Weekend Makeover: Install a New Screen Door

Pump up the appeal of your front door by adding a vintage-minded screen door.
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Illustrations: Jon Lavalley

The right screen door can bolster your entry’s curb appeal while letting the breezes flow. Today, wooden screen doors are available in a variety of styles, from decked-out Victorian to straightforward Arts & Crafts. Select one that matches the style of your house.

Install a new screen door

Step 1

To find the size you’ll need, start by measuring your opening. Measure in three places—the top, bottom, and middle—along both the width and the height. Take the smallest measurement from each and subtract 1/8" to allow for clearance.

install-screen-door-shim

Step 2

Place the door in the casing and shim on all sides. This checks for fit and ensures that you have the proper clearance. If your frame is out of square, you may need to adjust the door a bit (by planing and sanding) to achieve the 1/8" clearance.

install-screen-door-hinges

Step 3

Measure and mark for the placement of hinges. Two of the hinges should sit 5" from the top and bottom of the door, with the third placed exactly in the center. After measuring, drill pilot holes and install the screws. Test to make sure the door opens and closes properly. Now your door just needs a knob (or a pull, on more casual houses) to finish it off.

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