cover story Patios, balconies, gazebos—virtually any door opening—can become an instant screened oasis free from disease-carrying mosquitoes and other pests with Alco's Mirage Motorized Screen Systems. A push of a button lowers the screens, which can be framed in white, bronze, ivory, or custom colors and made to fit openings ranging in size from 3 feet by 3 feet to 25 feet wide by 16 feet tall. For added simplicity, designers can spec the system with automated timers and preset parameters for sun intensity and wind speed. Alco Ventures, 800.667.2526; www.miragescreensystems.com.
star system Five of NanaWall's popular glass wall systems have been awarded the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star rating. The systems' airtight seals, insulated glass with low-E film, and added insulation inside the aluminum framing combine to create a thermal barrier that helps maintain a constant indoor temperature. In addition to energy efficiency, each floor-to-ceiling glass panel generates a sound barrier for greater acoustical privacy. NanaWall Systems, 800.873.5673;
super hero Progressive Screen Systems' SuperScreen claims to outperform fiberglass screens in durability and longevity. The new polymer material's extrusion-coated polyester core yarn is said to resist tears, punctures, mildew, and the weakening effect of UV rays. Progressive Screen Systems, 941.360.0037; www.progressivescreens.com.
silent screen Phantom's retractable Serene window screens are discreet yet rugged, rolling out of the way when not in use and staying put even in breezy conditions. According to the manufacturer, Serene's innovative mesh retention system allows the screen to resist wind gusts without jumping its track and works on window types that typically can't support traditional screen systems, including push-out, tilt-and-turn, and sliding models. Phantom's standard and custom color-matching programs ensure that the screen's frame blends with the house's décor. Phantom Screens, 604.855.3654; www.phantomscreens.com.
fold 'em Jeld-Wen's IWP Exterior Folding Door System, made in traditional and contemporary styles, has accordion-style glass door sections that slide out of sight on an overhead track. Standard widths span up to 48 feet and heights reach 10 feet. Door frames can be speced in several woods, among them cherry and alder, in stained, painted, or primed surfaces. A low-maintenance custom fiberglass version is also available. Jeld-Wen, 888.535.3936; www.jeld-wen.com.
open house Vista Pointe door systems, co-developed with Eagle Window & Door, are available in either multislide or bifold door options for openings measuring up to 25 feet wide by 10 feet tall. The multislide model opens manually or with an optional automated system. It also offers a flush track set into the floor for low-profile transitions from interior to exterior spaces. Designers may choose from 50 standard colors (or customize their own), as well as six anodized finishes, nine interior wood species, and 11 interior finishes. Vista Pointe Architectural Systems, 866.998.3940; www.vparchitect.com.