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A Complete 2023 Guide: Choosing the Right Screen Door for French Doors

If you have French doors in your home, then you know how beautiful and elegant they can be. However, they also pose a challenge when it comes to finding the right screen door to fit them perfectly without ruining the look of your home. French doors are unique in their design and require special attention when choosing a screen door. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect screen door for your French doors.

Why Use a Screen Door with French Doors?

French doors are a beautiful feature that provides a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. They offer a much grander entrance and exit to your home than a sliding patio door, or even a plain single door. They also offer a great opportunity for fresh air, with double the opening size of single doors, allowing for fantastic cross-breezes in your home where you tend to need them most!

Leaving them open, however, also doubles the space for unwanted guests in your home - bugs and insects in particular, still in that same space where a fresh breeze would do the most good. A screen door solves this problem and keeps your home well-ventilated while keeping the bugs out.

Apollo French Door Screen

Choosing the Right Type of Screen Door

There are various types of screen doors available in the market, but not all will work for French doors, at least not well. Some may not fit correctly, and be clumsy to use, but most would ruin the aesthetic appeal of your French doors. Here are some options to consider when choosing a screen door for your French doors:

  • Retractable Screen Doors: These are the most popular type of screen door for French doors. They provide a practical solution that can be easily retracted when not in use, blending seamlessly with the design of your French doors. They come in various colors and can be custom made to fit your French doors perfectly.
  • Hinged Screen Doors: These are a traditional option that is hinged just like your French doors. They open outwards, providing easy access when you want fresh air. There are two main issues with this type of door screen. The first is that most new homes have French doors that open out. This would mean that your screen door would swing in, and would more than likely bump into furniture or reduce your living space. The second issue is how they look. Your gorgeous French doors will be completely hidden at all times.
  • Magnet Screen Doors for French Doors: This is a bit of a stretch. They aren't really doors. You've likely seen infomercials for "magic" mesh or door mesh of some sort. The reality is if you are looking for a screen for a double French door, you likely don't have furniture provided by late-night TV or TikTok shopping. These not only don't work but are a terrible eye sore. But what would you expect for $19.95?
  • Sliding Screen Doors: Also known as patio screens or patio sliders these are rarely found on French doors, but if you look hard enough you can them! Unfortunately, these are not only being repurposed for something they aren't intended for, but they are arguably both the worst option mechanically, and definitely the worst option to look at. No benefits in function, and no benefits in curb appeal.

Professional or DIY Screen Doors for French Doors?

When it comes to screen doors for French doors, you have the option of going the professional route or trying a DIY approach. Both options have their own merits and drawbacks. You should really consider what your goal is. Price, function, or looks, when it comes to French door screens it's hard to solve all three.

Opting for a DIY screen door installation can be a fun and rewarding project if you’re handy and enjoy home improvement tasks. On the other hand, it can be a complete nightmare. One of the first issues you have to consider is the availability of a quality product that can be done DIY. Home Depot and Lowes offer self-install screen doors, usually hinged or sliding doors. If that is the direction you are leaning, you may be able to pull it off. One issue to keep in mind is the fit. French door screens are exponentially more complicated to install as you have to line up two separate openings to seal and operate perfectly.

Another option for DIY is a retractable door screen for French doors. These can also be tricky. It will certainly be less expensive than a professionally installed option. In fact, some of the self-install retractable screens are the same, and sometimes even higher quality than the "professionally" installed retractable screen doors. That is not to say that they are the best quality, but they will get the job done. Your color options may be limited, as well as the final fit and finish, but they will likely do a reasonable job. On average, if you are a relatively handy person, you should expect to spend a full day measuring, cutting, and installing your new screens for your French doors.

Hiring a professional to handle your screen door installation ensures that all aspects will be taken care of meticulously. They have the expertise and tools to get the job done right the first time. Moreover, professional installation often comes with warranties that secure your investment. If they are a reputable company they will have all the parts and pieces to give your French door screen a custom, "always been there" kind of look.

When choosing the right screen doors for French doors, there are several factors to consider - the material, design, and durability of the screen door, for instance. While metal screen doors are more robust and resistant to weather damage, vinyl or wooden screen doors can add an aesthetic appeal to your French doors. You should also consider the design of the screen door. For a seamless look, consider choosing a screen door design that matches the design of your French doors.

In terms of durability, you'll want a screen door that can withstand constant use and the impact of weather conditions. Look for quality materials and robust construction. A good quality screen door will not only look better but it will also last longer.

Remember that choosing the right screen door for your French doors is not just about functionality. It should also match your home's decor style and your personal taste. Whether you choose DIY installation or hire a professional, make sure to measure your door frame accurately to ensure a perfect fit for your screen door.

Popular Screen Doors for French Doors Brands in 2023

  • Phantom Screens are one of, if not the oldest names in retractable screen doors. For over 3 decades, they have kept bugs out. They offer both a DIY version and the more popular professional installation option.
  • Apollo Retractable Screens for French Doors. Of course, we are partial to Apollo. Powder-coated, these screens do not slam back, and offer options to cover a French door with only one screen, or with two screen doors if needed. Professionally fit, custom built, and only installed by a factory-trained technician, you can rest assured it will do the job while adding value to your home
  • Andersen door screens for French doors are an add-on option that you can consider if you want to buy a screen door built in at the factory with your new French doors. For a door company making a secondary product, these aren't bad and have the benefit of being built in from the get-go.
  • Magzo "magnetic mesh" - if you just can't take the bugs anymore, but don't have the budget for an upgrade, or maybe you're just renting, this is definitely the least expensive option. While not the most elegant, nor very long-lasting, you can at least get through a single summer without bugs while spending less than a tank of gas.
  • Screen Tight Swinging Doors are the traditional DIY-type swinging screen you saw at your Grandma's house. Again, not the most elegant, but they will keep out bugs.

Door Screens For French Doors

Conclusion

 

Choosing the right screen door for French doors can be a game-changer for your home. It not only enhances the functionality of your French doors but also adds an aesthetic appeal that's hard to ignore. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision in 2023.

While there are several types of screen doors for French doors available, a professionally installed retractable screen door stands out as the best choice. It offers superior convenience, durability, and a seamless look that complements the elegance of French doors. Retractable screen doors also offer the luxury of disappearing into their protective housing when not in use, ensuring they don't obstruct your view or interfere with the aesthetics of your doors.

Remember, the right screen door for your French doors should meet your specific needs in terms of size, material, style, and budget. So, take the time to review your options and consider professional installation for the best results.

In conclusion, investing in a high-quality, professionally installed retractable screen door for your French doors is a decision you won't regret. It's an upgrade that will enhance your living experience, providing you with increased ventilation, natural light, and protection against insects and the elements, all while adding to the beauty of your home. Here's to making the best choice for your screen doors for French doors in 2023!