The last of the winter frost is fading away, and spring has finally descended upon Texas. Hibernating West Fort Worth families are emerging from their holdfasts and looking for ways to enjoy the season's sunshine.
Today, there are newer and better ways to utilize outdoor spaces to maximize a family's time spent outside. And homeowners are flocking to these solutions in droves to combat the volatile temperatures and gusting winds of the West Texas landscape.
"The best way to do this is with outdoor, motorized screens," says Aaron Sorrells, owner of Blinds Brothers in Fort Worth. Porch enclosures with retractable screens have been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. "The outdoor, retractable screens are great for making your patio usable year-round," continues Sorrells. "People pay a lot of money to put in a patio and then are crushed when they only use it 15% of the time."
And while West Fort Worth has long been renowned for its bugs, something the screens also protect against, another pest, well-known to residents, is the wind. A recent study found that wind speeds in DFW rival and even surpass those of Chicago. "The wind is a big reason we recommend retractable screens over the basic, bug screening people used to use," says Sorrells. "The best way to do a four-season room is to use screening that cuts down wind, sun, bugs, and allergens."
And while it's not cheap, Sorrells says neither is putting in a patio, "But you'll maximize your time out there and even cut down on sun damage to your furniture and patio structure, saving you money in the long run."
And if you've lived in Texas long enough, protecting yourself from allergens goes without saying. Pollen blooms are not strictly reserved for the spring either. Ragweed notoriously plagues central Texas throughout the fall months. And Mountain Cedar, also called Ashe’s Juniper, pollinates in winter. "Screens that eliminate these types of allergens can really transform a family's ability to enjoy the outdoors in Texas," affirms Sorrells. "Our company has countless success stories concerning this issue."
Something else Texans stay vigilant about is pool fencing. When summer temperatures reach blistering levels, homeowners with pools are undoubtedly better off, but child safety advocacy groups and children's hospitals all recommend pool owners install fencing around the feature to protect their littlest swimmers from venturing too closely without supervision. Sorrells says families are turning to retractable screens for this issue as well to keep their backyards both safe and sightly.
"Kids can freely play in a screened-in patio without the parents worrying they'll wander into the pool," says Sorrells. "And cats too. if you have any pets wanting to enjoy the outdoors without the fear of them wandering away, a retractable patio is a great solution."
In addition to the retractable screens, Sorrells says that Texans should also check out protective shutters. The shutters enclose the porch and any existing screens to wholly protect the investment when residents are out of town.
And so far, the popularity of retractable screens seems to be only picking up steam, with patio owners all over Fort Worth jumping in on the trend.
"I had a customer tell me once that it must be nice selling a product that changes people's lives," says Sorrells humbly, a reminder that innovation outdoors continues to make Texas an easier place to live.