Install a screen door in 6 steps

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Screen doors help protect your family from bugs and pests while letting you enjoy the summer breeze. Aside from the good ventilation and fresh air, it can also add a beautiful aesthetic to your home. 

With its lightweight material and easy-to-follow manuals, more homeowners are opting to get screen doors. Whether you are planning for the summer or just want it for its appeal, read on to find out everything to know about them, like how to install a screen door.

Can I install my own screen door?

Most manufacturers sell screen doors as kits, complete with external hardware and instruction manuals. If you are handy and have time to spare, you may opt to install or replace a door screen on your own.

However, the task can get more complex especially when installing bigger doors. If you need help and want to know how to install a patio screen door, you can hop on Airtasker to get connected to handymen around your area.

What you’ll need:

  • Screen door

  • Power drill

  • Shims

  • Pencil

  • Circular saw

  • Tape measure

  • Sanding block

  • Step ladder (optional)

  • A supportive family member (if available!) 

Time of completion:

If you are handy and have vast experience in DIY work, you’ll need to set aside around 1 to 2 hours for screen door installation. However, if it’s your first time doing a home improvement project, it may take around 4 hours or up to one whole day to finish.

If you have limited time, it helps to ask for support from a family member especially in carrying the door, measuring, and putting the tools in place.

Step-by-Step Guide to Screen Door Installation

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install screen doors.

Step 1: Measure your door frame

man measuring the length of his door frame

Screen doors are often sold in larger models that can be customized to fit your door. To select the right screen door for your home, you will need to measure your door frame using a measuring tape.

Get both the length and width of your door's top, middle, and bottom sections. It helps to think of these measurements as a grid in picking out the right door. If you are measuring a screen door for replacement, you may opt to get the length and width of your older screen door instead.

Take note when measuring the top section of your door, you may opt to use a step ladder for more convenience. Make sure to ask a family member to hold the base of the ladder in place to ensure safety and avoid injuries.

Step 2: Selecting a screen door

white screen door at a patio

Screen doors are the first focal point of visitors when entering your home. Apart from its functional benefits, screen doors can be a statement piece for your home if picked out correctly.

In selecting what type of screen door you should choose, you must take into consideration the material that will complement and blend with your house’s exteriors. The frame is often made of wood, vinyl, aluminum, or steel.

Wood provides a more rustic, cabin-like feel to your home and can be stained or painted to a color of your choice. Vinyl often comes in either white or black but is sturdier in the long run.

Step 3: Fitting the screen door

fitting the screen door to the entryway

Once you’ve gotten the measurements of the door frame and have picked the perfect design, it’s time to fit your screen door.

Allot a 3/16 inches distance from the screen door to the bottom, and a 1/8 inches gap from the top and on both sides of the screen door. To keep this in place, you may use shims. If there are any overlaps, use the circular saw to trim the edges. Smoothen the trimmed parts with a sanding block.

If you are wondering what way a screen door should open, designs are usually flexible and can open either way depending on your main door.

Step 4: Installing the hinges

installing hinge brackets to a door frame

Once your screen door is set in place, you may now install the hinges. Use the hinges of the main door as a reference in placing the hinges of your screen door. Mark the location with a pencil then double-check if it matches the main door. Before drilling, make sure the screen door does not interfere with the main doors’ hinges or knobs.

If everything looks good, remove the screen door from the frame then use a power drill to put the screws in place. Start with the middle screw then work on the top and bottom screws. Only use hardware that is part of your door kit to ensure the materials are the right fit for your screen door.

After this, attach the screen door and the hinges to your door frame and open and close the door a few times to ensure the screws are tight and the door fits the frame. Make adjustments if needed.

Step 5: Installing the handle

screen door handle screwed onto the frame

Some screen doors come with a pre-built handle while others allow for customization. You may opt for a different design or a different placing–higher or lower–depending on your preference.

Make sure the screen door handle doesn’t obstruct the main door’s handle. Mark the location for the handle then carefully drill the holes. Attach the hardware and make sure to follow the guidelines included in the kit.

Step 6: Testing your screen door

Open and close your door a few times to make sure the screws are tight and the door is sealed completely at the bottom. If there is a gap, you can buy a door sweep to keep out insects.

Get a screen door installed at your home

Installing a screen door can be challenging especially when you’re doing it alone. You’ll need to work with bulky items and reach higher sections of your house. When pressed with time and confused about some steps, it helps to hire a Tasker to help get the job done. In just a few steps, you’ll have your screen door installed without the stress and hassle!

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Frequently asked questions

Screen doors are used to protect your home from bugs and pests while enjoying the outside breeze. It is often made of wood, vinyl, and aluminum. On the other hand, storm doors are used to protect your home from storms, and external elements that might be brought about by inclement weather. With this, it is made of sturdier materials such as steel, aluminum, and vinyl.

Plastic and metal are the most common screen materials due to their value for money. However, these materials tear and dent faster. Iron and solid metal are more durable screen materials that can withstand harsh weather conditioners. Hence, these materials also cost higher.

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