Renter-Friendly Alternatives to Traditional Screen Doors 2023

Renter-Friendly Alternatives to Traditional Screen Doors

Looking for renter-friendly alternatives to traditional screen doors? Check out these innovative and stylish options that won’t damage your rental unit! During warm weather days, opening the doors of your home to the fresh air and natural light outside is pure bliss. Depending on where you live, you might take advantage of the glorious outdoors during the spring, summer, fall, or even all year long.

Maybe opening up your doors and windows to the outdoor breeze is a necessity, such as if you don’t have good air circulation inside and want to prevent having hot and stuffy rooms. Regardless of why you enjoy bridging the gap between the indoors and outdoors when it comes to your home, you can agree that fresh air and sunshine are lovely natural elements to take advantage of. 

One major downside to leaving your doors and windows open, however, is the way that bugs can swarm inside. According to the wildlife where you live, you might be fighting off cockroaches, ants, flies, mosquitoes, spiders, or even stray cats, birds, or raccoons. As you’re enjoying the sunshine or trying to experience the breeze inside, you certainly don’t want to deal with uninvited animal guests. That means simply opening the doors to the outside world isn’t going to cut it. And since not every home allows the installation of screen doors, you have to get creative. 

Fortunately, we have compiled a list of renter-friendly alternatives to the screen door that will be just as successful at keeping out pests, but likely even cheaper and simpler to install. Keep reading to explore the options available to you.

Magnetic Screen Doors

Magnetic screen doors are the perfect alternative to the traditional screen door that opens and shuts on its hinges; they are far easier to install and are highly effective at sealing off the inside of your home from the outside. Magnetic screen doors are installed along the top of the doorframe, but can also be sealed along the top of a window ledge for the same usage. Rather than needing to slide, pull, or push open the screen to get through, with magnetic screen doors, you simply need to walk through the magnets holding the center of the two panels together; the magnets separate to allow you entrance, then reattach. 

Because of the ease of access, magnetic screen doors are an ideal choice if you have kids or pets, or are prone to walking outside with your hands full. They are renter-friendly because you can take them down when the seasons change and you no longer want the doors open, or if you move from your current place to another.  

Accordion Screen Doors

Screen Doors

Also sometimes called retractable screen doors, accordion-style screen doors have a few different looks. The most common materials used are fiberglass or polyester mesh; the thicker fiberglass version (available in either opaque or matte) is strong at blocking the sun if you aim to keep your home cool, while the polyester mesh allows you to keep your view out your front door. Accordion screen doors are installed along the top of your door jam so they can slide open or closed by following the natural folds in the material. They can be fitted to your custom door frame. 

This traditional screen door alternative is considered to be a highly durable option. Another plus is that accordion screen doors can fully seal shut, so bugs are guaranteed to stay out of your home. For an option that slides open and closed easily, retractable screen doors are a great choice!

Fly Blinds

Fly blinds, or fly curtains, are screen panels that are hung from the door jamb. This option generally looks like lightweight mesh hanging in front of the opening to your house, but you can even find them in beaded and macrame curtains. Understandably, while this option looks cute, it is not the best at keeping bugs out (although it does let the sun and breeze inside). Consider your key reasons for installing a screen door alternative and decide whether trendy curtains are wise.

Fly blinds can be compared to retractable screen doors, yet a big difference is that fly blinds are not firmly sealed along the edges like magnetic and accordion screen doors. Depending on the amount of time you want to invest in installing your screen door alternative and depending on the severity of your wildlife problem, this option may be ideal for you, or it might be slightly lacking. The good news is that you can find fly blinds for low prices and they are easy to install.

Not every home comes with screen doors, but when you want to let the sun and fresh air circulate throughout your home, you need a way to protect your house from bugs and wildlife. These renter-friendly screen door alternatives are easy to install, inexpensive, and will keep you from shooing pesky uninvited guests out of your home. Assess which option is best for you, and then enjoy the fresh outdoors.


Enjoying fresh air and sunshine indoors shouldn’t have to come at a cost to renters. With these renter-friendly alternatives to traditional screen doors, you can enjoy the benefits of a screen door without worrying about damage or upsetting your landlord. From magnetic screen doors to decorative window films, there’s a solution out there that will work for your needs and budget.

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