Expert Interview Series: Michelle Langereis of Mirage Screens Systems on Improving Your Outdoor Living Spaces
Michelle Langereis is the Head of Marketing for Mirage Screen Systems Inc., a world-class manufacturer of retractable screen products that are engineered to last a lifetime.
Here she discusses the value of retractable screens and offers her advice on creating more comfortable outdoor living spaces. Read on:
Can you tell us about Mirage Screens Systems? What makes your product unique?
Mirage Screen Systems has been manufacturing retractable screens since 1997. We are headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia and have distribution centers in Ocala, Fla. and New Hamburg, Ontario. Our products are high quality, reliable and affordable. Innovative design, quality craftsmanship, product flexibility and first-class customer service, both from Mirage and our dealers, differentiate Mirage from other products on the market. Mirage is proud to offer the market quality products that are manufactured in North America.
What are the advantages to home owners of using retractable screens throughout the house?
Retractable screens are literally there when you need them and disappear when you don’t. You no longer need to contend with two doors across your opening 12 months out of the year or block your beautiful entry door with a fixed screen. Many homeowners are often delighted to learn that they can screen out-swinging French doors with Mirage screens. Retractable window screens can be retracted out of the way when cleaning, unlike fixed screens that can be a pain to take out. Unlike traditional door screens that often have an aluminium panel combined into the door, retractable door screens maximize fresh air into your home, give great cross ventilation when multiple doors are screened, and improve the livability and comfort of your indoor space while reducing air-conditioning costs.
When it comes to shopping for screens, what should homeowners look for? What should they avoid?
Always look for screens that you can try out before you commit. Not all retractable screens are equal in quality. Side-by-side comparisons are very helpful in determining quality and usability – how smoothly does the screen open and close? Does the handle fit comfortably in your hand? The depth of the track that screen sits in should be looked at, avoid a shallow track as that will allow the screen to “blow-out” more easily. Paint options and quality is another consideration – you want to ensure that the screen’s aluminium components look good for their lifetime. Compare warranties to ensure that your purchase is protected.
In addition to window and door screens, what are some other home exterior projects that can have a major impact on both the comfort and appearance of a home?
If you have an outdoor living space, a great project is to create a screened room to increase the usability of the space. This home improvement effectively expands the living space of your home and creates an insect-free sanctuary in your backyard. Mirage offers a line of large format horizontal motorized and manual screen systems that can also be designed with UV-blocking mesh to create a shaded retreat for areas that get a lot of sun. Life is busy for everyone nowadays so having a retreat in your own backyard is something that can help us all easily relax and enjoy the fresh air. These spaces tend to be designed as social areas and encourage an atmosphere conducive to social relaxation with friends and family.
What types of regular maintenance should homeowners make sure to address on their home’s exterior?
In regards to retractable screens, the bottom track should be kept clear of dirt and debris and annually clean the screens housing, mesh and tracks with warm soapy water and a soft clean cloth. Annually lubricate the screen tracks with a quality spray lubricant. For high-traffic areas, you may wish to clean and lubricate the tracks more often.
What home improvement/home renovation trends are you most excited about right now? Why?
Definitely the trend towards healthy living spaces and creating a light and airy atmosphere. We spend a lot of time in our homes so ensuring that both our mental and physical health are a top priority in the overall design of our homes is absolutely important.
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