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How to Install a Screen Door in 6 Steps

white screen door

If you’ve ever wondered how to install a screen door, you’ve come to the right place. Many people assume that installing screen doors is complex and a job for a professional, but anyone with a little DIY savvy will be able to install them in no time.

To learn how to do it, check out our step-by-step guide below.

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Do You Need Screen Doors?

Before you start to investigate how to install a screen door, think about why you need a screen door. They are not a necessity, but they certainly do provide some convenient benefits:

  • Pest repellent
  • Provide good ventilation
  • Help make your home brighter
  • Help keep your door safe from the elements

How to Install a Screen Door (6 Steps)

1. Measure

The first step when installing a screen door is to measure. You will need to measure the outside of the door frame to plan the screen door size. Since not all doors and doorways are perfectly shaped, take width and length measurements along the bottom, top, and middle of the frame. For the door to function correctly, you’ll need at least a ⅛ inch gap around the door frame.

tape measure close up
Image Credit: Jumpstory

2. Buy a screen door

When you’ve measured the outside of the door, it’s time to buy a screen door. Screen doors can be made from various materials such as wood, vinyl, or aluminum. Follow the measurements you got in step one, and find a screen door that fits into the aesthetics of your home. The screens for screen doors are commonly plastic or metal, but some manufacturers will allow you to choose the material. If you are looking to install a storm door, the most common material used is glass.

3. Fit the door into the frame

Although screen doors are not heavy, it’s best to have someone help you out since it’ll make things much easier.  Many people do not consider this when thinking about how to install a screen door, but it’s always good to have an extra pair of hands.

Wedge shims and tapers between the frame and the door to ensure it fits perfectly. You should place two shims on each side, and at least one at the top and bottom. This step will help you ensure that you have the required gap around the door.

When you finish, it’s time to measure the hinge placements. Start measuring the spots for three hinges on the opposite side of the handle. The top and bottom hinges should be roughly 5 inches from the edge of the door. The third hinge should be placed between the other two hinges in the center of the door.

Door Frame
Image Credit: Joserpizarro, Shutterstock

4. Drill pilot holes and install the mounting screws

You will now need to drill pilot holes for the mounting screws, and you can use your hinges as a template on where you need to drill. This way, you will ensure that the holes will be drilled at the right place on the door. When you finish drilling, it’s time to install the mounting screws into the holes. You should install them until you feel that the hinge is firmly attached to the door. Use the hardware that came with the door for the best results.

5. Attach the hinges

Hold the door in place, and attach the hinges to the frame. First, make starter holes, and attach the mounting screws later. You can take a level and double-check the door is sitting still and level before you completely attach it.

screwing door frame
Image Credit: Skyliz, Shutterstock

6. Final checks and doorknob installation

The last step is to check the functionality and install a doorknob. Open and close the door to verify that the hinges are supporting the door properly and the door is moving smoothly. Install a doorknob or handle to the designated place, and your job is done.

Related Read: How To Fix a Screen Door In 10 Stepsdivider 1

How Long Does It Take To Install a Screen Door?

Installing screen doors is quite a simple process. It shouldn’t take you longer than a few hours to complete it entirely. You can even find pre-assembled screen doors that you would be able to set up in less than 45 minutes. Of course, do not worry if the project is taking you longer than anticipated. The most important thing is to install the door correctly, so there’s no need to rush.

Can You Add a Screen Door to Any Door?

Screen doors are typically universal and you can usually install them on any type of exterior door. You can even order custom-made screen doors in case your exterior doors have an unusual design. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, so you should easily find the perfect screen door for your home.

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Installing a screen door is a lot simpler than it seems. Hopefully, our step-by-step guide has helped you install your screen door or storm door quickly and easily.

Featured Image Credit: Kawin Ounprasertsuk, Shutterstock


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