What is a retractable screen?
Retractable screens are what the name suggests – they retract into a slim canister or housing when not in use. They are very discreet: some solutions fit seamlessly into a door or window and become almost invisible. The housings mesh well with the door or window especially if their colours match your indoor theme.
They are also great for keeping insects out, as well as providing protection from the weather. Retractable screens are commonly used for difficult-to-screen openings, such as bi-fold doors, stacking doors, or French doors.
What are the different types of retractable screens?
The types of retractable screens available on the market include:
Flat mesh screens: These retractable screens work using a discreet track system which is either barely noticeable. These come in the singular or double panel variety. The former’s lone panel closes against one side. On the other hand, the latter’s two panels meet in the middle when users close them. Regardless of your preference, the discreet nature of flat mesh screens allows you to enjoy the outside view while keeping pesky insects at bay. Hence, they are a popular choice among consumers.
Magnetic screens: Users attach these screens to the perimeter of a door or window using removable magnetic strips. This type of retractable screen is also popular because it’s easy to use in a variety of settings.
Pleated screens: These are similar to their flat mesh counterparts because they use the same track system. However, their pleated mesh is not as discreet as those of flat mesh retractable screens. The main advantage: children and people with below-average eyesight can see – and eventually won’t run into – them.
Panelled screens: These consist of several panels which slide along a special guide. They’re ideal for large openings because you can add panels until you cover your required distance (which can span up to 9m).
Why should I get them installed?
- They make it super easy to screen any existing door, including those that a regular fly screen cannot, such as bifold doors, stacking doors or French doors;
- You can enjoy an unobstructed view of the outdoors, with the screen retracting away discreetly when not in use;
- Increased durability – you can retract the screens when not in use, so they are not constantly subjected to harsh sunlight, weather and dirt;
- You can screen large openings with retractable screens. No matter how large they are, you can install a custom retractable screen that complements your windows or doors.
- Retractable screens protect you and your household from harmful UV rays during the harsh summer months. Sunlight may cause your furniture, floors, paintings, and other indoor accessories to deteriorate.
- Retractable screens may absorb an impressive 90 percent of sunlight before it makes contact with your window or door glass.
- You increase your energy efficiency with retractable screens because they allow the cool breeze to enter your home. You don’t have to use your air conditioner excessively – shutting it down helps decrease the toxic gases it emits into the environment. Better yet, you also get to save up on your energy bills.
- Using retractable screens also helps keep bugs, rodents, and other pests out of your home. These creatures proliferate in the rural areas during the summer months. If you live in a rural area, you will benefit greatly from retractable screens. Regardless of the area you live in, bugs and rodents can carry disease or germs into your home. Worse, some doors and windows have ample space for these creatures to creep in. Using a retractable screen not only prevents that, but you also get to cut down on your pesticide use – a known environmental hazard.
- Retractable screens open up your home to nature. You get a full view of Mother Nature from the comfort of your patio especially if you have a big and lush garden. You can enjoy the view while relaxing on your recliner and sipping on a drink.
- Don’t have enough privacy? While retractable screens give you an unobstructed view of your immediate outside surroundings, strangers and passersby cannot see through the screen. Thus, you don’t have to worry about others invading your privacy.
- If there are certain months of the year you don’t use your retractable screen often, they are rolled into their housing. Consequently, your screen won’t accumulate dirt. You also don’t have to clean them often compared to traditional screens.
- Retractable screens also prevent young children and pets from wandering off into the yard, patio, pool area, or other risky parts of your immediate surroundings. These retractable screens give busy parents and pet owners more peace of mind.
What are THEY USUALLY made of?
Retractable screens are typically made of vinyl-coated polyester or vinyl-coated fibreglass, however, higher-quality options are made of aluminium and fibreglass mesh. Many retractable screens have solar-protective fabric such as UV-resistant nylon coating that protects households and businesses from harmful UV rays. Some retractable screens have powder coatings that can withstand extreme climates.
What width can they cover?
Many retractable screens can cover wide patio door openings. The biggest ones can cover a span of approximately 13m with a double-screen install.
What should I look for in a retractable screen?
- Size – The first step is to look for retractable screens which can fit your doors and windows. Once you know the exact measurements, it will be easier to narrow down your search.
- Purpose – Think about your purpose for getting a retractable screen. For instance, if you want to prevent your pets from going in and out of your home, pet-resistant retractable screens are up to 10 times more durable than the regular variety.
- Material – If your openings are prone to mud or rain exposure, try using retractable screens with UV-resistant nylon coating which helps prevent discoloration. Alternatively, some retractable screens have powder coating which can resist harsh weather conditions.
- Braking system – At Freedom Screens, our The best retractable screens have a patented Freedom Brake System braking system which enables the screen to stop safely in any position along the track. This eliminates unsafe spring-backs. No locks or latches are required, the screen simply holds itself in place until stopped.
