Doors

Published on June 18th, 2013 | by Henri

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Screens inside of sliding doors make no sense

Q.    Last spring, we bought a 1960s ranch house. It has Pella windows and a very large 4-panel Pella sliding glass door. What surprises us is that the screens are inside! That makes no sense to us since when we keep the doors open to take advantage of the night summer breezes, bugs collect on the screens. When we are ready to go to bed and want to close the doors for the night, all the bugs get in the house! Who ever thought up something so stupid?

A.    I couldn’t agree with you more! Years ago, when I was active in construction and such doors came on the market in the late ’50s or early ’60s, I called the manufacturer of one particular make to ask that very question. I was given the lamest reason I can think of and, if this is true, I think the architects responsible need to have their heads examined.

The reason given me was pressure from architects who didn’t like to see screens from the outside. It ruined the looks of the houses!

Considering my high regards for the many architects I have worked with in my 50 years in the construction industry and their role in making our lives more beautiful, I prefer to believe in the other reason I heard: When the wind blows, it forces the sliding panels together, making the doors’ weatherstripping tighter. That says something about the manufacture of the doors themselves, though, as very good manufacturers of windows and doors have a very tight weatherstripping system that does not need the wind to help.

The bugs-in-the-house problem is why I have always tried to dissuade my clients from using doors having an interior screen.

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