I used to think the only place for a mesh, instant screen door was odd-sized doorways or areas with no doors at all. Since purchasing and installing the QuikScreen Instant Screen Door a couple of weeks ago, I am fully sold on the benefits they provide in place of traditional screen doors. Besides having an odd-sized door where a conventional screen might not fit, the most obvious benefit of the mesh screen is that it lets pets in and out of your house during mild weather when you leave a door open. If you have cats like me, you’ve probably experienced ugly holes in your screen door from the cats climbing up and hanging on it all the time. That is one good reason to consider an instant mesh screen.
How to Install the QuikScreen Instant Screen Door
I happen to have double, french doors with two screens. Both screens were badly damaged by cat claws. Rather than replace the screens again and suffer the consequences all over again, I decided to get a QuikScreen from Home Depot for around $20 bucks. I removed one of the screen doors entirely and replaced it with the QuikScreen in about 20 minutes. There are no nuts, bolts or tools required. The tubular bar on top expands as you twist it and fastens itself inside the door frame. IN the middle is a magnetic latch and on the sides are double-sided adhesive squares for strategically sealing the mesh screen from gaps. You can improvise with this part to get it just right. I had to meddle with the sides and adhesive a few times before I was satisfied with the fit. Once I was able to get in and out of the mesh screen easily myself, I decided to let the cat have a turn.
Using a Mesh Instant Screen Door as a Pet Door
Habits are hard to break with both cats and dogs. My cat’s first reaction to the QuikScreen was to stare at it and meow. At least she was not digging her claws into it. The slack, loose surface does not give cats anything to grip into, so there is very little concern for an instant screen door incurring damage anytime soon. After some training and coaxing, our cat, Noche, was soon able to get out the door. Two weeks later, she still goes to where the old screen was attached and attempts to dig her claws into it, but there is nothing but glass there now. It still takes her some nudging to use the QuikScreen, but she is getting better. Overall, it works very well as a pet door and the problem with screen damage is completely resolved. The one obvious problem is that instant screen doors do not work when you choose to keep your door closed during cold or hot weather. However, the QuickScreen is not unattractive and looks completely normal when our door is open on nice days. It keeps us from getting up and down to let the cat in and outside.
Other Benefits to the Mesh Screen Door
One unexpected benefit from a mesh screen door that I had not considered was that it keeps both of your hands free when walking in and outside. When I walk out to the gas grill with both hands full, I am not awkwardly having to reach for a door handle. This is particularly useful for french doors which require to open one door after another (First the door then the screen door) With the mesh screen you can simply walk right through.
Disadvantages to the QuikScreen
- The clearance is a little bit low and both my wife and I have to duck down just a tad before exiting and entering the screen. Why couldn’t they make it just a little higher?
- The magnetic flaps don’t always snap back together properly and there are sometimes gaps left by people entering and exiting.
Advantages to Mesh Screen Doors
- Makes a great pet door on nice days when you want to leave your door open for outside air.
- Keeps both hands free when you’re carrying items like food for the grill in and out of your house.
I’ve mentioned the disadvantages to the QuikScreen and the advantages to mesh screen doors in general. Whether or not some of the other products out there do a better job than QuikScreen is something to consider. There is another product out there called the, Magic Mesh Screen which seems to be quite popular. For $20.00, the QuikScreen proved to be an easy, affordable and painless solution for a couple of very good reasons.