You may have heard that Colorado doesn’t have bugs. Well, Colorado has 497 varieties of insects if the internet is accurate. To go one step further which insect bites are most common in Colorado refer to this website. With this insight in mind let’s talk about Colorado screen solutions for today’s large door systems.
The architectural trend in patio doors is moving to larger and larger openings to bring the outside in and vice versa. The blurred line between in and out has its drawbacks if not planned for. Besides bugs there are other winged and crawling critters that will find your home just fine to visit if they don’t just move in until you run into them and change their plans.
Large format patio doors configurations
Large format patio doors come in many configurations including gliding, pivoting, bifolding, multigliding, lifting and sliding, bi-parting, double French swinging, and vertically retracting. Each one of these has its own challenges when it comes to screening them effectively and in an aesthetically pleasing way. Often the door product manufacturer makes no provision for screening at all. These manufacturers realize the construction environment is likely to damage a screen system that is on site from the time to door is installed into the wall. In other words, they may decide to avoid the situation all together.
Poor installation, impact during install, dirt and debris build up, and the lack of construction expertise are all more than evident in respect to a delicate system like a retractable screen. If a door company does have a screen it typically requires labor in the field after installation. This of course will add even more cost and complication as to who does it and when. Expertise in this area typically doesn’t exist locally. The larger the door opening the more critical these issues become. The bottom guide track often requires a surface that can’t vary more than 1/8” over the entire opening. Lasers are used to set the door as this is the only way to attain this level of accuracy. If the door is not installed properly, it will likely have a lifetime of poor operation or can negatively affect its ability to stop air or water.
Choosing the right sill
The type of sill chosen for a larger door system and the subsequent mounting of a retractable screen’s bottom guide can literally make or “break you”. What is meant by this statement pertains to the possibility of a “Trip Hazard”. These door systems from a human use perspective are primarily utilized for leisure and recreation. You, your family, your friends, and relatives pass through the door opening and each person has their own unique physical abilities. Less impediments at the sill the better for safety sake.
Transition at the sill from the interior of the home to the exterior
There are 2 schools of thought for the transition at the sill from the interior of the home to the exterior:
- Incorporate an approximate four inch difference from the interior floor surface to the exterior surface. This height transition mitigates the problems associated with snow build up, driving rain, and circumstances where ground water becomes an issue. Effectively a dam is built to stop water from reaching the interior floor surface. In cases like this the transition is substantial while going in and out. Moreover, the occupants must be careful when leaving and entering the structure to avoid a misstep.
- Utilizing a “seamless blend” from the interior floor surface to the exterior surfaces. In this case the 2 surfaces are equal in height to each other. The door sill is minimized to enhance the indoor/outdoor living experience. Subsequently, depending on the patio surface utilized, the exterior is typically sloped away from the door. This application is more vulnerable to water leakage if not adequately executed by the designer and builder. Under this condition you will typically see extensive overhangs or roofed in areas. They are utilized to keep wind driven rain from ever hitting the bottom of the door. Therefore, to avoid this most likely type of water intrusion concern. There are also some large doors such as Weiland that incorporate a built in drainage system into their sill system.
A retractable screen can be incorporated into both conditions. Version 1 is most common in construction. Also, it is the easiest to solve as the sill system utilizes its own water barrier. This is done by raising the height of the door’s sill to stop the water. The raised sill it typically 1 1/2” high. Applying the screen bottom guide to this raised area can effectively avoid adding a trip concern. Depending on which way a swinging door swings (inward or outward), that will determine where the screen and sill guide is mounted. Once door swing is determined then one of three mounting solutions can be utilized. In addition, these strategies will effectively add the screen as inconspicuously and safely as possible.
- In this case, mount the screen system to the door frame itself. This may take some trimming details to bring the sides, top, and bottom surfaces into the same plane. Screens need to mount to a flat surface on all sides at the same plane. If you visualize a picture frame this is how the screen must align with the door frame. Often doors are manufactured with the sill sizing depth different than the sides and top of the frame.
- First attach the screen beyond the door. Next mount the system to the building’s exterior wall surface or to the interior drywall or trim details.
- Build the screen into the wall with a pocket and the bottom screen guide flushed out with the floor surface by utilizing a below-surface mounting system. The capability of incorporating this solution is often determined by timing. During new construction, which is typically when this is utilized, it is easier than retrofitting it into an existing condition after construction has been completed.
Enjoy the benefits of your large door system with Screen Logic
In summary, there are many door systems and many ways to screen them. Ultimately you want to enjoy the many benefits of your large door system without nature’s less desirable elements detracting from your experience. A quality screening company will schedule a site visit (if the door is already in place). They will observe the conditions of the specific installation. Then a discovery session should be accomplished with the proper stake holders to consider all key insight needed to suggest the correct solution. A well planned and carefully installed system will give problem free operation and enjoyment for many years to come. To learn more about Colorado screen solutions for today’s large door systems, schedule a consultation.