What is a Screen Door?

Screen doorIn simple terms, the purpose of a screen door is to keep objects out while allowing fresh air in. It is also useful in keeping small children and pets inside the dwelling when the main door is open. Screen doors are typically constructed using metal or plastic mesh that allows light and air to pass through while stopping flying insects.

Development, Installation and Repair of Screen Doors

Screen doors were originally installed before the development of storm doors, the purpose of which is to help to make a house more energy efficient. They were in existence long before air conditioning systems and therefore necessary for proper air flow during hot weather. Most were constructed from simple wood frames that held the mesh in place, but did little to enhance styling.

Today’s screen doors utilize a variety of construction materials and designs so they complement the home’s appearance. No longer are they limited to a plain wood frame with nothing to distinguish one with another. While wood is still widely used, many are made from roll-formed or extruded aluminum and, more recently, vinyl. More information on vinyl screen doors can be found at www.screentight.com.

With the advent of sliding glass doors came screen doors that slide horizontally on a parallel track. Some of them are made to be retractable so they are not visible when not in use. This obviously requires some modification in the construction of the adjoining walls so the door can slide between the exterior and interior surfaces.

Fortunately, when screen doors need repair, the work is within the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers. The most common components that need replacing are the screen mesh, hinges and latches. Guidance on availability and installation of these parts can be found at DIY Screen Direct.


Screen doors are a simpler version of storm doors except they do not have the inherent insulating properties. However, homeowners who are not concerned with this will find that screen doors are much easier to install and maintain; plus, with the variety of styles and materials available, they can be both stylish and functional.