We get a lot of questions about choosing Motorized Retractable Screens over Manual Retractable Screens or Traditional Screened Patios. I think it is good for homeowners to be completely informed when making investments in their homes. Therefore, I am going to outline the major differences in screening options. While I believe that Motorized Screens are the best option for the majority of homes and their owners I also know that not all patios, structural situations, and preferences are the same.
First, let’s talk about “traditional style” screened porches and patios. Once you have a fixed screen patio installed there is very little to worry about in regards to the function and usage, eventually there may be issues as the wood trim and framing start to age or the screens need to be stretched. This option is great for keeping the bugs and critters out but is not as helpful for keeping the sun out, if the location of the patio is in a high solar position. Fixed screen patios are permanent, no matter the time of year, you will be looking out at screen, framing, and a door, inhibiting your view. On the positive side, you won’t have to raise or lower your screens for inclement weather and this options can be made with many design choices.
A second option for screening is Manual Retractable Screens. This option is for people that are looking for a sun protection and are willing to manually raise and lower their screens. These screens can be made with solar properties to aide in any sun, glare, or heat issues you may be having. They are not bug and animal resistant as they are on a cable guided system, allowing the sides to be open and vulnerable. Manual Screens are limited in size as they become too heavy to crank, especially if the weather turns quickly. Since these screens do not have a motor there is no reason to have a cover on the roll for protection, therefore the screen roll is visible. Since there are no channels or covers this option does not have powder coated color options and the only choice would be the screen material. Of the screening options this one is about one third less of the cost than the other two options, the question is whether the benefits being sacrificed are worth the lower cost.
Finally, I will talk about Motorized Retractable Screens for your patio, garage, and French/Pocket Doors. Motorized Screens have a covered roll and, if installed during the building process, can be completely hidden. The sides of the screen “zip” into channels, making them bug and critter resistant. Motorized Screens can be operated with a remote control, wall switch, or set up to work with your smart phone/home devices. The screen material can be made with solar protection to help with any issues you may have in regard to excessive sun, glare, and heat. When you do not have bug and sun worries you can easily open the screens and enjoy your outdoor space and view without obstruction. Motorized Screens can be manufactured to cover large openings, giving options to most patio designs. The housing and channels on the motorized options can be manufactured in multiple color options so they match your home and accessories.
Thankfully there are options for most homes when it comes to screens for your outdoor space. Hopefully this helps to find a solid solution for your project!