So you are in the market to purchase a new retractable garage door screen for your home. But what are your options? What are the different types of garage door screens available today? That’s what we’ll cover in this article. Let’s get into it.
The different types of garage door screens are
- Retractable Pull Down Garage Screens
- Motorized Retractable Garage Screen
- Lifestyle Screen
- Sliding garage screens
- Roll-up Garage Door Screens
We’ll take a look a closer look at all these types, so you know the difference between them. And then, later in the article, we will discuss some of the factors you should consider when choosing a screen for your garage.
Retractable Pull down Garage Screen
Pull-down screens have been around for a while, and they are made for all types of entries and openings. There are retractable screens for the regular human-sized doors, windows; some are designed for RV’s and travel trailers if you are into camping, and so much more. In essence, pull down screens are used in a lot of situations, and the garage is no exception.
Pull down screens come with an inset mount, installed at the bottom of the garage door’s top frame. The inset is about the same width as the garage door opening and houses the screen itself. Also, tracks installed on the sides of the frame guide the screen to roll smoothly to the floor and back up when not in use.
There is a chain on one side of the inset mount which hangs. The chain allows you to lower the garage door screen when you want to use it, and then move it back up when not in use.
There are lots of manufacturers that make the pull-down garage screen, so you have quite a several options to choose from. One significant difference you’ll notice between the several options is the material used for the mesh.
Motorized Retractable Garage Screen
Visually, there is no difference between the motorized retractable garage (or simply motorized garage screens) and the pull-down screen. They all look the same in its entirety. Also, the mechanism and how it works is pretty identical.
The only difference is an electronic system built into the inset mount of the motorized screen allows you to open and close the garage door screen automatically, with a remote control or a button control installed inside the garage. This makes it a very convenient process when you want to use the screen.
But what’s the point? Why would you want to purchase a motorized garage screen?
The main reason is, garage door screens get heavier based on its size. The larger the garage door opening, the larger the garage door screen, which means the heavier it becomes.
For a single garage door, usually about 8 to 12ft wide, the screen can be heavy, but not heavy enough to be inconvenient when you are pulling it up with a chain.
But for double garage doors, usually, 16 to 20ft wide, the screen is pretty hefty, which makes it a bit challenging when you want to draw it back in after using it. That’s not to say it’s impossible. Some homeowners still prefer pull-down garage screens for double garage doors. But for added flexibility and convenience, motorized garage screens are preferred by many.
The second reason is the aesthetic appeal of motorized garage screens. Honestly, it’s a nice thing to watch a garage screen move up and out of the way of the door, just like a garage door would. Personally, it looks modern, sleek, and futuristic to be able to control a garage door screen with a remote.
Lifestyle screen is, undoubtedly, the most popular garage door screen out there. You’ve probably TV commercials or even YouTube videos on them. Honestly, they have done an outstanding job with their promotion and marketing.
Lifestyle Screen has an excellent build that makes it look like an actual garage door and not just a screen. It comes with tracks and rollers, which is very identical to the one you have installed with your existing garage door. The tracks make it easy to slide the door up when not in use and to slide it down when you want to use it.
The Lifestyle Screen frames are made of aluminum, which is perfect for this application because it is a lightweight metal. Combined with a uniquely designed pulley system, this screen is extremely convenient to lift and drop.
So far, it is the only option with a built-in human-sized door. That makes it excellent for different kinds of applications. For instance, if you are converting your garage into a home office, consulting service where people come in and out, or even an automobile repair shop.
Also, one thing that makes Lifestyle Screens stand out the most is, their design is patented. No other manufacturer on the makes this type of garage door screen.
Sliding Garage Door Screen
So far, all of the options we have discussed moves up or down, but the sliding garage screen operates differently.
Sliding garage screens, just as the name depicts, slides from one side to the other to either open or close. It does this with the help of tracks installed below the garage door’s header frame and on the floor. All the screens discussed already have their tracks installed on the side frames of the garage door.
Sliding garage door screens usually have a two-track or four-track system. What do I mean by that?
Instead of one giant door screen, sliding garage screens come in either two-door pieces or four-door pieces (depending on the garage door size). So there are either two or four individual pieces of door that need to be slide to the side. For that to be possible, each door has its own track that it slides through
That is a bit of a downside because it means you have multiple tracks to maintain. Also, since the tracks are installed on the floor, they are exposed to dirt and dust, which can hinder the smooth movement of the screens.
