Screenmobile Named To Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 Hall Of Fame
We are ecstatic to share that Screenmobile has been inducted into Entrepreneur’s esteemed Hall of Fame, reserved only for franchise systems that have achieved the remarkable feat of making it to the Franchise 500 list for 25 or more consecutive years. We are proud to have ranked #163 out of 500 brands in the 2023 Franchise 500, marking our 25th successive ranking on this coveted list.
This recognition is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team, franchisees, and loyal customers who have contributed to our success. We are committed to providing top-notch services and products that meet the ever-changing needs of our customers, and we are grateful for their continued trust and support.
Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list is among the world’s most rigorous and competitive franchise rankings. It evaluates franchise systems across five primary categories: Cost and Fees, Size and Growth, Support, Brand Strength, Financial Strength, and Stability. With 25 consecutive years of ranking among the top 500 franchises, Screenmobile has consistently excelled in these categories, a feat that only 49 other franchise brands have achieved.
Why is this significant?
- This recognition affirms Screenmobile as a stable and successful business opportunity—one that has stood the test of time in markets across the country.
- It recognizes Screenmobile as an industry leader in the franchise space.
- It demonstrates a proven track record of sustainable growth. We first ranked on the Franchise 500 list at #390 with 51 franchise units. Today, our ranking and business size have increased to #163, with 149 franchise units nationwide!
- It shows our commitment to supporting our franchise owners by providing them with the training, resources, and guidance they need to be successful in their businesses.
“Throughout our history, it has been our legacy to provide our customers with the highest quality products, coupled with superior customer service,” says Scott Walker, co-founder and Brand President of Screenmobile. “Over the years, we have been fortunate to partner with hundreds of like-minded individuals to help us build the Screenmobile brand and accomplish this goal. We are honored to be recognized as a long-standing industry leader and look forward to the growth and opportunities still ahead!”
We are thrilled to have been inducted into Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame, and we are deeply grateful to our team, franchisees, and customers for their unwavering support and trust in our brand. Our 25 consecutive years of ranking on the Franchise 500 list is a testament to our commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction. We are proud to be recognized as a stable and prosperous business opportunity, an industry leader in the franchise space, and a company with a proven track record of sustainable growth. We remain committed to providing our franchisees with the training, resources, and guidance they need to succeed in their businesses and deliver top-notch products and services to our customers. We are excited about the future and the many opportunities that lie ahead. Thank you again for your support and trust in Screenmobile.
To view Screenmobile in the Franchise 500 Hall of Fame list, visit https://www.entrepreneur.com/franchise/introducing-the-franchise-500-hall-of-fame/444749.
Patio Covers: Types, Uses, Benefits
Patio covers are a relatively cheap and less architecturally intrusive way to get more out of your outdoor living space. The essence of a patio cover is to put a roof, shade or awning over your head to keep off either the heat and the sun’s rays or rain and snow, depending on the season. However, how you go about covering your patio area, the style and materials you use and how much of a job it’s going to be can vary hugely depending on your own personal preference and existing patio design.
Here we’ll look at all the most common patio covers to find the best one for what you’re looking for, as well as their benefits and how much installing a patio cover is likely to set you back.
Types of Patio Covers
Patio covers are discerned by the roof style and material and the type of construction supporting it. The most popular types of patio covers are:
The pergola is a classic as patio covers go and not only makes your patio more livable in different weather conditions but is also a striking architectural feature in its own right. A pergola is built as a self-standing structure, though it can also abut to the existing house walls. Its roof will be supported by posts, with beams holding the roof panels in the most common construction forms. However, pergolas allow for a wide variation in how they are set up. The posts and beams can be from different types of wood or metals, while the roof itself can be in any style or using whichever patio cover materials are most in line with the look you’re trying to achieve.
Another of the most popular type of patio covers, awnings consist of a sheet (or several) of material that is pulled out over the outside space you want to cover. The awning can be held in place either by posts as a fixed frame or with lateral arms coming out from the house, and you will also get to choose to install a fixed, all-weather awning or a retractable one that can be rolled back into a casing when not needed. One of the great benefits of awnings is that you can use pretty much any material to make it, meaning you can have cloth, aluminum slats, acrylic or even vinyl patio covers.
The benefits of having solid roofs as patio covers include the fact that they are very resistant to wear and tear and so don’t need much maintenance work, as well as creating a more permanent sense of comfort for the covered outside area, meaning it can store items such as furniture or barbecues without being fully exposed to the elements. Common roof panel arrangements include choosing from a flat plan or a W plan, with the flat panels creating a slick flat roof and the w plan having a wavy, corrugated look.
Latticed roofs as patio covers give the homeowner greater control over how much protection they need. The latticed roof can be fully covered with a canopy made from cloth or any other fabric. In contrast, modern latticed roofs have adjustable settings meaning you could, for example, allow a range of 10% sunlight to 90% sunlight, depending on your preference and the heat at the time.
Easy to install and probably the cheapest option out of all patio covers, canopies still offer great variety to the homeowner, allowing them to find a match for their personal style. Canopies can be hung from lateral arms, over latticed or open roofs or simply from hooks bolted to strong anchors. The canopy can come in any kind of fabric material, with larger or tighter apertures depending on the amount of sunlight you want to come through or even overlapping to create different visual effects.
Portable Patio Covers:
There are a number of options you can use if you want to cover specific parts of your outside space but not necessarily all of it. Large umbrellas or free-standing canopies can be rolled out of storage when the weather requires and put in place to cover your table for an outdoor meal or give the barbecue boss some protection from the sun’s rays.
