Pleated or Retractable Fly Screens? A Comparison Guide

Pleated or Retractable Fly Screens? A Comprehensive Comparison for Your Home Design Needs

As part of the home design process, important questions are raised along the way. Some questions may revolve around the floor plan while others centre around different design options. 

One such design option is choosing between pleated and retractable fly screens. While both are able to service everything from windows to French doors, there are fundamental differences at play. 

While making the decision can feel a little overwhelming, it’s important to consider the crucial point that fly screens exist to improve elements of functionality. By keeping this notion at the forefront, you are better placed to choose the style that meets your needs. 

Pleated Screens 

With the aim of keeping insects out in a way that doesn’t compromise in terms of aesthetic elements, pleated screens stack away / unfold as you slide the screen open or when you want to close it. 

Moving away from the cassette design with a spring tensioned mechanism that is traditionally used in blinds, pleated screens offer a different approach that is equal parts high quality and long-lasting. 

Designed to feature narrow profiles, pleated screens are great choices for screening everything from bifold and french doors to stacker and sliding doors and windows. Blending seamlessly, there is an inherent ease to transitioning from indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Another notable benefit of pleated screens is the ability to infuse spaces with natural light and the all-important fresh air. Pleated screens actually run from almost the roof to the floor, allowing an unprecedented level of light and of course, air to filter throughout the home. 

Retractable Screens

Able to be extracted and retracted when necessary, retractable fly screens are designed with a spring-loaded tube that facilitates the rolling and unrolling. The fly screen is housed in a roll of mesh within a cassette that works similarly to a roller blind. 

With the ability to be installed both horizontally and vertically, retractable screens have a range of uses across bifold and french doors, stacker and sliding doors, and even windows throughout the home. 

Complete with small tracks and compact housing, retractable fly screens don’t take up a lot of space. This ability to provide a discreet service ensures that elements of aesthetics within your home are not compromised. 

It’s also worth noting that this ability to be discreet also saves space. With retractable fly screens on stacker and sliding doors, the track system actually blends into the environment so as not to be a tripping hazard.

Another key benefit of retractable screens is the fact that they come in a wide range of options. Whether attempting to screen sliding or bifold doors, configurations can be worked out to ensure that the screening matches how you use your doors, rather than impedes you. 

When assessing retractable screens, a possible drawback could be that these screens are not considered security screens. Rather, the main purpose is to keep bugs out while you enjoy the light, airflow, and view that comes with an opened door or window. 

Comprehensive Comparison 

When deciding between pleated and retractable fly screens, there are a few important differences to consider. This is because each screening option will interplay with elements of aesthetics, functionality, convenience, and ventilation in their own way. 

1. Aesthetics

Where pleated fly screens fold and unfold, a retractable screen will roll up and roll away. While both options tend to complement overall aesthetics, there is a minimalist nature to retractable fly screens that lend well to blending in with the surroundings

2. Functionality

In terms of functionality, a retractable screen has adjustable options. This way, when you are screening something like bifold or stacking doors, you can choose configurations that complement functionality and liveability. With pleated screens, the position is fixed.

3. Convenience

In terms of convenience, both pleated and retractable screens are inherently easy to use, in their own way. There is a simplicity to the mechanisms of pleated screens that make it lightweight to operate. With retractable screens, convenience abounds with their soft closers. 

4. Ventilation and Light

Pleated screens are able to enhance ventilation all while introducing natural light into the home. In terms of light, retractable screens have the ability to be fully opened which helps to infuse spaces with more light. 

5. Insect Protection

With pleated screens, there is a sense of continuous coverage. When it comes to retractable screens, it is important to note that there might be potential gaps in the screens which could allow insects into the home. 

Factors to consider when choosing

With pleated and retractable screens having both similarities and minor differences, to help decide between the two, consider important individualised factors. This way, you can ensure that you are making a choice that enhances the liveability and functionality of your home. 

1. Home design and architecture

Assess the area of the home that you are looking to screen. Whether they are windows or doors, think about the impact that a fly screen’s track or cassette system could have. Will one screening option noticeably alter the aesthetics of the area more than the other?

2. Personal preferences

When making home design choices you should always consider personal preference. Does the usability of one screening system sound more appealing than the other? Does one design style fit with your vision more than the other? 

3. Budget considerations

Elements of budget might also play a role in making the final decision. Depending on the area you are looking to screen, one option may be more cost-effective than choosing the other option.

4. Maintenance commitment 

The maintenance commitments for both retractable and pleated screens are somewhat different. However, both will require general cleaning every few weeks and deep cleaning every few months to ensure that debris and dirt don’t tarnish the overall look. 

Choosing the right screen for your home design 

With pleated screens and retractable fly screens, homeowners are being asked to choose between two quality products. While they both have similarities and some inherent differences, the deciding factors should centre around personal preference.

By choosing the design style that closely complements your needs, wants, and lifestyle, you can ensure that your fly screen becomes a facilitator of natural light, improved airflow, and seamless indoor/outdoor living instead of a nuisance that is seldom used. Artilux we supply high-quality and durable fly screens with a personal service. Contact us or arrange your free onsite quote today.

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