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
How to Install a 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 02:29

Learn how to install a screen door in order to enjoy all of the benefits of the outdoors without all the unwanted visitors.

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.

How to Install a 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

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