The Benefits of a Patio Cover
Protection from Weather
The primary purpose of patio covers is to make sure you don’t get too much of whatever weather is being thrown at you, whether that be sun, rain or even snow. You want your outside space to be usable even when there are extremes that wouldn’t allow you to sit out and enjoy the space otherwise. Most people also invest quite a bit in terms of outside furnishings and decorations for their patio, so patio covers give you a way to protect them from the weather too.
It’s a shame if you can only sit out for a coffee or entertain guests at very specific times of the year or day. Patio covers expand the horizons of when you can use such a great space, meaning you get much more out of it and don’t have to constantly be checking the forecast to see if your plans are going to have to be taken inside or called off altogether.
Adding Architectural Style
The right patio cover not only makes your outside space more livable but it can also add something beautiful to your home too. With the wide range of styles and materials that can be used for posts, beams, roofs and canopies, you will definitely be able to find patio covers that suit your exact style and create a beautiful space for you to relax in.
Patio covers give great utility to your outside spaces, extending the times and months when you can use them as well as protecting patio furniture and other decorations from the worst of the elements. Choosing the best type of patio cover for you will depend on what you need it for and your own style preferences. However, pricing the installation of patio covers can also be difficult because there is so much variation in style and materials. Prices could run from $100 for a simple canopy hanging from wall bolts or an umbrella to $20,000 for a large, hardwood, solid roof pergola.
As with most things, if you’re looking at patio covers and wondering what will suit your needs best, it’s always good to chat with the experts. At Screenmobile, we’re always happy to help and can give you guidance and a free quotation on your patio cover options. You can go here to find your nearest Screenmobile operator.
How to Rescreen Your Patio or Porch
A screen adds a lot to your patio or porch, meaning you can sit out comfortably without worrying about insects crashing the party. They can also be used for shielding your porch furniture and flooring from the worst of the sun’s rays or keeping curious pets or toddlers. Over time though, the screen itself or its fittings can get damaged or torn, either defeating its purpose or just not looking the best when that happens. It’s probably time to consider rescreening your outside living areas.
Porch and patio screen repair can actually be done successfully yourself, as a two-person job, if you go about it the right way. The cost to rescreen porch and patio areas yourself is pretty reasonable, though a lot will depend on the type of screen you want to use. To be ready for full use in the summer, spring is the best time to do your porch and patio screen repair.
Here we’ll look at how to rescreen a porch or patio, what you’ll need for the job and give you a step-by-step guide to help you rescreen patio and porch areas.
How to Rescreen Patio and Porch Areas: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Work Out What Materials You’ll Need
The first thing you’ll have to do before starting to rescreen patio or porch spaces is to put a plan in place and figure out what you’ll need to make it happen. For our guide, we’re going to go with the more modern way to install the screening using splining rather than tacking or stapling the screen up, but either way, the basics are much the same. You’ll want to work out the width of your largest screen space as that’ll be the length of the screen roll you’re buying, which can come be anywhere from 2ft to 8ft. Don’t worry about the length, as you’ll be cutting off whatever’s unneeded, and rolls can be up to 100ft long, so you’ll most likely always have enough.
With the splining method, you’ll also want base strips, cap strips, spline and a spline roller (or mouse). In terms of tools, you’ll want a straight-edge knife or scissors for trimming the screen, pliers or a hook to take out previous tacks, staples or spline, and some 1-inch wood or drywall screws. A cordless drill would be best for fixing the screws, but it’s not 100% essential.
Step 2: Picking Your Screen Material
The biggest decision when looking to rescreen patio or porch areas is what type of screen material you’ll be installing. The most common and cheapest option is fiberglass which is also quite lightweight and easy to install and attach yourself. However, fiberglass can tear quite easily, which is why other people go for aluminum, which won’t tear but can dent. Then there are also considerations such as pets, which will definitely try and scratch or bulldoze their way through a porch screen if there’s something they want on the other side. In that case, it’s best to go for pet-resistant screen material, which is made of PVC-coated polyester fibers.
Step 3: Put Up Base Strips
To rescreen patio or porch spaces with splining first, you need to put up the strips that the spline will run into. The base strips will have two grooves running along their length, into which the spline will be pressed to hold the screen in place. The strips are generally 8ft long and can be easily cut to get the right length. However, it’s best to measure the width of your porch posts to get base strips that fit as closely as possible so there’s less of a contrast when they’re up. To attach them, run the 1-inch wood screws through the holes on the base strips and use a drill (quick) or screwdriver (slow) to fix them.
If you’ve already installed the base strips from your previous porch screening, then remove the spline and old screen material at this juncture. Take the opportunity to clean down the strips, especially the grooves, so the rescreening will be as smooth as possible.
Step 4: Attach the Screening
Now to the main act, putting up the screen itself, which will be done with spline, a hard rubber or vinyl cable. Measure out the screen for a specific section and cut it long, don’t worry about there being too much. You’ll be trimming it down afterward, anyway. Pull the screen material tight and get whoever’s helping you to hold it in place. Run the spline through the spline roller and, starting at the top or one end, run the spline into the grooves on the base strip. The tightness of the spline in the groove will hold the screen tight in place. Run your hand along the different sections to make sure it’s at the tightness you want. As it’s an easy process, if you find slack or aren’t happy with how it appears, feel free to take out the spline and start again.
Step 5: Applying the Finish
Once the screen is attached, there are a few tasks needed to finish the job well and make it something you’re proud to look at. First, go around the edges with the flat blade knife or scissors to trim off any excess screen material that came out the other side. When that’s done, take your cap strips and fit them over the base strips, this will give them a tidier, cleaner finish and prevent anyone or anything from getting at the spline. Press these in with your hand, and either lightly beat them into place with the soft end of your fist or with a rubber hammer if you have one. You can also take the opportunity to rescreen patio door or window fittings if you have them.
