Secret Screen

Secret Screen

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Keep Cats Out of the Baby's Room

Oct 25, 2005 (Updated Apr 18, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Easy to install, keeps out cats, smooth operation, looks nice in home.

Cons:None yet! (well, didn't consider added cost of shipping)

The Bottom Line: I highly recommend Secret Screen to those who want and affordable option to keep pets from going into a certain room or keep bugs from getting in from the outside.

My wife and I are expecting a new addition to our family in April. So, we began thinking about ways to keep our two cats from going into the baby's room (1) for the baby's safety, and (2) for the health of the baby we wanted to keep the cat hair/dander out. My wife stumbled across Secret Screen while doing a Google search looking for a device to separate baby from cats. We did not want to always keep the door closed completely, so that was not an option. So, we purchased Secret Screen.

What is it?
Secret Screen really is a simple idea. It lets you install a pull-down screen door in a doorway that doesn't have a screen. The screen is custom cut to fit the measurements of your doorway. There is a housing at the top of the doorway, and the screen pulls down from there to the floor where it is held by two hooks that you screw into the bottom of the doorway. When you want to pass through or take the screen away, you just unhook the screen from the hooks and it retracts itself all the way to the top, back into the housing.

Ordering and Customizing
Ordering Secret Screen through the website is incredibly simple, and there are several options for you to choose from to customize the look of your Secret Screen. First, you must measure the width of the door jam. Length doesn't matter because all Secret Screens pull down to 8 feet. You enter the width down to a quarter of an inch, and then they custom cut the housing and screen to fit your doorway.

Second, you choose the valance. The valance is the piece that covers the screen housing, the only thing you will see when Secret Screen is rolled up. You can choose the valance that will best match your doorway, walls, or home. Some of the valances offered are Faux Wood, Oak, Maple, and Walnut.

Finally, you choose what type of screen you would like: charcoal or striped. The striped screen (you can see images on the website) is much easier to see when pulled down and will prevent people from walking into the screen. This is better for high traffic doorways, but for our baby's room we went with the plain charcoal.

I was concerned about this. I have screwed up many an Ikea project. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of installation of Secret Screen. Surprisingly, only four screws are needed for the entire process. You have the housing (which contains the screen), the valance (which connects to the housing via four plastic snap-on hooks), and the hooks at the bottom of the doorway that hold the screen down.

You screw in two brackets (one screw each) to the top of the doorway, and the housing snaps into them securely. You then put the valance hooks on the housing and the valance snaps into place. Finally, you screw in the bottom hooks (one screw each) and you're all set. No drill needed and total installation time was about 15 minutes.

Function and Use
Our baby hasn't arrived yet, however we have been using Secret Screen so that the cats get used to it. So far they have only smelled it, but that ends their curiosity with the screen. The screen and housing feel very secure, and I am not afraid to pull the screen down with force (though it doesn't require much). When you unhook from the bottom, the screen quietly glides back up to the housing effortlessly, though every once in a while, I have to help it along. I wish I would have given them measurements a quarter of an inch less, because the fit is snug. However, I guess a snug fit is better than one that doesn't cover the entire doorway. Additionally, Secret Screen will gladly exchange yours for a new one if you find that the original measurements weren't correct.

I'm very happy with the purchase. I would recommend this to people who want an affordable and easy-to-install option for their doorway. It looks nice in my home, and it also gets lots of great comments when people see it in action. So far it has kept our two cats from going into our baby's room, which was the sole purpose for the purchase. Secret Screen did what we wanted it to do. Secret Screen retails for $49.95 and is only available through their website, however, it ships from California so depending on distance the costs will increase. I live in Maryland so shipping was about $14.00.

Update 4/18/06
My son is now two weeks old and we have been so happy with the Secret Screen. When the baby is asleep in his room, we pull down the screen so that cats cannot get inside. Usually the cats just sit outside the room next the screen our of sheer curiosity. But the screen has done an excellent job of separating pets from sleeping baby!


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