How to Install a Screen Door

Installing a screen door can give you all the benefits of the outdoors without all the bugs and other unwanted visitors. Since screen doors are lightweight and are not used for security, many DIYers find it easy to install a screen door on their own.

October 14, 2019
Screen Door

How to Install a Screen Door

Installing a screen door can give you all the benefits of the outdoors without all the unwanted visitors. Screen doors are lightweight and are not used for security. Because of this, many do-it-yourself homeowners and renters find it easy to install a screen door on their own.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

How to Install a Screen Door
Loading Video...

Materials Needed

  • screen door
  • circular saw
  • sanding block
  • drill
  • shims
  • pencil or marker

Choose Your Door

Before purchasing a screen door, you’ll need to determine what size door you need. You can do this by taking the inside measurements of your exterior door jamb, both the height and width (Images 1 and 2). Wooden doors are more traditional but require regular painting or staining. Vinyl doors generally come in white or black and require less maintenance over time. Many homeowners choose vinyl because of the durability.

Fit Door in Opening

You want to make sure you have 3/16 inch between your screen door and the door jamb on each side. Use shims to hold your door in place and make sure it fits (Image 1). If your door is too big, use a straight edge and circular saw to mark and remove the overlapped door material (Image 2). Use a sanding block to smooth down the edge (Image 3).

Install Hinge

Most store-bought vinyl screen doors come with hardware that allows the door to be reversible. Your screen door should be installed on the same side as your exterior door’s hinges. Locate the placement of your door hinges and mark the location of the screws (Image 1). Using a drill bit that’s smaller than your screws, drill a pilot hole in each spot you marked. Attach your hinges using the exterior screws included in your screen door packaging (Image 2). Always use exterior-rated hardware with exterior and screen doors.

Install Handle and Latch

Some screen doors come with handles already installed, while others allow you to choose where to put your handle. Make sure the new handle won’t interfere with your existing exterior door handle. Mark and drill the holes for the handle and install the hardware, following the instructions included in the packaging (Images 1 and 2). Determine the correct location of the screen door latch by allowing the door to close and placing the latch against the handle mechanism. Mark the screw holes for attaching the latch and use a small drill bit to drill pilot holes. Attach the door latch and allow the door to open and close a few times, making sure the handle and latch are working properly (Image 3). Finally, attach the spring or hydraulic screen door closer using screws.

Now that your screen door is properly installed, you’re ready to say bye to the bugs and hello to the breeze.

Screen Door

How to Install a Screen Door

Installing a screen door can give you all the benefits of the outdoors without all the unwanted visitors. Screen doors are lightweight and are not used for security. Because of this, many do-it-yourself homeowners and renters find it easy to install a screen door on their own.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Next Up

How to Replace an Outdoor Water Spigot

If your outdoor hose spigot is leaking from the spout, it’s time to replace it. Here’s how to knock out this project in no time at all using a few simple tools.

How to Replace a Window

When it's time to replace an outdated, inefficient window, it can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve got everything you need to know to get the job done.

How to Install Wainscoting to a Wall

Add an instant touch of class to a room with these step-by-step instructions on installing beadboard wainscoting.

How to Install a Tile "Rug" Within a Hardwood Floor

Add high style to your high-traffic entry with this transitional floor tile inset.

How to Replace a Faucet

Replacing a faucet that's outdated or always dripping is a relatively easy DIY project.

How to Repair a Screen in a Door or Window Frame

Buying new door or window screens can be expensive. Save money by learning how to repair a screen in an existing frame.

Read This Before You Paint Your Front Door

So, you’re ready to paint your front door. Whether it’s just a touchup with a favorite hue or an entirely new shade that will grace your entrance, take note of these helpful hints before you pick up your brush.

DIY Rainbow Doormat

Brighten up your entryway with this easy DIY doormat.

How to Install French Drains

Divert groundwater from the basement or foundation with the help of gravel and fabric.

How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Many homeowners have turned to vinyl plank flooring as an alternative to hardwood or tile because it’s easy to install, very durable and comes in a huge variety of styles. Learn how to transform your home with high-quality vinyl floors.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

My Lottery Dream Home

10:30am | 9:30c

My Lottery Dream Home

11:30am | 10:30c

Bargain Block

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

House Hunters

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

8:30pm | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

House Hunters

12am | 11c

House Hunters

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.