- Sleek and minimal design – you want to find a screen that offers a stylish and discreet design. We can retrofit Try retrofitting retractable screens neatly to your existing opening and can colour match with several finishes and colours available.
- Warranty – Once you’ve made your purchase, ask your service provider if your retractable screen comes with a warranty. That way, you’d know if the manufacturer or installer can shoulder replacement and repair costs.
How do retractable screens work?
When you open retractable screens, they roll in and out into a hardware housing whose location depends on the opening the screen covers.
For instance, if a retractable screen is covering a window, wall, porch, or patio, it uses vertically-mounted housing. In that kind of setup, the retractable screen rolls up and down. On the other hand, retractable screens for doors and walkways utilise horizontally-mounted housings.
In the case of double-wide doors, hardware housings are placed on both sides of the opening since the screen rolls from both locations. Both ends of the screens slide along the top and bottom tracks and meet at the centre, where a seal, locking mechanism or magnet locks the screens in place.
Retractable screens normally include tracks that are perpendicular to the direction of the screen’s roll. For example, a retractable screen that rolls up and down has tracks located on the left and right sides of the opening.
WHAT ABOUT Freedom retractable screens®?
At Freedom Screens, we offer a number of high-quality retractable screens which improve your living space’s aesthetics, keep insects and other bugs at bay, reduce UV sunlight and pesticide use, and let the cool, fresh breeze inside your home.
Our retractable screens feature robust material, innovative technology, and discreet and eco-friendly nature, making them the best screens for your doors or windows.
Freedom™ Infinity Zipline™
The Freedom™ Infinity Zipline™ is a modern and functional retractable screen that adds a unique touch to large openings. It comes in four sizes:
Infinity 50 (single screen span length: 1.2m, double screen span length: 2.4m)
Infinity 60 (single screen span length: 2.2m, double screen span length: 4.4m)
Infinity 70 (single screen span length: 3.4m, double screen span length: 6.8m)
Infinity 80 (single screen span length: 4.5m, double screen span length 9m)
This retractable screen also has several fabric options which include insect mesh, semi-translucent, and block out.
The Freedom™ Infinity Zipline™ has two discrete channel options: you can install the framework into the floor or on the floor surface. The track size is 28mm (H) x 32mm (W) while the wheelchair-friendly recessed channel option measures 32mm (H) x 39mm (W).
In a stacker door setup, the Freedom™ Infinity Zipline’s receiver is attached to the wall where the sliding panels slide out from. The stile, which holds the other end of the mesh, is latched onto the receiver with several magnets. The other end of the Freedom™ Infinity Zipline™, which contains the housing, is attached to the fixed panel. The length of the track covers the distance from the receiver to the housing.
On the other hand, a bifold door setup covers a wider area. The setup is similar to that of a stacker door. However, in the bifold version, the bifold panels fold into the same side as the housing.
In a double door setup, two housings are attached to two door jambs facing each other. One end of the mesh is attached to a mechanism containing a stile and a set of levers. The other end of the mesh has the same mechanism. A pair of interlocking magnets connect the two mechanisms. The length of the track covers the distance between the two housings.
The Freedom™ Infinity Zipline™ can also complement corner doors. In an internal corner door setup, the two openings are perpendicular to one another. There are two housings: one sits on the far end of one opening while the other sits on the far end of the other opening. If an imaginary line were to connect the two housings, the line would measure 45 degrees.
The mesh, which runs along the side of the housing closer to the door sill, runs through a stagger handle height mechanism situated on the corner where the two openings meet.
The external corner door setup works in a similar fashion. However, the mesh runs along the side of the housing farther from the door sill.
Regardless of the setup you choose, the Freedom™ Infinity Zipline™ features the Freedom™ Braking System which allows you to stop the mesh anywhere along the tracks. Its mesh-to-track retention system ensures the mesh won’t sag and get blown about by strong gusts. We also welded a zipper to the edge of the mesh so it always stays inside the track.
Freedom™ ZL2 Retractable Screen™
The Freedom™ ZL2 Retractable Screen™ is the widest screen on the market that fits seamlessly into any architectural setting, thanks to its fully-flush handle and concealed fixings. It complements bi-fold doors, sliding doors, stacking doors, and even large, difficult-to-screen corner openings.
The Freedom™ Retractable Screen™ has two screen specifications:
80mm (maximum single screen span: 4.5m, maximum double screen span: 9m)
100mm (maximum single screen span 6.5m, maximum double screen span: 13m)
When using this retractable screen, you can adjust your level of privacy depending on the screen options which include the standard mesh, block-out, semi-transparent, and coloured fabrics.
The Freedom™ ZL2 Retractable Screen™ has incredible wind resistance: it includes a fully-anchored mesh that can withstand the strongest gusts of wind. It also has the Freedom™ Brake System which lets you stop the screen anywhere along the track.
