourself' pest control, without harsh chemicals. Their doors enable users to keep their main doors open for natural cooling to save money and keep bugs out. Bug Off doors can be fitted to all types of door - single doors, French doors, and sliding glass doors.
Larson. Larson Manufacturing Company, of Brookings, South Dakota, is a leading manufacturer of screen doors. Its Ultrabreeze Door retracts when not in use. It has a durable mesh, and is held closed with a magnetic catch and seal. The Ultrabreeze Door is available in single door styles, double door styles, and garage door units. The single and double style doors are available in white, earth-tone brown, and sandstone. The garage door unit is available only in white. The doors can be mounted to the frame of an existing door, inside or outside. Larson Manufacturing was founded in 1954 by Oscar Larson in Albert Lea, Minnesota. The company built its first wood core storm door in 1966. In the 1980s the company was the first to provide weather-stripping - a magnetic closing that seals like a refrigerator. In 2000 Larson introduced the Screen Away Storm Door, the first to feature a disappearing retractable screen.
Old Goats. Old Goats Inc., based in Whitefish, Montana, specialises in the manufacture of traditional wooden screen doors. The doors are hand crafted, and are particularly suited to use in log or cedar homes. The company was founded by Bob and Jackie Graham after they had difficulty finding a suitable screen door for their cedar frame vacation cabin in Polebridge, Montana. They started making doors in their garage; the company now operates from a production facility in Whitefish, Montana, using the most modern woodworking equipment. Dozens of standard designs are available, with mesh screens taking up the whole door, or the upper half or two-thirds of the door. Various decorative treatments of the lower part of the door are available, and a version is available with a pet door. The Nature Series of doors, available in Oak or Poplar, contains wooden cut-out wildlife images, including trees, bear, river or moose.
OTHER RELATED PRODUCTS
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