Final Thoughts on Rescreening your Porch or Patio
Patio and porch screens are great for giving more utility to your outdoor spaces. If you’re looking to rescreen patio and porch spaces, you’re in luck, as it’s quite possible to take on the job yourself with the help of a friend, some measuring tape, screen roll, spline and a few other essentials. However, if you fancy leaving the rescreening job to the professionals at Screenmobile, we’re always happy to help. All of our screens are guaranteed to fit, and our specialist fitters have a wealth of experience in helping people find the perfect patio or porch screen for their needs.
To find out more about getting a full rescreening of your porch or patio with Screenmobile, go here to find your nearest Screenmobile operator.
How to Pick the Right Porch Screen Material
Choosing the right type of porch shade or screen for your outdoor living space can be quite a decision-making process in itself, but when you have settled on a style or approach, along comes the next question: what kind of porch screen material are you going to go for? Well, there is a wide range of porch screen materials out there, but the one which is right for you will depend on a number of factors.
Here we’ll take a look at the major deciding factors in picking the right screen material for porch areas, and at the differences between the main types of screen material are.
Deciding Factors for Porch Screen Materials
One of the biggest factors in choosing the type of material used for your porch screen is that it fits in with the overall aesthetic you want for your home. Some types of porch material, such as a common fiberglass screen, can come in virtually any color, while others, like steel or bronze, will only have one. Apart from the color, the porch screen materials used will give different looks, like vinyl-coated polyester for a minimalist look or brass for something more vintage.
Another major reason to pick one kind of porch screen material over another is what weather effects you’re looking to minimize. This could mean going for something with a tighter mesh size if the sun is too strong and you’re looking to protect furniture and fittings from sun-weathering or a non-metal if it’s a damp climate that could lead to rust and corrosion.
There are also a number of environmental factors that may play a role in picking a particular porch screen material. These include sea salt, which can lead to the corrosion of metals like aluminum and brass if you live close to the sea. The direction and strength of the sun will make a difference as some screen porch materials, especially PVC-coated polyester, are better for dissipating heat. In urban areas, the fumes of a city can create a thick scale on your screen porch material, so an easily cleaned option like fiberglass will be a good choice.
Pets, specifically cats and dogs, can either scratch or tear holes in your porch screen. This is mostly a problem for a fiberglass screen as it’s the most fragile of porch screen materials. The best pet-resistant material for a porch screen is PVC-coated polyester fibers, but strong metals, such as stainless steel, brass or bronze, would also work well.
If you have a beautiful view and little passing traffic before your home, then you’ll want the screen porch material that gives you the most possible visibility, so a thin PVC or fiberglass screen with a wide mesh would work. However, privacy might be a more significant concern in a more populated neighborhood. Therefore, you’ll want a darker material that creates a mirror effect by being brighter on the outside than on the inside.
It also makes a difference if your porch screen is going to be fixed and static for its lifetime or if it will be moving. Motorized and retractable porch screens are highly popular for new installs as they increase homeowners’ design options. However, much heavier materials, such as stainless steel or brass, may not be viable, while more fragile options, such as fiberglass, run a greater risk of being damaged. If looking to install a motorized or retractable screen, it’s best to talk with your installer to get expert help on the best porch screen materials to use.
Different Types of Porch Screen Material
As we’ve looked at, though insect protection is the primary use for porch screens, they also have a lot of other deciding factors on the material used for the screen mesh. There are a wide variety of options, so here we’ll take a look at the most common and some more niche screen porch material choices and their pros and cons.
This is generally the number one choice for porches as it can come in a huge variety of colors and provides great visibility as it minimizes glare from the sun. It’s easy to work with, flexible and generally the cheapest option out there, but the downsides are that it’s relatively fragile, so it tears easily and can be easily torn by determined pets.
A more resilient porch screen material, polyester fibers coated in a vinyl covering, is more resistant to pets and other types of corrosion caused by environmental factors. This screen fabric also won’t dent or crease like other materials and is probably the best choice for very hot climates or screens taking direct sunlight as the fibers naturally dissipate heat.
Metal Screen Materials:
Some vendors still offer metallic screens, but they fall short in so many fields that Screenmobile doesn’t offer them. PVC and fiberglass are generally considered to be superior options compared to aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and brass, due to the following reasons:
- Aluminum: It may be cheaper than other metallic options, but it dents easily and is prone to corrosion, especially in damp or seaside locations. Charcoal or black coating can reduce glare but also adds to the cost.
- Stainless Steel: Strong and rust-resistant, but it is rigid, making it difficult to work with, and it also causes significant glare in the sun.
- Copper: Flexible but bends easily, and while it has a unique natural discoloration over time, it may not be suitable for all styles.
- Brass: a stylish option, but it is expensive, flexible, and susceptible to sea salt and atmosphere corrosion.
In comparison, PVC and fiberglass are durable, low-maintenance, and have better resistance to weather and corrosion, making them a better long-term investment for porch screens.
There is a wide range of potential materials to use for your screen porch, and a number of factors go into deciding which one is best for your situation. Apart from keeping out insects, your porch screen material can also be used for keeping the worst of the sun’s rays or even mild precipitation from your porch furniture or fittings. Of course, wear and tear and corrosion are also big factors, but then the stronger materials you choose, like stainless steel or brass, may not be viable in the area you live in.
Before making any decision on your screen porch material, it’s always good to get an expert opinion on what will work best for your individual needs. To do so, you can get in contact with your local Screenmobile installer here, who will be happy to discuss your options.
