screening advice?


I need to re-screen a small porch. Since I'd like to use 9' wide screen to minimize the framework, I looked beyond the local big boxes and found the Phifer web site (and hope that a local building supply will be able to order what I want). http://phifer.com (Flash is obligatory). But they show a bewildering variety of products, though I've narrowed it down a lot:
Black vs gray: would I be correct that black would appear less prominent, at least for looking out, but that gray would let in more light?
Any idea what their BetterVue screen actually looks like, and whether it does what they claim? Which is basically that it looks better looking out or in.
I think I have eliminated the other products from consideration -- I considered investigating the PetScreen because there are raccoons around -- but decided I don't need it enough to compromise on esthetics.
Anything else I should be considering? Are there other manufacturers I should be looking at?
If I don't get back to look at comments right away, I apologize -- my wife was expecting to enjoy the results of this project, and it has come to pass that she is not going to survive to see it completed. ;-(
Edward
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Edward Reid wrote:

I don't think color would affect light transmission; that is a function of the size of the openings which is determined not only by the opening size but the thread diameter. _________________

I'm sure it will do what they say. It has smaller openings - which can be good - but appears to have thinner "threads" which would decrease durability.
Charcoal may look better from the exterior - less of a black hole look - but my personal preference is for standard black fiberglass. Some small insects can get through but not many and the increased durability over fine threads is desireable IMO. Either color works OK looking out.
Aluminum is more durable but considerably harder to handle IME.
--

dadiOH
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"Edward Reid" wrote

Screen material is cut to fit. We use 36in wide as that's the max of the posts here (all wood). If you feel like thread hunting back, about 2 years ago I took a fellow though this from ground zero to finished job with all the time saving tips. We redo ours peopdically and it takes the 3 of us less than 30 mins per 'window' including cutting the trim wood to secure the screen. Screened porch is 13ft x 44ft.
I can walk you though it though here if you will describe your porch. Round or flat wood for example to attach to? (round is not easy and mine are all flat surfaces).

Correct. It's more a matter of esthetics. Ours is a dark grey.

Nope, but then with our pets, we use the easy and cheap fiberglass sort. Upscaling wouldnt make it last longer and it's easy to work with.

Sorry to hear that Ed.
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Well, I'm finally back, sad and lonely. Changes of plans have directed my decision to a dark screen for reasons I was not considering before. My wife did a sculpture about 25 years ago which I've moved onto the porch, with the result that I want the darker screen, with as few supports as possible, to minimize distracting background:
http://paleo.org/memorial/gallery-angels/index.html
Although the main photo was taken at night with flash, you can see the large clump of bamboo in the background. That's one of the distractions that needs minimizing. (The cast iron plants at the bottom have been removed.)
I have bought an 8'x25' and a 5'x25' roll to cover the area. Where they join, just above the heads in the sculpture, I'll using something like fishing line to join them to avoid a more obvious support.
cshenk mentioned that it would help if I gave a better description of the porch. I've drawn out the dimensions at
http://paleo.org/private/porch_screen.png
Note that one of the posts is a corner -- the left panel is at a 90 degree angle to the other two panels. It's shown from the inside.
The posts are 4x4. One end has a 2x4 to attach the screen to. At the other end, I need to add a support, probably a 2x2. At the top are 2x8s. Nothing rounded.
So I think I have a plan. I may need a few extra hands for stretching the screen ...
Edward
On Sun, 27 Jun 2010 01:59:14 -0400, Edward Reid

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On Mon, 20 Sep 2010 15:14:06 -0400, Edward Reid

Just be sure you use the factory bound edges and not a cut edge. The screen will unravel at a cut edge. I still worry this may not work but it is worth a shot.
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On Mon, 20 Sep 2010 16:05:27 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Good point, thanks. I will make sure to arrange that. And if it doesn't work, I'll add a thin support. I'd rather not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.
Edward
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"Edward Reid" wrote

I'm thinking of things that would work here. Fishing line (even the smallest test) may be too thick. What you want it almost like dental floss (but in grey or dye it grey). Regular thread would degrade too fast from the elements.
3 other thoughts.
-A light clear or grey plastic in a thin line with tiny holes applied to the outside (not as visible when inside). -Overlap the screen by at least 2 inches and 'sew' it neatly. -All else fails, thin 'slat wood'. This is stuff about 1 inch x 1/4 inch and can be found in 8ft sections (not sure of longer so may have to piece it). You'd paint this to match the screen as closely as possible. You can then actually either 'glue' the screen on with clear acrylic or hold a brick or something to the back and use a staple gun (paint the stables grey when done so they don't stand out).
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Hmm. I've seen fishing line that ... well, I mean I've seen spools of fishing line where I can barely see the line once it's off the spool. Anyway, I'll look around.
The overlap is a good issue to think about. If I overlap, the seam is going to be darker, just as if I'd put a support behind it. So I don't want that. The only serious bug problem (since this is just a porch, not a window) is mosquitoes. Florida mosquitoes are fairly easy to keep out.
Thanks for all the ideas. Lots to ponder when I'm wandering around in the stores. I ponder as I wander.
Edward
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