If you have a big French door that opens to your patio or pool and provides a beautiful view, you probably wish you could keep it open when the weather is mild. However, you don't want bugs, snakes, or squirrels getting in your house, so you don't get to enjoy your French door as much as you could if it came with a screen. The solution is a retractable screen. You can choose from these two options.

1. A Pull-Down Retractable Screen

A pull-down screen attaches to the top of the door frame so it is out of the way and out of sight when it's not in use. When you want to open your French doors to let in a cool breeze or to enjoy the outdoor view, all you have to do is grasp the screen and pull it down to the ground in the same way you operate a window blind. You can even buy a motorized screen that you operate with a remote control.

A benefit of this type of screen is that it doesn't require a bottom track, so it is easy for a wheelchair to cross over. A motorized screen is also easier to operate when you want to go outside with your hands full or if you don't want to bend down to open and close the screen. The screen allows you to enjoy the view, keep out insects, and let a cooling breeze inside your house so you get full benefit from having a French door.

2. Side-Mounted Retractable Screens

Another option is a side-mounted screen. This type of screen is attached on each side of the door frame. Two screens then pull out from the sides and meet in the middle. There is no center bar needed that will block your view or get in the way. The screen moves along tracks on the bottom and top of the door frame.

Side-mounted retractable screens work like sliding glass patio doors that meet in the middle. They're easy to open and close, so they're a good choice if you'll be going in and out frequently. When the screens aren't in use, they disappear into the side mounts so they don't make your beautiful French door look ugly.

Both types of screens come in different colors for the hardware and screen so they blend in well with your door. The screens can be dark for privacy and to block shade or they can be light in color. Some light-colored screens come with faint patterns in the screen so the screen isn't invisible and at risk of being walked into. Either type of retractable screen is a good choice and both work perfectly with French doors.