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What to Consider When Choosing Between Traditional and Retractable Screened Porches

Would you like to enclose your deck or patio with screens? Screened-in outdoor living spaces are excellent places to enjoy fresh air and outdoor time with protection from UV rays, rain, and annoying insects. There are two main types of screening to choose from: retractable screens and traditional, fixed screens. Both options work well but they have some important differences for homeowners to consider, including cost, lifetime value, and functionality.

Traditional Screened-In Porch or Patio

Cost: Traditional screened porches or enclosed patios offer a lower upfront investment than retractable screen systems.

Lifetime value: On average, screens in a traditional screened porch will last 6-8 years (this can vary due to extreme weather events and variations in screen quality). Suppose you choose the highest durability screens and are diligent in maintenance efforts. In that case, your screens could last well over a decade with only as-needed repairs. Depending on the design, a single broken screen can usually be fixed without significant expense.

Functionality: Traditional screened porches can be customized to meet your specific needs. You may want more durable screens for enclosing pets who may be rough on them or thicker, more opaque screens for greater privacy from close neighbors.

screened porch

Retractable Screened Porches

Cost: Retractable, motorized screened porches can be four times more costly to install than traditional screens.

Lifetime value: Retractable screen companies recommend replacing the screens about every seven years. If a screen is damaged or ripped, it is unlikely to properly retract. Replacement costs are typically higher than with traditional screening because of the size of the individual panels. In general, motorized screens are more prone to needing repairs or replacements due to their mechanical nature. The increased upfront cost and potential repair could decrease the lifetime value of this innovative product.

Functionality: The flexibility of retractable screens is by far the most enticing part about them. With just the tap of a button on your smartphone, you can raise and lower the screens anytime you want. This means your screened porch or patio becomes “open air” as desired on any or all sides. When screens are retracted, traffic flow in and out of the porch becomes more fluid.

At Archadeck of Raleigh-Durham, our talented designers can help you determine the best-screened porch solution to meet your needs. Call today to request a design consultation: 919-973-1523. We look forward to working with you!