Retractable Insect Screens – Product Spotlight

Retractable insect screens or ‘Rollerscreens’ are one of our best selling insect screen applications. And it’s not hard to see why.

Flying Off the Shelves

‘There when you need it, gone when you don’t!’ is the tagline that sums up what makes the rollerscreen flyscreen so popular. Like a roller blind, the mesh rolls up and away into a cassette, ready for you to pull it out again when you need it. What could be simpler?

Retractable insect screen in action

The cassette doesn’t take up much space either.  So your view remains unobstructed even when you don’t need to deploy your flyscreen.

Aside from its space-saving design, the Rollerscreen comes with other benefits like:

  • It’s suitable for Wood, Aluminium and Steel Windows and Doors
  • It can operate vertically (left-to-right) or horizontally (up-and-down)*
  • It can be adapted to fit over burglar bars

*Horizontally operated rollerscreens are only suitable for windows. Rollerscreen doors always open left to right.

The mesh we use in our retractable insect screens is a PVC coated fibreglass mesh. The mesh is a light grey colour because this shade is least like to obscure your view through the mesh. And the PVC coating protects the woven fibreglass strands from UV damage.

Anatomy of a Rollerscreen Flyscreen


Anatomy of a Retractable Flyscreen

As the diagram on the left illustrates, the four components of a rollerscreen are:

The cassette

The guide rails

The mesh

The handle



The mesh rolls up into the cassette, which is spring-loaded. The cassette itself measures about 45 mm x 45 mm and holds about 1.5 metres of mesh. Not sure if you have enough space for a rollerscreen flyscreen? Remember that you’ll need at least 45 mm of clear space to fit the cassette.

If the screen operates horizontally, the cassette goes at the top of the window. And if it operates vertically, the cassette goes on the left- or right-hand side. As the screen only operates left-to-right on doors, the cassette fits on the left or right side of the door frame.

The guide rails run at right angles to the cassette. They’re 25 mm wide and about 12 mm thick.

Finally, a hem is sewn into the mesh and we insert a gasket. The gasket then slides into place on the handle. And the handle will be the same length as the cassette.

As you pull the handle down, the mesh unrolls from the cassette. The guide rails guide the mesh along until the handle clips reaches the end of the screen. Click springs (fitted inside the guide rails) hold the handle in place.

With a rollerscreen door, a magnet on the handle sticks to a magnet attached to the opposite side of the door frame.

Why Rollerscreens Can’t Be Pet Screens

It’s a question we’re often asked – why can’t we use our stainless steel pet mesh in a rollerscreen application.

For starters, ou pet mesh is stiff. It’s made from PVC-coated stainless steel so you can’t roll and unroll it. Insect mesh is softer and pliable as it’s woven from fibreglass strands.

And the guide rails are only there to guide the mesh as it rolls out of the cassette. The mesh is not fixed to the guide rails in any way. You can push the mesh out of the guide rails with your hand. And a cat or dog could easily force its way through the screen.

The good news is we have other applications that are better suited as pet screens. Our Solid Hinged, Solid Slider and Sash-Type Screens all make excellent Pet Screens.

Face Fix or Reveal Fix?

How you fix your rollerscreen to your window or door depends on how much space you have.

In some cases, we install the screen onto the window frame itself. But, if there’s not enough space for the cassette or guide rails, we construct a frame around the window. The screen is then attached to the frame.

Installing the screen into the reveal is possible if there’s enough space.  If not, a face fix application is an option and involves attached the screen to the area in front of the window.

Reveal Fix versus Face Fix

Tiles in Recess of Window

Tiles and Burglars Bars

In kitchens and bathrooms, tiles may cover part or all the recess. Even plastering reduces the amount of space available to fit a screen.

If that’s the case, we use a 19 mm x 19 mm x 1.6 mm angle to create a frame around the opening. We then attach the roller screen to the frame we’ve created.


Steel Windows

If a steel window has burglar bars or windows stays, it won’t be possible to fit the retractable insect screen on the window. So we use an aluminium U Channel to create a build-out around the window frame that we can attach the flyscreen to.

To accommodate burglar bars that are generally 5 mm x 25 mm, we use a 33 mm x 19 mm U Channel.

For windows with window stays, we use a 44 mm x 19 mm U Channel.

Aluminium Windows

Burglar bars on an aluminium window present a similar problem. But once again, it’s possible to build a frame around the window using a 19 mm x 19 mm aluminium tube.

Cut-outs in the tube create a seal around the burglar bars so insects can’t slip past the screen.

Our retractable flyscreens form an integral part of your existing window or door. That’s the design principle behind all our screen applications.

Rollerscreen Insect Screen Specifications

Here’s a summary of the specifications for our popular Rollerscreens:Retractable Insect Screen Cross Section

  • Cassette: 45 mm x 45 mm
  • Sliding Tracks:

Width = 25 mm

Depth = 12 mm

  • Maximum Width & Height for Windows

Width = 1500 mm

Height = 1500 mm

  • Maximum Width & Height for Doors

Width = 1200 mm

Height = 2100 mm

Install or DIY?

It is possible to order your retractable insect screens from us and install them yourself. We’ll provide you with all the bits and pieces you need to attach them and a full set of instructions. And we’re happy to explain how everything fits together if you need some help. But we recommend you have the right tools. And some home renovating experience under your belt will help too.

Otherwise, rather opt for one of our in-house installation teams to fit your screens for you. We recommend this as should any hiccups arise, our team will have the tools and know-how to sort them out on the spot!

Now that you know more about our amazing Rollerscreen Flyscreens, why don’t you request a quote? We’re ready to help you turn your home into a fly-free zone this summer.