Installing a Screen Door and Replacing Lattice

Protect your home from the elements. Steve Watson helps a homeowner install a new screen door and replace broken lattice over a crawl space opening.

Tags:
  1. Doors
  2. Exterior

HDSWT-208_screendoor_after

A screen door cuts down on drafts and helps save energy.

Materials and Tools:

HDSWT-208_screendoor_before

screen door kit
Lattice (vinyl or wood)
Lattice molding
pressure-treated 2x2 boards
power drill
drill bit assortment
driver bit assortment
self-centering drill bit
pencil
safety goggles
spring-loaded punch
hacksaw
manual screwdriver
spiral cutting saw
circular saw
miter saw
scissors
wide putty knife
large plastic sheets
sanding paper
exterior caulk
measuring tape
level
speed square
galvanized screws

HDSWT-208_screendoor_screws

Steps:

1. Some screen doors come with excellent instructions. If so, read these carefully before you get started. Decide which side the hinges will mount. In most cases it should be hinged on the same side that the entry door hinges.

2. Start by attaching the entire frame along with the hinges on the side of the door. To make this easier, some manufacturers provide an index hole to help you get started.

3. Use a self-centering drill bit to make installing hinges easier, as the outside sleeve of the bit retracts allowing the pilot bit to place the hole directly in the center of the hinge hole. After drilling the pilot hole, secure the hinges with the screws provided in the kit.

4. Measure the height of the door to determine the length of the hinge plate. Mark off the length on the hinge plate and use a hacksaw to easily cut away the excess.

5. Removing the glass from the storm door will make it much easier to handle while securing it in place. Use your foot to support the weight of the door. Lift your heel to guide it into place. Once the door is lined up in the frame, use the screws provided to secure it in place along the outside frame.

6. Open the door and install flat head screws through the hinges and into the door jam. Once again use the self-centering bit to drill pilot holes for this hinge installation. When fastening the screws, it is important not to over tighten them. If you do, it can distort the hinge causing the door to not open and close properly. Tighten until it's a nice, snug fit.

7. The drip cap is a J-shaped strip that is designed to catch the water that comes down the side of the house and channel it away from the doorway. Apply some caulking to the strip before installing it in place over the top of the doorframe as a little insurance to keep any water from running down behind the drip cap.

HDSWT-208_screendoor_cutting

8. Slide the drip cap in place. It should extend just beyond the left and right sides. Use the screws provided to secure it in place.

4. Cut the lattice panels to size with a circular saw. Allow 1/4-inch on each side to allow for expansion and contraction of the panels.

HDSWT-208_screendoor_hardware

5. Snap the molding into the lattice. Set the panel and molding in place, pre-drill pilot holes through the molding and secure the lattice with screws.

9. Add the molding to the doorframe. This metal trim snaps over the channel and conceals all of the screws used to install the door.

10. The manufacturer may provide a stick-on template to show exactly where to drill the holes for the latch set. If one is not provided, determine the height of the latch set and then carefully mark the screw positions with a pencil. Use a spring-loaded punch to provide small indentations that will help the drill get an accurate start. Next, bore pilot holes, still using the template as a guide. Finally, with a larger bit, make the final holes for the latch set and attach the latch to the door with screws.

11. With the latch set installed, it is time to test the door. If all works as designed, then reinstall the glass panel or the screen, depending on the time of year and the weather. Plastic keeper strips are used to hold the glass in place.

Replace Lattice

HDSWT-208_lattice_measuring3

Materials and Tools:
lattice (available in vinyl or wood)
lattice molding
pressure-treated 2x2s
measuring tape
drill, with drill bit and Phillips driver bit
level
speed square
circular saw
miter saw
safety goggles
galvanized screws

Steps:
1. Measure the opening to determine how large a piece of lattice you need and how long to cut the support pieces.

2. Cut 2x2 supports to size and attach to the posts using galvanized screws. Be sure to include supports for the tops of the lattice pieces.

3. Measure and cut sections of U-molding to fit each space. Make an inside miter cut on each corner.

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