When you want a screen door but your front door is so pretty.

In the last house renovation I treated myself to a really good solid mahogany front door. Previously it was an okay midgrade wood Dutch door and attached was a wooden screen glass combination storm. Two of the other exterior doors have wooden screens and I don’t need to tell you how they warp and weft in the cold and heat.

We vowed to not have another wooden screen door again, ever. Enter Larson screen doors. 


Really good quality. We bought one for a back door that has a slide up and down screen/glass option so there’s no unscrewing a screen and finding the glass.

The only model we are thinking of for the front door is a full view door, with no divider bar to take away from the beauty of the front door. That does mean swapping out the screen for glass but that’s okay if it gives me the light and breeze I need from the screen. The front door light and breeze is CRITICAL to the flow of air in the house and CRITICAL to the light in the front two rooms.

Installation however is no cake walk. The door handle is considerably proud of the trim which means an extension has to be built onto the existing trim to make the screen close.


And therein lies the rub. The extension jamb kit is not something Larson sells so it means  either buying a third party kit from Home Depot or Lowes or getting Mr. EOS to make it from scratch. The latter is preferred because he’s a perfectionist. The latter is also bad because he’s a perfectionist and I want the door up this year! 🙂

Then comes the decision of which color Larson door is right. Some say white so it blends in with all the white trim and fades away. I say NO WAY…. white would be horrible.

There’s Almond. Black. Brown. Cranberry. Green. Sandstone. White.


Vote now. I voted Black.

14 thoughts on “When you want a screen door but your front door is so pretty.

  1. I’d go with a mahogany screen door myself, stained to match the front door. Seemless look. Not fighting the metal versus wood.

    1. Your idea was considered but as beautiful as wood storm doors are, what a pain to maintain. Every couple of years we have to adjust them because they don’t close.

  2. I had the same issue. In fact, my entrance looks very much like yours but without that gorgeous front door. It’s impossible to tell that the doorway has an extension jamb to accommodate the door handle. We have Andersen full view storm/screen door in black. I think it frames our Dutch door nicely. I do not like the white option at all.
    Be very careful to check how easy it is to change from screen to glass. Andersen has an easy, quick way to do it. Before, they used an plastic strip method.

    1. Anderson makes a good quality screen door. Seen them first hand. Liked it a lot. Larson is about the same price. Rings End in Vista has a whole Larson display to see how they operate and switch out glass. The other one we have is called slide-away or something like that where the glass panel disappears and the screen it easily pulled up in place.

      Did you install the extension and was it homemade or did Anderson carry one?

      Agree white is not an option.

      1. It was installed by our contractor when we remodeled the house a few years ago. I just looked at it and it’s only about an inch wide. At the time, I was disappointed that the doorway would need modifications but it’s not at all noticeable.
        Good idea to go with full view. The glass panel will protect your front door. That’s a bonus.
        Forecast stinks, by the way. Snow, snow and more snow starting tonight. Anywhere from 12 to 18” with winds up to 50mph.

    1. Not a dumb question. It’s all about the amount of light that pours through with the front door open. It’s magical what it does to the whole house. The breeze is important too especially as part of the crosswind effect.

  3. Must be something in the air. We spent some time at Lowe’s and Klaffs over the weekend. Finally going to gut the 1/2 bath and lose that weird 1970s color beige (sort of)toilet, sink, floor tile, et al.
    New motto: “just open up your purse strings and let the Moths fly out…”

    1. Sounds like fun. Picking out the materials is more than half the fun. We used Best Plumbing for all the fixtures and a great tile store in Port Chester, just the other side of the traffic circle coming from Greenwich. Immediately on your right. Up a high driveway. Excellent selection.

  4. That’s a tough call with those color options. And I’m having a hard time visualizing how it would look. (I’m usually good at this type of thing thanks to a design degree) would you have to build a frame out to accommodate the door handle?

    My aunt once installed something like this

    Maybe this could work, because the screen would only be unfurled when the door is open? Stays cleaner, too. I was wanting them in Stockholm where no one uses screens at all (!!bugs!!) and the doors open outward.

    1. I had a retractable screen on a French door and I hated it. It never retracted properly and eventually came off the track. I want a glass door in the winter so the light comes in.

      Yes, you’d have to build the frame out. I don’t think it’s be too ugly. Or I hope not.

      1. No, it won’t be ugly. You won’t even know it’s there. I think black would be best for it goes well with the door hardware. You can get a black handle for the storm door, too. If you have a local hardware/lumber yard that sells storm doors see what they offer in regard to sales and installation.

        1. Rings End is on our list of to-do’s to pick out the door color, get the material for the extension and pick out the handle. Agree black would be right,.

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