Make a 3 or 4 Season Sunroom
Why Turn a Porch into a 3 Season Room or 4 Season Room
The most basic sunroom could also be called a one-season porch. It’s an area outside your home, level with your house, which is usable and quite enjoyable when the sun is shining in. It will most likely have insect-resistant porch screening to make sure the only guests are ones you’ve called over rather than the mosquitoes, no-see-ums or various other bugs attracted by the gathering.
This space can be many things, a relaxing place to chill out, somewhere to take in some cool air without the aircon blasting, or even a casual party location. However, this space could also be elevated even further by building a three-season or four-season space out of your existing porch or veranda. Three and four-season sunrooms mean that you can get much more use out of this extra living space, which brings greater value to your home and also means getting better value out of any investments you make there in terms of decoration and furniture.
If you already have a porch or are thinking of adding one, going the extra step of making it a 3-season room or 4-season room definitely has big benefits. Here we’ll look at what they are and what you need to do to make it happen.
3 Season Room or 4 Season Room: What’s the Difference
Let’s start with looking at what the big difference is between a basic or screened-in porch, a 3-season room and a 4-season room.
A normal or screened-in porch will have, at most, screening materials at its openings, which mostly serve to keep out insects but can also be for reducing the glare and UV damage of the sun or for ensuring pets and toddlers don’t stray out any gaps. However, with the screen material allowing for the full flow of air and no extra insulation measures, outside of summer, the porch will be too cold, windy or wet for daily usage.
A 3 season room will generally have insulation (though some very warm parts of the country won’t necessarily need it) and also a screen and window layout that can keep out wind and rain. This means that despite the worst of whatever spring, summer and fall has to throw at your home, the 3 season room will still be usable. A three-season porch, as it doesn’t have its own heating or aircon, will still have to be separated from the rest of the house, which is the main difference between it and a 4 season room.
A 4 season room, as the name suggests, is completely usable all year round. That’s because, along with better insulation in the flooring and roofing, and windows that can trap heat, it’s also connected through to your house’s heating, ventilation and aircon (HVAC) system, which allows it to be heated or cooled like any other room in your house. As a year-round sunroom, you’ll be able to enjoy the space and comfort of the extra living space without having to worry about the ambient temperature outside, which also means that a 4 season room can be directly connected to the rest of your house without the need to be closed off by walls or doors, which also fills your home with more natural light.
So with those differences sorted out, let’s look at how to go about building a 3-season room or 4-season room. These can be either from converting an existing porch, veranda or other outside space or building it from the ground up. There are different processes for making either of the spaces, but they also have a reasonable amount in common.
How to Build a 3-Season Room
Whether the job is a conversion or a new build, whether it’ll be a DIY 3-season room or you’re hiring a contractor, the core concept of elevating a 3-season room from a simple screened-in porch is how much control you have over the environment. By that, we mean you want to be able to keep what you don’t want (wind, rain, insects, heat or coldness) out and what you do want (warmth or cool air, noise, pets and toddlers) in.
There are a number of factors that allow you to do this, namely insulation (roof, wall, floor) and your windows, screens or window screens. The insulation doesn’t have to be as heavy as with a 4 season room. Roof and floor work are the main concerns. It’s possible to have all-clear walling in your 3 season room, depending on your insulation needs. An example is the Eze-Breeze system, which integrates panels made from see-through vinyl that have the same functionality as glass without the fragility or cost. The advantage of using such a system for your 3-season room is that the wall/window panels can be adjusted into different configurations depending on how much coverage or openness you want for the room in adapting to the seasons.
Cost-wise, a 3-season room is going to run anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000, depending on how much insulation and glazing or screening has to be added. It can even sometimes be cheaper to build the room again from the ground up rather than retrofitting insulation or other features such as anti-mouse and moisture screens in the flooring.
How to Build a 4-Season Room
As mentioned, the big difference between a 3-season room and a 4-season room is that the latter is connected to your home’s HVAC systems. To ensure that you’re not losing warmth or coolness from your home that means the 4 season room must be up to the same standards of insulation and temperature control as the rest of the house, so all of the same rules apply as for a 3 season room but wall insulation and insulated (that is, double-panel) windows or screens are a must.
Connecting your HVAC system to the room can be quite a task in itself, though. It will probably need to be rewired for extra outlets or HVAC equipment. When it comes to that equipment, a new aircon or heating system unit may be required, though you may be lucky to get away with simply splitting ducts from the main system. For anything producing fumes, such as a fireplace or stove, make sure you have proper exit ducts, and the whole finished job is up to local building codes.
Though a 4-season room will logically come in more expensive than a 3-season room, at around $20,000 to $80,000, the benefits are greater. Apart from being able to use the room all year round, it is also important, legally, for a room to be occupiable 365 days a year for it to be officially counted as ‘living space’ by real estate agents, thus adding greater value to your home.
Building or converting a porch or outdoor area into a 3 season room or 4 season room is a big home improvement undertaking but can have huge benefits, giving you, your family and your friends a wonderful and relaxing living space for the majority or all of the year.
If you’re thinking about taking the step, it’s always best to talk with the experts first. Here at Screenmobile, converting and winterizing porches, verandas and other spaces is a specialty, and our technicians are always happy to discuss how the job can go down and what kind of options are available to make the space your own.
To find out more, you can read about conversions, 3-season rooms and more here or locate your nearest Screenmobile operator here.
Pet Screens, Let’s Review
What are Pet Screens?
Pets are much-loved members of the family but can sometimes pose a challenge when it comes to the treatment of furniture and anything else in the house. This is especially true in the case of screen doors, which are usually more fragile than a normal door, and household pets can damage them in a number of ways, such as:
– Dogs: Screen doors are a barrier stopping a dog from getting outside, which is made even worse as they can clearly see what’s on the other side, and they want it. Dogs can claw or get their teeth into regular screen doors to try to tear them apart. They can also just straight-up crash into them and knock them out if they’re coming at them in a hurry.
