Basics on Common Window Screen Options to Consider

There are a few components that may be closely considered for any windows in your home or building, and one of the top items on any such list will be screens. Window screens are vital for keeping bugs, pests and other threats out of your space even while windows are open and allowing fresh air in, and there are a few different types or varieties out there you might consider depending on a few factors.

At Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors, we’re happy to offer the very best selection of windows, high-end doors and related products to clients throughout Utah. Our wide stock of windows includes wood-clad windows, vinyl windows and many others. We’re also happy to help with the selection of important accessory components like window screens. Here’s a rundown of the different kinds of screens out there, plus which might be right for you based on your needs.

window screen options consider

Flat Screens

By far the most common and well-known type of window screen for the past several decades, and still today, is the flat screen. These screens feature horizontal and vertical wire mesh that’s stretched across a simple frame, usually made of wood or metal. The mesh is generally very fine, so small bugs and other pests can’t get through, but it also allows for plenty of airflow and visibility.

Flat screens are easy to install and remove as needed, which is one of their main advantages. They’re also quite affordable, making them a popular choice for many homeowners and property managers. On the downside, flat screens can be more susceptible to damage and they don’t always provide the best look from the inside or outside of your window.

Flat screens come in a few different material options, including fiberglass, aluminum and more.

Retractable Screens

As the name suggests, retractable screens are designed to roll up or fold away when they’re not needed. This gives you the option of having screens in place only when you need them, such as during peak mosquito season or whenever else bugs might be a problem. Retractable screens can be placed on just about any type of window, including casement windows, double-hung windows and more.

On the downside, retractable screens can be somewhat pricier than flat screens. They’re also a little more complicated to install and may require the help of a professional. But for many people, the advantages offered by retractable screens are well worth the extra cost.

Magnetic Screens

A fairly new option on the market, magnetic screens are designed with magnets along the edges that allow them to snap into place on your window frame. This makes for a very tight seal that bugs and other pests can’t get through, but it also allows for easy installation and removal as needed.

Magnetic screens are a great option for people who want an easy-to-use screen that provides a very tight seal. However, they can be pricier than some other types of screens and might not be the best choice for larger windows.

These are some of the most common screen options out there today. Our next few sections will look into some specific qualities you should be considering for any screen you’re using.

Half or Full Screen?

For certain window types, full screens that cover the entire opening may not be necessary or even possible. In these cases, you might opt for a half screen that only covers the lower portion of your window.

For instance, casement windows often have a full screen that covers the entire opening. But for double-hung windows, it’s more common to see a half screen on the lower sash only. This allows the upper sash to be opened for ventilation while still keeping bugs out.

There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding between a half and full screen. First, half screens can be less effective at keeping bugs out since they don’t cover the entire opening. Second, they can be more susceptible to wind damage since they’re not as securely attached to the window frame.

Frame Material

The material of your screen’s frame is also important to consider. The most common options are wood and metal, but there are a few others to choose from as well.

Wood frames are the traditional choice and offer a classic look. But they can require more maintenance than other materials since they’re susceptible to rot, warping and other damage.

Metal frames are a popular alternative to wood. They’re generally more durable and require less maintenance, but they can be more expensive.

Aluminum frames are one of the most popular choices for window screens. They’re lightweight, durable and affordable, making them a great option for many people.

Interior or Exterior Screen?

In certain cases, you might want to install your screens on the inside of your window rather than the outside. For instance, if you have a window that’s difficult to reach from the outside or if you’re concerned about someone being able to tamper with your screens from the outside, an interior screen might be the best option.

Interior screens can also be a good choice in areas where wind and weather conditions make it difficult to keep an exterior screen in place. There are a few things to keep in mind with interior screens, however. First, they can be more difficult to install than exterior screens. Second, they might not provide as effective of ventilation since they’re not directly exposed to the outdoors.

Size and Fit

The size and fit of your screens is also important to consider. Make sure the screens you choose are the right size for your windows. They should fit snugly in the frame without gaps or overlap.

It’s also important to make sure the screens you choose can be properly installed. Some types of screens, like those with magnets, might not be compatible with all types of windows.

In some cases, you might need to have custom screens made. This can be the case if you have odd-sized windows or if you want screens that are specifically designed for a certain type of window.

For more on what to think about when it comes to screens for your windows, or to learn about any of our window or door products, speak to the pros at Rocky Mountain Windows & Doors today.