How to install a screen door
Last modified: 2019/05/05 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Once the warm weather returns, we begin to look for ways to allow fresh air to circulate into the home. This can be more difficult than it may seem at first, as insects and bugs will seep through open windows and doors. Of course, with modern technology, there exists a way to remedy this problem. A screen door combines practical with purposeful to offer an ideal way to allow clean, outdoor air indoors.
Although this style door was commonly associated with the farmhouse, today there are plenty of different models on the market that can accommodate any type of home decor. This installation project might be initially challenging, but with a little bit of patience and a lot of research, we’re certain you can get the job done.
Here’s how to install a screen door
Types of screen doors
Before we launch into the step by step instructions of this installation process, it’s important you consider the various types of screen doors and the one that will be right for your home. The one you’re likely familiar with is the traditional screen door which opens outwards and fits directly into the exterior door jamb. If you’re looking for a screen door for your front entrance, find something that adds to the curb appeal of your home. In contrast, if you’re looking for something for the side or back of your house, there are many simple, bare-bones models on the market that will serve a functional purpose.
Another popular model is the retractable screen door. Essentially, the screen piece itself is stored in a spring-loading case and this usually sits at the side or the top of the doorframe. It’s mostly invisible and can be pulled down when necessary to get a breeze indoors but block out bugs. These can work in tandem with a sliding glass door or other non-traditional door styles.
Lastly, there are slider screen doors that are installed on a track next to a glass sliding door. Some patio door models with come equipped with these already in tow, while others may not offer the same add-on option.
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Measuring for your screen door
Once you’ve determined which model you’re set on installing, you’ll need to take on the most important step of this process: taking careful measurements. The way you take measurements will come down to the door you’ve chosen. If you’re going with a traditional screen door, then start by measuring the door that it will be paired with, as you’ll be looking for a screen in the same size.
If your door is an odd shape or untraditional but you’re still hoping for a screen to fit snugly in place, there’s a way to work around this. Consider opting for a screen door which is larger than yours, but be sure to buy a wood frame. Then, cut and fashion the screen door frame so that it mimics the size of the existing door.
If you’re going with a retractable screen, it will be necessary to measure the inside of the door jamb. Lastly, if you’re going for a sliding screen door, you’ll need to take measurements of the current sliding door panel as you’ll need to find a screen in the same size.
Installing your screen door
When it comes to the screen door installation process, the steps are going to be specific for the model you’ve chosen.
For the traditional screen door model, the installation process is very straightforward and this is why it’s so appealing. This project will require a drill, a tape measure, a pencil for marking and screwdriver bit. The traditional screen door installation process involves attaching the screen to the hinges of the door in place. A pull handle will also need to be attached. Traditional screen door kits will generally include all of the pieces, right down to the screws you need for installation.
Begin by installing the screen door hinges adjacent to the spot of the upper and lower door hinges. This is usually around 8 inches from top and bottom. As with the hinges, place the handle at the same height as the existent handle. Center the screen door in the jamb, and this can be easily accomplished using shims.
Leave a little gap at the top and the sides as well as a larger gap at the bottom, so the door can sit correctly and move freely. The majority of screen doors will come equipped to be installed on either the left or right side of the door and will come down to your personal preference.
When it comes to installing a retractable screen, you’ll require many of the same tools to complete this job. Again, the process itself will come down to the type you buy or the manufacturer, so carefully follow the instructions listed alongside the screen. If you happen to be attaching a bottom track to a concrete or brick surface, you’ll need some specialized masonry bits as well as concrete screws. In some specific cases, high-end screen will need the help of a professional for the installation process, so do bear this in mind if the model you choose is higher end.
Lastly, if you’re installing a sliding screen door, it will come down to the track installation process. The door will run along the exterior track, so position it there and following this, hook the rollers in place. It should be able to slide smoothly back and forth if you’ve done the installation right.
Secure your screen door in place
If you’re going for a traditional screen door, it’ll more than likely be made of wood. We’d suggest sealing these edges with exterior paint to prevent weathering. It’s much easier if you do this before the installation process, so consider this if it’s a necessary step. If the door is completely unfinished, the entire thing will need to be painted with exterior paint.
Once the screen in neatly fastened in place, you may want to install a door sweep, which is a bottom attachment that will keep out bugs, dirt and dust. Voilà! Enjoy the fresh air finding its way into your home without the addition of mosquitos and bugs!
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