The screen glides smoothly along a 12.5 mm low-profile track – a short lower track height that helps prevent accidents. On the other hand, its upper track has an innovative floating mechanism for a smoother operation.
In a Freedom™ ZL2 Retractable Screen™ setup, the housing sits on one side in a pillar-like structure. The housing can take the shape of the default version which is curved in the outer corner near the screen. Alternatively, you can request alternate square-shaped housing.
If you want to roll down the screen, it slides along the top and bottom tracks away from the housing. When you open the screen, it retracts smoothly back into the housing.
The Freedom™ SmartScreen is a no-gap thermal efficient screen that accommodates a wide range of applications.
Since the screen’s edges are securely fastened to the aluminium frame, bugs, flies, and mozzies cannot enter your living space. This feature also protects your household from harsh elements including UV rays and strong wind gusts which can damage your furniture and floors.
You can choose from the Freedom™ SmartScreen’s translucent or full block-out options to achieve your preferred privacy level. The Freedom™ SmartScreen also has a gentle brush strip at the bottom to prevent damaging surfaces they contact.
You can install the Freedom™ SmartScreen in two ways:
Face fit: Over the wall opening or window frame
Reveal fit: Within the wall opening or inside the edge of the window frame
The SmartScreen60 is manually operated and has a screen span height of 2mand a screen span width of 2.8m. It is best suited for small- and medium-sized windows. It consists of housing, tracks, drawbar, and sill components. In a face fit setup, the SmartScreen60 is latched onto (over) the window frame: the housing is parallel to the window header while the window sill is parallel to the sill component.
When you pull the SmartScreen 60 down by gripping the handle, the screen slides down the vertical tracks which cover the width of your window. You can insert optional drawbar locks into holes found on the sides of the frame so you can adjust the screen opening to your preferred height.
In a reveal fit setup, the SmartScreen 60 is inserted into the window frame’s edge. It should fit snugly between the window header and window sill. Bolts secure the SmartScreen 60 securely onto the inner portion of the window frame. The screen also slides down the vertical tracks. You can also use optional drawbar locks whenever you adjust the screen opening.
On the other hand, the SmartScreen 80 can be motorised or manually operated. The latter option includes a pole that allows you to push up or pull down the screen. The manual version has a screen span height of 3m and a screen span width of 3.6m. Its motorised counterpart has a screen span height of 3m and a screen span width of 4.4m.
The SmartScreen 80 also comes with a double-sided latch that can operate internally or externally.
In a reveal fit setup, the SmartScreen 80’s housing is bolted to the window header. For good measure, a hanger also latches the housing onto the window header.
In contrast, the SmartScreen 80 has an additional timber or angle bolted to the top of the housing in a face fit setup. The timber or angle is also bolted to the wall sheet so the SmcartScreen 80 stays firmly in place.
Finally, the motorised SmartScreen 120 has a screen span height of 4.9m and a screen span width of 6m. It has a bottom bulb seal which improves the fit and insulates homeowners from harsh outdoor conditions. The SmartScreen 120 has a similar face fit setup as the SmartScreen 80.
Freedom ™ ZL2 Integration System
The Freedom™ ZL2 Integration System is a retractable screen with a fully flush handle and concealed fixings that gives your living space a sleek and integrated look. Its fully integrated wall design meshes seamlessly with regular wall constructions and suits many door-type openings such as the bi-fold and sliding versions.
The Freedom™ ZL2 Integration System has two screen specifications:
80mm (maximum single screen span: 4.5m, maximum double screen span: 9m)
100mm (maximum single screen span: 6.5m, maximum double screens pan: 13m)
The Freedom™ ZL Integration System also features the Freedom™ Brake System which lets you stop the screen and let it stay anywhere along the track. This innovative braking system makes door stoppers and additional latches unnecessary.
The Freedom™ ZL2 Integration System’s lower track – the lowest in the market – measures 12.5mm. You can choose between the lower track’s recessed or mounted options. Regardless of your preference, this feature makes your home safer and gives you an excellent wheelchair-friendly option.
The Freedom™ ZL Integration System setup has three main components:
Header assembly: This is the topmost component that is parallel to two architraves.
Jamb assembly: This is the component that covers the perimeter of the opening.
Sill assembly: This is the bottom component that contains the screen’s lower track.
The housing is at one end of the screen and directly behind one of the architraves. Hence, the screen closes fully at the opposite end.
To install the integrated screen, remove the frame’s sill and jamb covers and then clip the prefabricated components securely into the frame. At this point, the screen is fully integrated into the wall cavity. Other steps in your living space’s construction – such as plastering and flooring – can continue once the screen is attached securely to the frame.
Whatever option you choose for your indoor or outdoor living space, Freedom Screens has the highest-quality screens in Australia. We have the best retractable screens which suit a diverse range of openings and customer preferences.