Sliding Screen Door vs. Retractable Screen Door: Which Do You Need?

Summertime has officially begun! It’s the time of the year when we want to spend our days outside, basking in the long hours of sunlight. We want to leave our doors open to let in that fresh summer breeze; but, hate how open doors let in pesky bugs. That is why having a screen door is a must for your home.

There are two options: either set aside the time to install a heavy sliding screen door or quickly install a retractable screen door. Adding a screen door will help make your backyard an extension of your living room. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these two types of screen doors and see which option best suits your family’s unique needs.

Sliding Screen Door

These are the traditional screen doors we’ve become accustomed to. They install directly into the door frame and are a permanent solution to keeping pests out of the home while enjoying the summer air.


  • Permanent
  • Heavy duty
  • Lock capabilities
  • Increase home value
  • Tight seal provides optimal safety and weather protection
  • Keeps out bugs


  • Expensive, sliding door alone could cost anywhere from $100-$500
  • Complicated installation, requires heavy duty tools
  • Must unlock to let pets or children outside
  • Need hands to operate
  • Must be opened and closed, not self sealing

This option would be best for families who are homeowners since they are a permanent solution. They will cost you more money up-front but are the best option if you have concerns about security. For example, if your home opens to a communal space rather than a fenced in yard having a lock will be essential to keeping your home safe and secure. This will also prevent children and pets from wandering out into the world if you turn your back for a few minutes.

If you choose to make the investment in sliding screen doors, take the time to consider your options. Kow that this is a large scale home improvement project. Consider if you need to hire a contractor or if you have enough savvy to undertake this intensive project yourself.  You will need a full toolkit handy in order to install these screen doors. This project will be an investment of both your time and money.

Retractable Screen Door

If you aren’t ready to invest in a permanent solution a retractable screen door could be the perfect fix for you and your family. These heavy duty mesh screens quickly and easily install on multiple door types. They will keep the pests out and allow you to enjoy your backyard with greater ease all summer long.


  • Easy to install
  • Affordable, costing only about $20
  • Heavy Duty
  • Hands free magnetic closure
  • Self sealing magnet closure keeps out bugs
  • Weather resistant
  • Pets and children can easily use


  • No locking or security features
  • One size fits all approach
  • Pets and children could escape

Retractable screen doors are perfect for people in apartments who cannot make big changes to their space. Just be aware that since these do not have a locking feature you’ll want to shut and secure the patio doors before leaving the house.

These doors are also perfect for families that have an enclosed yard. It can be so frustrating to constantly have to open and close a sliding screen door. Plus, how often do your children run outside and leave the screen door wide open to the elements, letting in all those mosquitos and gnats? With a retractable screen door the kids can easily run outside to play without having to fiddle with complicated locks or slamming the sliding screen open and closed constantly. Think of how easy these magnetic closures would make a family backyard barbecue. You can walk through your patio doors hands free as you go in and out of the house bringing supplies out to the grill!

Retractable screen doors are also the perfect solution for families with dogs. Your pets want to get outside to play and do their business – but they constantly have to go get you, their human, to open the door. When you’ve quickly installed a retractable screen door your pets can pass through the resealing magnets with ease. Now they can run around outside whenever they want without disturbing you.

If your home is open to a communal area or your yard is not fenced in a retractable screen door may not be the best solution for you. The magnets make it easy for children and pets to get in and out. This can be either a pro or a con depending on your unique living situation.

Whichever option best suits your families needs installing a screen door will allow your family to reap all the benefits the warmer months have to offer.

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