– Cats: Cats, generally, don’t have the strength or desire to pull out a screen door, but they do love scratching their nails and stretching on the grate-like surface of a screen which will tear it open in time and then the curiosity really begins. Cats are also known to climb up screen doors like it’s a tree, which can end up pulling them out of their frame.
For these reasons, special pet-resistant screens are needed, which use different screen material to normal screens to give them extra strength and make them tear-resistant. A pet screen will still provide all the functionality of a normal screen, that is, keeping out bugs and providing a certain amount of privacy while also allowing air to circulate, but it will just be a more heavy-duty version.
What Materials Are Used in a Pet Screen
Pet screen material should be vinyl (PVC) coated polyester or nylon fibers for a few reasons. The first of these is that PVC-coated fibers are up to seven times stronger than regular screen materials, and while they are tight-knit, the fibers also have more give in them than some types of metal-based screens, which may just crack if hit by a sprinting hound who can’t stop in time. As well as adding a protective coating from pet claws, the PVC coating also helps protect the fiber strands from the worst of the sun’s rays, as well as salt, oils, and moisture in general.
The second reason to be careful about the pet screen materials you use is to ensure they aren’t toxic or harmful to your pets. Standard screen materials like carbon fiber and aluminum may not be hugely toxic in the small amounts a pet is likely to ingest (though some dogs can chew through a whole one, which is definitely not a good thing), but these materials don’t digest at all and so can cause gastrointestinal blockages for your pets. The best pet screen material in this sense is polyester fiber which, while not excellent in huge quantities, is just the same as the filling in a pet’s play toy.
It should also be noted that there may be chemicals you want to avoid in some popular screen washes, so be sure to check for a non-toxic version before cleaning your screens.
What Kind of Pet Screens Are There
Depending on the type of pet you have, the challenge will be different for protecting your screen from them. The typical forms of pet screen solutions are:
Pet Resistant Screens
These are normal screens but made with the heavy-duty PVC-coated polyester fiber mentioned earlier. They have extra strength to deal with the vast majority of animal interests, so you can feel safe leaving your pet alone with them without coming home to find one or both to have disappeared. The fiber is thicker, so the screen apertures are also slightly larger to allow for air and light but still too small for bugs to pass through.
For the toughest pet challenges, mainly very large and active dogs, then a full-on pet guard might be necessary. This is like a barrier for your screen, which protects the screen from being reached and scratched or gnawed by your pet. It functions like a gate, with vertical bars, and can be made from a variety of metals with varying levels of width and number of bars. This will keep your screen safe while still letting it function fully.
Pet doors, which allow pets to move freely between outside and inside, can also be installed on pet screens. Without any barrier to entry or exit, a lot of the reason for picking on the screen door is gone, and if it’s made of pet screen material, then it will be built to survive most wear and tear. Whether you want to have a pet door included in a screen door, you’re having installed or to install a pet door on an existing screen door, you can ask your Screenmobile technician to help you out.
Pet Screens for Windows
In the same vein as pet screen doors, screens for windows also need protection from pets, especially those behind tall furniture or anything to do with cats. Using the same PVC-coated polyester as the pet screen material, your screen windows should be tough enough to survive most scratching, climbing and pulling. The frames can be an issue, and it’s important to get screen window frames that don’t pop out too easily.
What is the Best Screen for Pets
The pet screen vs. regular screen debate is relatively easy to settle. If you have a pet that’s in any way curious about the outside or your furniture, you should most likely get a pet screen for your doorways and possibly windows, too (in the case of cats or windows beside sofas or other tall furniture). This pet screen will be made of special, heavy-duty material, such as PVC-coated polyester, that is not dangerous or toxic for your pet.
As to whether you should get a pet screen, screen guard or a pet door, well, that will depend on your pet, its size and desire to get outside, whether it’s allowed outside and whether they’re big enough to get through even a pet screen or agile enough to reach a window. Those are all individual decisions, but our Screenmobile technicians are always happy to help you find the best option for your family, pets and all.
To find out more about installing pet screen doors or windows, pet guards or pet doors, you can read more about what Screenmobile offers here or go here to find your local Screenmobile operator.
Soundproofing your Windows with Window Treatments
Every day we hear so much noise coming into our homes from the outside—everything from cars and trains to music, loud talking, and dogs barking. Unwanted noise from the surrounding environment can keep us up at night and interrupt our peace and quiet.
What can you do about unwanted noise? One way you can fight back against unwanted noise is by soundproofing windows. This guide explains what environmental noise is, the different ways noise can be reduced, and covers several window options that are available. Read on to learn more about noise pollution and how you can soundproof your windows.
What is Noise Pollution?
Environmental noise, also known as noise pollution, can be annoying as well as disruptive. What is noise pollution, exactly? Noise pollution is unwanted or harmful noise coming from outside that negatively affects living things.
Noise pollution can be very harmful and affects many people and other animal and plant life, too. Unfortunately, we humans cause a lot of noise when we are doing things outside. What can be done to combat all of this noise?
Thankfully, there are some measures you can take to reduce sounds coming in from outside. Some methods are good for reducing noise, and some are good for absorbing noise. What’s the difference?
Reduction vs. Absorption Soundproofing
Noise reduction and noise absorption may sound like they mean the same thing, but there is a difference. Noise reduction works by stopping sounds from entering a space. Typically, we hear noise through air, and noise reduction works by blocking air from outside from coming in. Reduction in soundproofing keeps sounds out and can be an effective method for fighting unwanted noise.
