Hail and Spring Chills: KJ Custom Patio Screens Keep Out Way More Than Mosquitoes

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You may recall that I told you, last year, about the Screenfest we have had on our porch ever since we screened it in with retractable screens by KJ Custom Screens. Teresa Staggs, who owns KJ Custom Screens & Outdoor Living, the premier North Texas distributor and installer of the world’s top exterior motorized screens, personally installed them. The screens gave us a whole new wonderful living space. KJ Custom Screens & Outdoor Living contracts with the top luxury home builders in North Texas, installing amazing retractable screens into the bones of a patio that creates true year-round living in the great outdoors. Many builders choose to install the screens during the building process. We know demand for outdoor living areas that are comfortable year-round tops most luxury homebuyer’s lists.

I just never realized how much screens could contribute to keeping a patio warm, and protected. Not warm just in the winter, but in a super chilly spring.

Case in point: we had Supper Club at our home Saturday, and needed to have at least six outside to eat. Turns out the outside tables were in hotter demand than those inside: people naturally love dining al fresco, and KJ’s retractable screens make it all the more do-able. 


And then there’s hail: a few days ago, our area got hit by a sudden hailstorm. I got my car in the garage in the nick of time, and the porch screens were down. Hail just bounced off the exterior walls of the screen, like a giant ping-pong table on its side, protecting floor tiles, furnishings, plants and ceramic decor.  I have a glass top patio table, so as the hail pummeled my house and skylights, the patio was protected.

What we found this winter was the screens also create a wind enclosure which, with the fireplace crackling and the tabletop heater on, really made for a cozy, comfortable area. Perhaps it was because our patio has a wood-burning fireplace at one end, a table heater at the other, and is open on only two sides, but we definitely lived outside more than we ever have on the patio because of the screens all winter long.

In fact next year, I plan to invest in a porch ceiling heater. I’ll get my Calistoga Ranch experience right here in North Dallas without setting foot on a plane!

KJ Custom Screens and Outdoor Living are best installed when building a brand new house. But our home, now 18 years old, took to them very well. It was as if I had built it with custom screens in mind: we have three brick pillars, stone exterior walls, deep alcoves and straight lines. All I had to do was have my contractor box-out the ceilings near the roof edge to hide the motors. Took about a week.

“Screens can be recessed during the building phase of a home to allow for a seamless look when retracted,” says Teresa Staggs. “To retrofit, the process is a little more detailed and depends on the structure and layout of patio.”

But Teresa notes that “custom is in the name of the company”; there is very little she cannot work with when retrofitting a space. Thus it is entirely possible for virtually every patio to be screened in.


Installation of my screens took one day. Basically, the motorized units are installed in the boxes, completely hidden from site, the tracks are attached to the stone and brick wall surfaces with silicon adhesive. Voila! The screens are in. They are controlled by a wall-mount panel in the kitchen, and we have one remote to keep outside or near the door. 

We basically gained 360 extra square feet to our house that could be hosed off when the temperature allowed it.  I now do something I never did before: leave cushions out on the sofa and chairs. The screens protect the porch from large crittters, as well as mosquitos: we are having issues with coyotes and I definitely don’t want them on our patio! 

Yet the screens are transparent enough to still take in our deep, wooded yard and pool.

“Being able to use your patio for Holiday parties or a Super Bowl bash adds to your entertainment adventures in your home,” says Teresa. “The screens help retain heat and block winds so you can sit outside and enjoy a space you typically could not use for 4-5 months out of the year.”

With motorized screens, you can truly enjoy your patio year round.

Call Teresa NOW!


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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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