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Which Type of Porch Screen is Best for You?

You may want a great screen to keep your porch protected, but did you know that there are different kinds of screens suited for different needs and levels of protection? Before you start lining your porch with a screen, carefully plan what kind of patio you’d like to have, your budget, and how much you enjoy the aesthetic and properties of each material.

Consider Your Needs

When deciding what’s best for your screen porch, consider the environment, and your comfort needs. Are you looking to escape the heat from a scorching day or do you want to embrace the rays? Do you live in an area where storms are common? Is comfort or design most important to you? You’ll want to find a screen that marks all or most of the boxes you want to be checked.

Material Matters

Think about mesh size first. An 18 x 14 mesh is ideal for outdoor porch screens as it can keep most insects out. A 20 x 20 mesh is more effective in keeping bugs out, but it may also let in less natural light. From there, you’ll find that there are several types of materials one can use for their screen porch. They vary in design, color, and cost and offer a variety of pros and cons.


Fiberglass is the most common material for porch screens. It's best for protecting a porch from insects and does not rust, stain, or corrode. It’s one of the least expensive screen options at about 15 cents per square foot. Fiberglass screens are expertly made with high-quality glass yarn that can last for a long time. This screen material can also be found in many different colors to suit your design desires. Fiberglass can be delicate screens, however, depending on the quality, and must be set up very carefully. They are notably easy to tear.


Aluminum is another fantastic and affordable option, ranging in price between 25 to 30 cents per square foot. It’s stronger than fiberglass, meaning it can last much longer and is less prone to tearing. Aluminum is a light material durable enough to last and not succumb to atmospheric corrosion. Unfortunately, its color options are very limited and are rarely found in colors outside of silver and black. It’s also not as flexible as other options.


Copper would be a unique and stylish choice for your patio screen. The color and quality of copper are rated highly and considered quite chic. It’s durable and easy to put up; hand tools can easily cut the material. This is one of the more expensive options, often found at over $7 per square foot. It also requires lots of maintenance as oxidation will cause the material to change colors from golden brown to blueish-green. 


Brass is a stronger and slightly cheaper option than copper if you want a similar look but don’t want to deal with as much maintenance. It’s a strong material but can bend quite easily under duress, and you won’t have to worry about brass tearing. It is cheaper than copper at around $6 per square foot, but not by much. It won’t fair well in areas with salt water, so keep it away from the coast and heavy humidity.


Bronze is a viable option if you want the look of copper or brass but for a fraction of the price. At 90 cents per square foot, this kind of screen is a great value. It’s stronger than copper and less susceptible to the elements than brass. However, bronze will discolor over time if not treated correctly.

Other Screen Types

There are screens out there designed to withstand heavy weather, insect infestations, and damage from pets. If your environment is intense enough that you might need extra protection, then you should choose a specialized screen.