Noise absorption, on the other hand, helps reduce noise by absorbing some or all of the sound that already exists in a space. Sound-absorbent materials take in and trap noise, which results in less noise in your home. Both reduction and absorption work but are often combined for the best results.
Options for Soundproofing Your Windows
There are many different ways of soundproofing your windows. Some of these ways work by reduction, some by absorption. There are several different soundproof window treatments. The following section covers several effective products. Try one or several of the following options to help reduce the amount of unwanted sound in your home.
Double-pane windows are commonly recommended for reducing noise from outside. Double-pane windows have two panes of glass rather than one, so they are able to help with noise reduction. They work by blocking some of the sounds from entering your home.
Double-pane windows are a very expensive option, and they are not enough on their own to stop noise pollution from reaching you in your home. Thankfully, there are other options that work effectively and are much more affordable.
Using thick curtains on your windows is a tried-and-true method of reducing noise in your home. A good set of curtains act as a screen for windows and absorbs sound from outside, keeping things quieter in your space. Using curtains or drapes on your windows is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce noise pollution. Not only can thick curtains help reduce noise, but they can also help reduce your energy costs, as well.
Shutters are an excellent option for noise reduction. Indoor shutters work as a soundproof screen for windows. They are very effective against environmental noise, especially if constructed from good-quality wood. Shutters are easy to use, stylish, and work by helping to block out sounds. Indoor shutters are a simple, affordable, and attractive way to reduce noise in your home.
Blinds are another simple and affordable way to reduce unwanted noise. Blinds work by absorbing noise, similarly to curtains. Blinds are effective and look nice, too. They can also help reduce your light and heat bills, too. A good set of blinds reduces sound from outside and are an affordable option.
Another great way you can reduce unwanted noise in your home is by installing cellular shades. Cellular shades are window covers made of many fabric cells that work like an accordion when opened or closed, working as a soundproof window screen. These window coverings have the added benefit of reducing your light bill! Cellular shades are an attractive and affordable way to reduce outdoor sounds from making their way into your home.
Storm Doors and Windows
You can also install storm windows and doors on your home to help reduce unwanted noise. Storm windows and doors are very effective against noise pollution. They work by blocking a lot of the sound from entering your space. Storm windows are wonderful for use on an outdoor patio or a screened-in porch and work with your existing window to help block sounds. When used in this way, you can enjoy the outdoors without dealing with all of the unwanted environmental noise.
Solar shades are another great option for reducing noise pollution in your home. Solar shades work to reduce noise by absorbing some of the sounds. Solar shades are a wonderful, affordable option for soundproofing your windows. These shades are attractive and can help reduce harmful sunlight, as well as reduce your light bill. Try installing solar shades to help you enjoy peace and quiet in your own space.
In this guide, we covered what noise pollution is, different methods for reducing it, and several different products you can utilize to fight it in your own home. Hopefully, you find this information about soundproofing windows useful.
Consider having one or more of these options professionally installed on your home. At Screenmobile, our professional installers can help with all of your soundproofing needs. Our services include:
- Window screens
- Shades and blinds
- Window shutters
- Storm windows and doors
- Custom solar screens
- Motorized shades and blinds
Screenmobile has the noise reduction products you need to enjoy the peace and quiet of your home. Visit our website and complete this form for a free estimate, or find the nearest Screenmobile location today!
A Guide to Verandas and Wrap-Around Porches
Architects, home improvement designers and realtors, especially in the south and west of the country, will often talk about how much a veranda adds to a home in terms of utility, style, and, indeed, home value. But what is a veranda, what kind of benefits does having one offer, and how can you make the most out of yours? These are all pertinent questions for potential house buyers or someone looking to improve their home. So let’s start by taking a closer look at the first of those ‘what is a veranda’?
What is a Veranda?
The name veranda itself is from the Portuguese ‘varanda’, which probably originates from the Spanish ‘barranda’, meaning railing or handrail. This isn’t a surprise as both countries are very warm, and the Spanish architectural styles were imported to the southwest and places like New Orleans. So verandas were always very common in the warmer parts of the country before air-conditioning was invented. Still, it was from the late 19th century and on, during the picturesque movement, that the idea of making the most of outdoor space really took off, and verandas became a must-have for homes all over the US.
Today a veranda describes an open air porch, at ground level or slightly above it, that has a covering extending from the house. This differentiates it somewhat from other types of outdoor structures, such as a deck or patio, where the overhead covering is optional. As we saw from the roots of the word, verandas often have railings running along their edge, which give an impression of enclosure without affecting the veranda’s open-air nature. The idea of a veranda can often be interchangeable with that of a wrap-around porch as you guessed it, the veranda may wrap around more than one side of the house.
What is a Veranda: The Benefits
A Welcoming Entrance
Walking up to your house (or any house), the building can come across as forbidding or unwelcoming if it has no exterior details. However, with a veranda with furniture, personal items or screen walls, it seems more like an extra room of the house that you or any guest is arriving straight into. This domestic veranda room can also mean that crossing the threshold into your home isn’t actually necessary, and you can meet and talk with people comfortably and politely outside.
Enjoying the Fresh Air
Among the many benefits of having a veranda is how it allows you access to the fresh, outside air in all kinds of conditions. If it’s hot and stuffy inside, but you don’t want the aircon blasting, then the veranda is the place to go, even if it’s raining outside, with its super durable permanent covering, the veranda is still a great place to chill out, in the open. A veranda screen enclosure also allows you to take in that fresh air without having to worry about insects swarming over attracted by the lights.
