How To Pick The Best Porch Screen Material?

Picture this: You want to soak up some vitamin D on your porch. But those pesky bugs are constantly landing in your coffee mug or being a general nuisance. This is where a porch screen comes in, keeping bugs at bay and turning your porch into a cozy haven.

But before you pick just any porch screen, it’s crucial to understand the different options and screen materials available in the market. 

With an array of options, finding the perfect fit can be challenging. Explore our guide on selecting the best screen material for your porch and make the most informed decision for your outdoor setting.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Screen Material for Your Porch

1. Aesthetic Appeal

Selecting the right porch screen is more than just a practical choice; it's an opportunity to enhance your home's visual appeal. With various customization options in materials and designs, you can seamlessly integrate screens that complement your home's style.

Customization Options:

  • Choose screen materials that align with your home's architecture and color scheme.
  • Explore various designs, patterns, and textures to add a touch of elegance to your porch.

2. Check for Weather Resistance

One of the crucial factors in porch screen material selection is its resistance to weather elements. Opting for durable materials ensures your porch screens can withstand varying weather conditions, contributing to their longevity.

Impact on Longevity:

  • Understand how exposure to sunlight, humidity, rain, and temperature fluctuations affects different screen materials.
  • Choose materials known for their weather-resistant properties, contributing to a longer lifespan.

3. Visibility and Privacy

Finding the right balance between visibility and privacy is essential for a comfortable outdoor experience. Explore specialized screen options that offer varying levels of transparency while maintaining an adequate level of privacy. Whether you seek a clear view of the surroundings or prefer a more secluded space, there are screens designed to meet your specific needs.

Specialized Screen Options:

  • Consider privacy screens that use innovative technologies for limited transparency from the outside.
  • Explore options with adjustable features to customize visibility based on your preferences.

4. Pet-Friendly

For pet owners, selecting porch screens that withstand pet activity is crucial. Look for scratch-resistant materials that can endure the occasional enthusiastic pawing. Additionally, consider the compatibility of the chosen screen material with pet doors, providing your furry friends with easy access to the outdoors.

Pet Door Compatibility:

  • Explore screen materials that allow for the installation of pet doors without compromising screen integrity.
  • Consider screens with reinforced areas to withstand potential scratches from pets.

5. Ease of Use

The functionality of your porch screens is paramount to your overall outdoor experience. Examine different screen mechanisms and their impact on ease of use. 

Maintenance Considerations:

  • Opt for screen materials that require minimal maintenance for long-term convenience.
  • Explore user-friendly features such as easy-retractable screens or those with simple cleaning requirements.

Types of Porch Screen Materials

  1. 1. Fiberglass 

Fiberglass screens are a cost-effective option for budget-conscious homeowners. They offer versatility, suiting various porch sizes and styles with flexibility in applications.


  • Cost-Effective: Ideal for those seeking an economical screening solution.
  • Versatile Use: Suitable for various porch styles and sizes.
  • Moderate Strength: Doesn’t bend or crease. 


  • Color Fade: The color of the mesh fades away due to UV rays.
  • Wear and tear: The screen can get damaged due to sharp objects.

Price:  $0.20 – $0.35 per sq ft

  1. 2. Vinyl-Coated Polyester 

Vinyl-coated polyester screens provide increased strength and durability. They offer aesthetic appeal with customization options.


  • Doesn’t corrode: Ideal for use in humid environments.
  • Versatile Applications: Suitable for different porch styles and sizes.
  • High durability: Can last for up to 10 years. 
  • Reduced indoor visibility: Thick mesh reduces the amount of light entering, giving some level of privacy. 
  • Great for pets: Can tolerate rough handling by pets.


  • Price: The installation cost may be unaffordable for some.
  • Reduced outdoor visibility: Not a good option for a clear view outdoors. 

Price:  $0.55 per sq ft

  1. 3. Solar Screens 

Solar screens are a perfect choice for porches exposed to direct sunlight during the summer. Their sun-blocking properties can help in keeping your outdoor space cool.


  • Reduced Energy Costs: Contribute to lower energy bills through effective temperature regulation.
  • UV Protection: Guards against harmful UV rays, protecting furniture and occupants.


  • Higher Initial Cost: Upfront investment may be higher compared to traditional screens.

Price:  $2.00 to $8.00 per sq ft

  1. 4. Aluminum 

Aluminum screens provide stability with their structural strength. They have a lightweight construction, making them easy to handle and install.


  • Structural Stability: Suitable for areas requiring a stable porch screening solution, such as porches in windy areas. 
  • Easy Handling: Lightweight construction facilitates straightforward installation.


  • Susceptible to Corrosion: While lightweight, aluminum screens may be vulnerable to corrosion.

Price:  $0.45 – $0.75 per sq ft

  1. 5. Stainless Steel 

Stainless steel screens exhibit resistance to corrosion and rust. They have a modern aesthetic, enhancing porch visuals due to their shiny look.


  • Don’t sag: Stainless steel screens maintain their firm structure as they’re robust.
  • Resistant to corrosion and rust: The mesh fabric doesn’t get affected by high humidity.


  • Sun glare: May reduce outdoor visibility due to increased reflection of natural light. 
  • Installation cost: Stainless steel screens are expensive to install.

Price:  $0.85 – $1.30 per sq ft

  1. 6. Copper 

Copper screens stand out with their unique and attractive aesthetics due to their reddish-brown color. They ensure lasting durability by resisting corrosion and weather elements.


  • Unique Aesthetics: Adds character and style to your porch.
  • Durable: Offers longevity by resisting rust, suitable for warm and humid climates.


  • Installation cost: Copper screens come at an expensive price range.
  • Color Fades Away: The screen fabric loses color with time.

Price:  $2.00 – $3.00 per sq ft

Takeaway - Choose the Screen Material That Suits You

Finding the ideal porch screen material involves balancing aesthetics, durability, visibility, pet-friendliness, and ease of use. 

Each material, from cost-effective fiberglass to stylish copper, offers unique benefits. Consider your priorities, and select a screen that aligns with your preferences and porch needs for a comfortable outdoor space.


  • Can I install a screen door for my porch myself, or do I need professional help?

The installation process can vary, but many homeowners succeed with DIY installations. However, for more complex mechanisms or larger projects, professional assistance may be beneficial.

  • What is the standard mesh size for porch screens?

Usually, screen manufacturers mention the mesh size in terms of the number of strands per inch. A standard mesh size for porch screens is often around 18x14, which means there are 18 strands per inch in one direction and 14 strands per inch in the other.