When building a house, people think about what type of door they will install. Screen doors provide a barrier between the outside and inside, but what else do they bring to the table?

Created by Gilbert, Bennett, and Company in 1861, screen doors are framed structures that allow light and wind while keeping leaves, snakes, birds, and other unwanted materials out. Made of plastic or metal materials, they move via hinge, slide, or magnetic strips.

Are you wondering what a screen door is and which type of screen door is best for you? Continue reading this article to learn more about the purpose and types of screen doors available, as well as the difference between screen and storm doors. Once you decide what you want, consider screen installation and required maintenance.

What Is the Point of a Screen Door?

If you are thinking about a screen door, you’re probably wondering what purpose they serve. As someone who doesn’t enjoy bug bites, insect prevention is a big selling point, but what other purpose does a screen door serve?

Mosquitoes and other insects carry diseases like typhoid and malaria. Before there was a cure for these diseases, bug bites had the potential to be lethal. Prevention is the best way to keep a person healthy, and in the late 1900s, screens, such as cheesecloth and metal screening, were in vogue to keep insects out and people healthy.

Security is another benefit of screen doors. When using a metal screening, a person can allow wind into the home and keep vandals and would-be intruders out. The rugged metal exterior is too intricate for thieves to work through and thus keeps homeowners safe.

Entryway breezes cool down the home and allow for circulation, but they present challenges. Open a door on an autumn day and watch the leaves rustle into the entry. Leave the door ajar for a few moments, and watch rodents enter the home searching for food, heat, and shelter. Fortunately, you can keep leaves and rodents out while relishing wind moving through a room or sun streaming onto your face with a screen door.

Knowing that screen doors serve a higher purpose, think about what type you want. What would be best in your home?

What Types of Screen Doors Are There?

When shopping for a screen door, it is essential to know what types are out there before you make your selection.

Ever heard the “screech-slap” of a wooden hinge door? These iconic screen doors are generally wood and have a rust-resistant metal screening. These doors can look basic and boxy or have curved, ornate wooden lines sculpted into them. There was a time when the screens on wooden hinged doors were painted works of art that provided homeowners with privacy and an air of fancy.

The “swoosh” of a sliding door contrasts quietly against a hinged door. These entryways are generally large and rectangular. These beauties, typically made of metal, allow maximum airflow and provide expansive views. It can be challenging when rectangular sliders don’t have metal sections near the middle where people tend to push; absent such a section, people can hastily run through a slider and knock it off its track.

Consider the look, sound, and use you desire when considering a screen door. Another option to consider is a storm door.

What Is the Difference Between a Screen Door and a Storm Door?

If you live in a northern area, you may have to deal with snow. Can a storm door help protect against the elements?

A storm door is a secondary door that swings from a point outside of the main entrance. These gateways protect the inside of the house against the elements and are sturdy enough to last for years. Storm doors can have glass or screens inside them, and the outside is usually plastic or metal.

While a screen can be wooden, porous, and great for warmer weather, a screen door is made of rigid material that can keep the elements out and protect the home from rain and snow.

Now that you understand what a screen door is and is not, you can select one and decide whether you can install it.

Can You Install a Screen Door on Any Door?

Once a screen door is purchased, you will need to figure out whether you want to DIY your way through the process or want to hire someone to install it for you. What makes the most sense to you?

Some people enjoy learning about jobs and completing tasks. Many DIYers can install a screen door at their home. The door that faces the inside of the house is the “interior” door, and the door facing the outside is the “exterior” door. Exterior products are exposed to the elements, so select materials made for exterior use. The small area that lines the doorway is a “jamb.”

Begin by measuring the height, width, and door jamb. Once you know what you are working with, purchase a product that fits your size. Look additionally at the reviews for any door you purchase-some will say that installation was a breeze. In contrast, others argue that a professional should install the door.

Here is a video to show you how to hang a screen door:

When you purchase a screen door, read the reviews and find out whether you want to do the installation or whether you want to enlist the help of a professional.


Screen doors were created out of necessity to keep insects out while wind and sun filtered in. Folks searching for screens decide whether they want a traditional screen door, a sliding door, or a magnetic screen door.

Screen doors differ from storm doors in that they don’t protect the home from the outdoors because elements like snow and rain can penetrate them. When you select a screen door, read all about the installation and decide whether you can install it yourself or whether you need to use a professional.

Related: Should the Storm Door Match Your Front Door?

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