Great for Entertaining
Entertaining guests at your home can be stressful if you’re worrying about how tidy your home is before they arrive or how untidy it’ll be after they’re gone. A veranda then becomes the perfect place to host people, out in the fresh air and with no fear of spillages on your carpet and of course, there can always be through-flow between the inside and outside. Installing a veranda screen enclosure keeps unwanted guests, i.e., bugs, away from the party and adds a layer of privacy to your outside space to make it even more relaxing.
Extra Square Footage
As an addition to your home, at the least, a veranda adds extra space to what can be considered ‘yours’. This provides its own personal comfort and gives you and your loved ones more area to move around or hang out in. Interestingly though, it also adds value to your home, with this extra footage counting as living space.
A Relaxing Space
Most of all, what a veranda delivers is a perfect ‘do-nothing’ space, it’s not an office, bedroom or kitchen, just a peaceful place to sit out and enjoy in whatever way you want. Your space is yours to do with as you wish. It can be somewhere you watch the world go by and chat with neighbors, somewhere quiet you go to read or a place where everybody comes to meet. Wrap-around porches or spaces with a veranda screen enclosure can also deliver a greater sense of privacy.
Getting the Most Out of Your Veranda
You can do so many things to make your outside veranda space yours in terms of decoration and furniture. It could be a swing seat, a table set for dining or working, or even loungers and a TV to create an outdoor screen room. It’s also possible to create the perfect veranda for all seasons with veranda screen enclosures to keep out the worst of the weather and bugs or winterproofing with heavier-duty screens and a sliding door. There are numerous ways you can alter or decorate your own veranda to make sure it is exactly the outdoor space you want.
Tracing its history back centuries, the veranda is a staple architectural feature, especially across the south and west. A veranda is a versatile outdoor space that can be shaped as you wish so that it becomes one of your home’s favorite spaces. This could be through furniture, how you decorate or with a veranda screen enclosure to protect you from the elements and annoying bugs.
Whatever you wish to do with your veranda, why not talk to the experts to see what your options are. Screenmobile has been helping homeowners across the country to create the veranda of their dreams for decades. To find out more about how we can help you get the most out of your veranda, you can read more here or get in touch with your local Screenmobile operator.
What are No See Ums & How To Get Rid Of Them
Whether you frequently spend time outdoors or you live in a humid area, you’re probably no stranger to pests like no see ums. These small but bothersome insects deliver extremely itchy bites, leaving many an unsuspecting hiker or camper riddled with irritating red splotches.
You normally encounter these pests outside, but a no see um invasion in your home is possible, especially if you live near a body of water. No see ums can ruin everything from get-togethers to just relaxing in your home. Keep reading to find out what no see ums are, how to identify their bites, and most importantly, how to get them out of your space and keep them out for good.
What Are No See Ums?
No see ums are tiny insects belonging to the Ceratopogonidae family that are infamous for their ability to ruin a nice day at home with irritating bites. Also known as biting midges, these mosquito-like pests feed on the blood of humans and other animals in order to produce eggs. Less than ⅛ inches long, they may be hard to see, but you’ll surely know they’re around when you begin to notice itchy clusters of red dots appearing on your skin.
The life cycle of no see ums consists of 4 stages: eggs, pupae, larvae, and adults. It may take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks for no see ums to reach the adult stage. Once they do, females will fly up to 2 km away from the breeding site in search of food.
Contrary to popular belief, no see ums and sandflies are actually not the same species. Though both are a type of small biting insects, sandflies belong to an entirely different biological group.
Where Are They Found?
Like many other types of insects, no see ums are often found in wet, humid areas or in close proximity to bodies of water. Females typically lay their eggs in moist areas, as the larvae can be both aquatic and terrestrial. So, if you live in a coastal region, you may be particularly at risk for an invasion from no see ums.
No see um bites also occur frequently while adventuring outdoors. Hikers, campers, fishermen, and even joggers might find itchy bites littering any exposed patches of skin, especially when exploring near marshes and other moist climates.
Identifying a No See Um Bite
The diet of no see ums typically consists of flower nectar. However, as we mentioned, female no see ums have to feed on either human or animal blood to gain enough protein to produce eggs. This leads them to bite humans when they have the opportunity. Due to their small size, you may not be able to pinpoint what is biting you at first. This can be an indication that what you’re dealing with is, in fact, no see ums.
No see um bites may look similar to mosquito bites at first, but they are much more severe. When one of these tiny pests bites you, it injects some of its saliva under your skin to draw blood to the surface, making feeding easier. This leaves behind small, itchy red marks that can expand into larger, more uncomfortable welts in the coming days.
You can treat no see um bites the same way you would treat itchy bites from most insects. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and warm water to get rid of any saliva left on your skin. If your bites are swelling, you can apply a cold compress or ice pack to relieve the pain.
You should also try your best to avoid scratching your no see um bites, as it can cause bleeding. Over-the-counter products like hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, or aloe vera may be helpful for reducing itchiness as the bites heal.
How to Get Rid of No See Ums
Though you’re most likely to run into no see ums outdoors, they have been known to invade houses as well. If you have an insect problem, try these solutions to get rid of or repel no see ums quickly.
A great way to chase away no see ums is to control the climate in your home. As we explained, these pests prefer warm, moist areas. With a combination of air conditioning and dehumidifiers, you can make your home as unwelcoming as possible for these creatures by creating an environment with cold temperatures and low humidity. No self-respecting no see ums will want to stick around for long.
Carbon Dioxide Traps
Female no see ums are attracted to the scent of human skin. But what exactly does human skin smell like? Our bodies emit a combination of carbon dioxide, heat, and lactic acid. This is like ringing a dinner bell for no see ums who are immediately alerted that there is blood nearby.
