The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How to Install a Screen Door

A screen door allows you to let in a cool breeze while preventing the entry of insects. Handy homeowners can expect to finish this installation project in an hour or two. The steps for how to install a screen door are not as demanding as putting in a new entry door.

Steps for How to Install a Screen Door

  1. Measure your existing door opening to determine the correct screen door size.
    1. From door jamb to opposite jamb, measure the width of the exterior opening at the top, middle, and bottom.
    2. Measure the height of the frame opening in the middle as well as the right and left sides.
    3. Identify the shortest widths and heights and subtract 1/4 inch from each dimension to arrive at best screen door size.
  2. Select the style of screen door that you like at your local home improvement store or from an online retailer.
  3. The hinges and handle for your screen door will mirror the placement of the hardware on the entry door.
  4. Lift the screen door into the opening.
  5. Wedge wooden shims between the screen door and door jamb to hold it in place while you inspect the fit.
  6. Your screen door needs a gap of 3/16 of an inch between it and the door jamb to swing.
  7. Mark any areas where it touches or overlaps the door jamb.
  8. On a vinyl or wood screen door, trim off a strip of material to create a proper fit with a circular saw.
  9. Unless you have a partner to hold the door up, you may find it easier to attach the hinges with the screen door on the ground.
  10. Measure the hinge edge of the door 5 inches down from the top for placement of the top hinge.
  11. Measure 5 inches up from the bottom edge for placement of the bottom hinge.
  12. Mark the location exactly halfway between the top and bottom hinges for the installation of the middle hinge.
  13. Use each hinge as a template to mark where to drill pilot holes.
  14. Drill pilot holes with a bit smaller than your screws.
  15. Attach hinges with screws.
  16. Lift door into the opening and mark pilot holes for securing hinges to exterior frame.
  17. Perform the final hinge attachment.
  18. Install the screen door handle.

Tools & Materials

You'll only need a circular saw if the screen door requires a size adjustment.
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Power drill
  • Circular saw
  • Shims

Consider Help From The Door Experts at PJ Fitzpatrick

Following the directions for how to install a screen door is a satisfying do-it-yourself project. However, if you don’t have time for the chore, PJ Fitzpatrick can install a new screen door for you. Ask us for a door installation estimate today!

Need help with this project?

We have trained professionals that can help. Contact us today. 1-877-246-4354

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