We have enjoyed a Retractable Screen Door, by ODL, for several years ! It works very well for entry/exit to our rear deck without the problems of a swinging screen door in the way. It is so good as to become almost invisible to those in a big rush or the family dog bounding outside for a critter. So we have had collisions! Collisions by our dog and friends and family that collide right into a closed screen. While the ODL screen has survived this abuse intact, clearly this shouldn't continue.

During a recent visit to the cabin of Bill Maxwell, who first introduced us to this pull-across screen door, we discovered his ingenious solution to the "invisible screen". Bill knew that anything attached to the screen itself would eventually be a problem on the small screen roller and that marking-the-screen was at best temporary. He had investigated these solutions.

Out of this study evolved a simple, inexpensive and effective solution; Install a metal chain from the handle area across to the outside of the roller casing. As the retractable screen door is opened, the weight of the chain pulls the chain down, but out of the way of the screen. To improve visibility, the primary objective, Bill added a small metal bear to the center of the chain.   (See photos)   Read details below.

Front Door Chain

Front Door Chain detail

Various types of chain are available at you local builders or hardware store. Remember you want this chain to be seen against the screen! Select a chain with enough weight to hang down and stay out of the way.  Measure your door width carefully and be sure to select a length for the chain to swag attractively. I suggest stainless steel screws and washers to fasten the ends into the aluminum frame(s). Caution on the roller tube side; use screws short enough to not interfere with the roller and screen as it is retracted.  Attaching bears ( or birds ? ) to the chain only improves visibility.

Thanks to Bill Maxwell for this attractive solution to  STOP  Retractable Screen Door collisions !

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