Since females are likely to follow the scent of carbon dioxide, one efficient way to get rid of no see ums is to set carbon dioxide traps. These traps release carbon dioxide into the air to attract no see ums. Once the insects get close enough to the device, they become trapped either by an adhesive or a vacuum.
No See Um Screens
Screenmobile’s custom screens are the perfect solution to prevent no see ums and a variety of other unwanted pests from entering your home in the first place. Our custom screens allow you to prioritize your unique needs by selecting from a variety of fabrics. Our insect control fabric is specially designed to keep out even extremely small pests like no see ums, which may be able to fit through typical mesh screens.
If you need help fighting back against your insect problems, give us a call or fill out our contact form. We will dispatch one of our trained Screenmobile professionals to your house ASAP. Thanks to our handy workshop trailers, all it takes is one visit to get high-quality, custom-made mesh screens installed in your home. Let us help you take back control of your space from pesky pests today!
Outdoor Porch Shade Ideas
This blog covers the enclosed patio option from another angle, focusing on providing shade and making the porch a more relaxing place to be. From retractable awnings to motorized shades – this is all about blocking out the sun and cooling down the front or back porch.
The outdoor living spaces around your house can be some of the most enjoyable parts of the home for relaxing and entertaining. A well-furnished and pretty front porch or enclosed patio can dramatically increase the size of your home’s ‘livable’ area, allowing you to enjoy the fresh outdoors and adding to your property’s value.
However, the one thing that can cause problems for all of that is the sun. Whether it’s getting just too hot, shining in people’s eyes or fading your furniture and fittings over a long exposure, too much sun can be terrible for your outdoor areas.
The solution is getting outdoor shades that can block out the worst of the sun’s effects. Not only can solar shades help with light filtering, but different designs can also help protect from insects or give the space added privacy. To help you determine what size, angle and style would work best for you and the specific space here, we’ll look at some of the best outdoor porch shades and patio covering ideas.
8 Ideas for Outdoor Porch Shades
1. Retractable Awnings
When it comes to sun shades, awnings are one of the most obvious solutions. Too much sun overhead, roll out some fabric to block it out. The great thing about awnings is they can just be rolled back in when you don’t need them, and many electric motors can now be controlled from your smartphone. Awnings can also be created to fit pretty much any space and required projection, as well as coming in a huge variety of fabrics and styles.
2. Outdoor Porch Shades
If you’re looking to keep the sun off the porch or verandah at your home, you’re in luck, as there is an incredible wealth of porch shade ideas out there. They can be horizontal, vertical or slanted to match how the sun gets in. They can be light screens to let in air but no insects or heavier duty to provide a full UV block for everyone and everything on your porch. A mechanical or manual rollable option will give you more flexibility around the amount of light getting through. However, fixed shades may provide more design options.
Umbrellas are a classic and low-tech way to keep the sun off certain areas in your outside living spaces, like seating or a dining table. The good thing about sun umbrellas is that they are flexible and generally easy to set up. They also come in a wide variety of styles to suit the decoration ideas you’re going for and can be taken in when not in use. However, they do have downsides in that they can generally only provide a relatively small area with protection and are not very good at stopping horizontal sunlight. They can also be quite susceptible to winds, meaning they must have heavy bases, which can be difficult to move about.
4. Roll-Down Solar Screens
For front porch shade ideas, roll-down screens are some of the best outdoor porch shades you’ll find. Outdoor roller shades come in a number of fabrics and can be custom fitted for your specific space. With an outdoor roller shade for your porch, you have the flexibility of adjusting the amount of light, and with bottom-up and top-down options, you can also create all the privacy you need.
5. Custom Screens
Screens are the classic outdoor porch shades and have been used for centuries to keep sun, rain and insects away from outside living areas. The concept of the screen hasn’t changed much over that time, but new technologies and materials now give you a real choice when it comes to deciding what’s best for the needs and look of your home. As outdoor porch shades, a screened-in porch is a very common amenity, especially in the south. Still, with modern manufacturing possibilities, you can also screen off very large outside areas as well.
If you’ve got the space and will, a pergola can be a beautiful patio shade. Basically, it’s a simple construction with four columns and roof beams, and a canopy is pulled along the roof to give shade to the area below. A lattice pergola is a similar design but without any canopy, intending to deliver the minimum of light blockage. Not only does it keep the sun off, but it’s also a really cute design feature and provides lots of DIY and upcycling potential.
7. Extruded Screening Systems
Another advantage of the improvement in outdoor porch shades is how to screen systems can be combined with metal extrusion to cater for maximum width and height openings without the tightness or consistency of the screen material being affected. Extruded screen systems can also add in chair rails for extra safety, kick panels to protect against active pets or sudden water flows and spindle systems to protect children as well as adding a design feature.
One of the most obvious outdoor porch shades is having a verdant tree outside it. Trees have long provided natural shade for the sun’s worst extremes and, at the right angle, can give protection from rain as well as privacy from the street. While certainly an environmentally friendly option and adds a touch of class to your home, trees can also be difficult to maintain, take a long time to grow, and the leafy ones that are best as outdoor porch shades also create a lot of yard work and porch sweeping come fall.
Outdoor living spaces are the best spots for relaxing, entertaining and getting some cool fresh air. Unfortunately, the sun can have a big impact on how much you get to enjoy those spaces. Between the heat making people uncomfortable, the brightness getting in your eyes and the UV rays bleaching your furniture, the sun is a big issue for outside living. Luckily outdoor porch shades have a wealth of variety in forms, styles and materials, meaning you can find exactly what you need to keep the sun off and that fits your home perfectly.
No matter what the space of your outside living area our custom design and expert fitting teams can give you the shade you need. To find out more about outdoor porch shades from Screenmobile, you can read about them here or find your nearest Screenmobile location.