However, the upside to having a garage door screen with multiple individual screens is, one of the door pieces can serve as a normal entry for people. This makes it an excellent choice for homeowners converting their garage into a business or another room in the house.
The frames are usually made with aluminum, which makes it convenient to push and pull when the need be.
Roll-Up Garage Door Screens
Roll-Up garage door screens are the most budget-friendly option in this list and are gradually becoming the most preferred for a lot of homeowners. They are way cheaper than most of the options we have already discussed, and they simply get the job done.
Roll-up garage door screens look just like regular curtains; we might as well call it garage door curtains. They are attached to the garage door header, and it hangs to cover the garage door opening. As simple as that.
Some manufacturers provide hook and loop straps (popularly known as Velcro straps), which you can glue to the garage door’s header, and then the screen itself will have the other side of the Velcro. This makes it very simple to attach.
Some other manufacturers prefer using a snap fastener for easy attachments of the screens to the garage door’s header.
In essence, the price point determines which materials are used by garage door screen manufacturers.
Most of these manufacturers also provide a feature that makes it possible to roll the screen up when they are not in use. This is helpful because you wouldn’t have to take it off the header anytime you want to use it.
There are quite a few roll-up garage door screens available today with their unique twist to it.
The Snap on Screens Garage Screen (on Amazon), for example, is one of the most popular roll-up screen options available today. They attach to your garage door’s header with the use of snap fasteners (hence the name), and there is a zipper in the middle in the middle that makes it easy to move in and out the garage.
The LiveInu Magnetic Garage Door Screen (also on Amazon) is another option a lot of homeowners prefer. They come in two or more curtain screens depending on the size of the garage door opening, and they are attached to the header of the garage door with a Velcro, just like I mentioned earlier.
What differentiates this system from the Snap on Screens system is, instead of the zipper, Liveinu uses magnets on the sides of the screens curtains, which immediately stick together after you pass through them to ensure bugs and pests don’t get inside the garage.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Garage Door Screen
With all the different types of garage door screens available today, this brings up the question, which one should I choose? Well, there are lots of considerations to make, and I’m going to help you understand which screen is the best for you and your garage.
There is no denying the fact that budget is an essential factor to consider. The simple question is, how much are you willing to spend on a garage door screen? To help you make that decision, I have a dedicated article on the different kinds of garage door screens and how much they cost. I recommend you check that out. See here.
Essentially, the materials used for the screens, unique features, and the size of your garage door opening will have an impact on the pricing. For instance, the motorized retractable garage screen comes with a built-in electronic system, a motor, and a remote to make it extremely simple for you to operate the door. And, not surprisingly, that comes at a cost.
What you intend using the garage door screen for is also an essential factor to consider. Perhaps you just want to sit casually with family and friends in your garage on the weekends and enjoy the fresh air without bugs, insects, and pests bugging you out. So, you might opt for a more casual and functional screen like the roll-up screens.
Or maybe, you are converting your garage into a home business, like an automobile repair shop, home printing business, consulting service, or even laundry service, or any service-oriented business. So you might be looking for something robust and more professional looking like the Lifestyle screens or even the sliding garage door screen.
Or maybe you are the type that cares about how aesthetically appealing the garage door screen as well as how functional it is. You should all this when you are choosing a screen.
Ease of Installation
This is also another important factor to consider. Installing the different types of garage door screens come with a varying level of complications. Some are extremely simple to do, and you will be done setting it up in a few minutes. Others, too, can be very challenging to install, and you might even require an expert to install everything for you. And not surprisingly, that will come at an extra cost
By far, the roll-up garage door screens are the easiest to install. It can be done by anyone, whether you’re an avid DIY’er or just the average homeowner, and you can do it in five minutes or less. It’s also effortless to take if all off and use it in another place, like a patio, balcony, or gazebos.
If you are going for the sliding garage screen, the Lifestyle Screen, or the motorized garage screen, you need to be aware that the installation process is fairly complicated and that not many homeowners have the skill or even the tools to install it properly. It can still be done if you can follow a couple of installation videos available online, and you know your way with tools. But for most people, they are better off hiring an expert to fix it for them.
Having a retractable screen for your garage is a great way to let fresh air in without having to deal with bugs and insects. It can also be an excellent option for small business startups in the garage. Whatever the reason, the most important thing is to go for an option that fits your needs and your budget.