French doors are known for their attractive appearance, but owners of French doors know that it can be very difficult to find a screening solution for these doors. When you are looking for a screening solution, here are a few questions you should ask:
1) Does the screen unit cover both panels of my French door?
This is important to ask because if the panels cannot both be covered at once (which is often the case with sliding screens) you cannot open both sides of your French door simultaneously.
2) Does each side of the screen move independently of the other?
If both panels are covered simultaneously, make sure that the screen mimics your French door meaning that you can open close single sides at a time. Sometimes, retractable screens (especially ones that utilize a magnet-only closure system) must either both be open or both be closed because they need to utilize each other’s’ magnets to stay closed.
Phantom screens, by comparison, use a latching system regardless of whether or not magnets are part of the mechanism. This allows you to open one half of the door if you are going in and out of the home, allowing your other hand to be free for drinks, food, etc.
3) Will the system required a middle style to be mounted?
Most people looking for French door retractable screens are doing so to preserve the look and feel of their home. Don’t compromise on that! Phantom Screens don’t require a distracting center bar for the retractable screens to latch. The quickest way to check for this is by looking for three piece (housing, top and bottom track) rather than four piece (housing, top, bottom, and side tracks) products.
4) How knowledgeable is the installer?
Regardless of who you choose as your retractable screen door provider, make sure that the installer is knowledgeable. French doors, as with most doors, aren’t always perfectly framed. This is why DIY products, while cheaper, can be very difficult to fit to a French door. Please, please spend a little extra to have a trained professional install your retractable screens, French or otherwise…you’ll be glad you did in the end.
Lastly, make sure you do your research. French doors are meant to be visually pleasing and retractable screens (in our somewhat biased opinion), are the best way to create air flow, keep out bugs, and block heat from sunlight. Feel free to call us with any questions about retractable screens for French doors or any other application. We’re happy to help!