How Hard Is It To Install A Screen Door?

Have you recently purchased a screen door for your home and are unsure how to install it? Or perhaps you're having a new home built from the bottom up and are purchasing a new screen door to compliment the entry door? Either way, you may have questions regarding how to go about installing it. We've done a bit of digging to find the best methods to do so--and to get it done quickly. In this post, we'll discuss them.

The installation of a new screen door can take anywhere from 45 minutes to four hours, depending on the type of door that you have and the condition and fit of the door frame.

Here are the steps to install a screen door:

  1. Obtain accurate measurements for the door frame
  2. Inspect the screen door and the hardware
  3. Hang the screen door
  4. Place wood shams between the frame and the door
  5. Measure and mark the areas where the hinges will be placed
  6. Drill the holes for the hinges
  7. Drill and the hinge screws
  8. Drill the hinges into the door frame
  9. Test the door and adjust as needed

Installing a screen door can be a very involved project, especially if you run into issues with the door frame. If this is your first time performing this task, be sure to take double-measurements and carefully plan your installation to make it as seamless as possible. Continue reading to learn about the steps to get your screen door installed in no time!

Mosquito net screen leaning on a wooden wall, How Hard Is It To Install A Screen Door

Steps To Install A Screen Door 

Ripped old patio door screen replaced with new one

Below is a universal approach to installing most screen doors on an average-sized door frame. If your door frame is custom-made, you may want to contact a door installation expert to assist with this project.

Things you'll need:

  • Screen door
  • Circular saw
  • Sandpaper (or sanding block)
  • Wood shims
  • Pencil 
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Caulk gun
  • Cordless drill
  • Level
  • Utility knife
  • Wood chisel

1. Obtain accurate measurements for the door frame

Before purchasing a screen door, it is crucial to get accurate measurements of your door frame. Use a measuring tape to measure the door frame's width and length, starting from the top of the trim to the bottom at the threshold. Use the shortest measurements. When measuring the width of your door frame, measure it in three places to ensure accuracy. 

Buy a tape measure on Amazon.

Start by measuring five inches from the top of the frame. Then measure five inches from its center. Finish up by measuring five inches from its bottom. Take the narrowest width and write it down as your measurement for the size of a storm door.

As long as your measurements aren't too far off, you should be able to find the proper size for your door frame. If you are unsure about your measurements or the right size is for the frame, it's best to ask a door expert at your local home improvement store.

It's also important to consider the direction in which you want the door to open, as this will affect the type of door purchase--or more so, where the handle will be placed. This is often referred to as handedness in screen door product listings. If you are unsure which direction is best, take a look at the current screen door to see which side the handle is on. Stand in front of the door with your back facing it, and if the handle is on the left, then you have a left-handed door.

2. Inspect the Screen Door and the Hardware

After you have purchased your screen door, be sure to take it out of the package and inspect it along with the included hardware. Check for any signs of damage on the door's packaging, the door itself, and the hardware. The slightest dent in your door can cause issues during the installation process, so it's important to inspect it thoroughly. You'll also want to check that the handle for the door is on the correct side, as you don't want to get halfway into the project to find out that the door will not open in the right direction. 

3. Hang the Screen Door

Lift the door from the ground and place it in the door frame, letting it sit slightly on the side of the frame where the hinges will be screwed in. It may be best to have a second pair of hands to help you lift the door to place it inside the frame for this step. The screen door itself may not be heavy, but trying to hold it in place while positioning the hinges can be a bit challenging for one person. 

4. Place wood shims between the frame and the door

You'll be using the shims as temporary spacers for the door. Start by placing one shim at the bottom of the door near the threshold, one on the top, and then place shims on both sides of the door. To make the installation easier, it's best to have about an eighth of an inch of space on all four sides of the door.

Buy wood shims on Amazon.

If you run into any issues installing the shims, it may be because the door frame isn't exactly square. In which case, you will need to adjust the door frame by sanding it down on the top or sides (if it's wood). If your door frame is made of metal, you'll likely need to contact a door installation expert to adjust the fit.

5. Measure and mark the areas where the hinges will be placed

Like any other type of door, screen doors will come with three hinges to be placed on the door frame's side. Once you have lined up your door with the frame, take your pencil to mark the area on the edge that's approximately five inches from the bottom and the top of the door. These are the areas where your top and bottom hinges will be located. The middle hinge will be installed first (and centrally) between the first two hinges. Before taking the measurements, make sure that the door is aligned perfectly in the frame to avoid having to re-measure the hinge locations.

6. Drill the holes for the hinges

Take one of the hinges and place it on the door and use your pencil to mark the area where the screws will go. Next, take your cordless drill and create pilot holes for the screws for all three hinges. This will make it easier when it is time to drill the screw into the door.

Buy a cordless drill on Amazon.

7. Drill and the hinge screws

Once you've created your pilot holes, drill the mounting screws into their respective positions. Start slowly until the hinge is pressed snugly against the door so that it does not twist around during the installation. It's best to drill the middle hinge in first, then the bottom and top hinges.

If you happen to damage the hinges or the screws, you should have extra ones located in the hardware that came with the screen door. If you don't, go to the nearest hardware store and be sure to take the pieces with you as a reference. Once the hinges are installed, give them a light tug to ensure that they are secure.

Buy hinges on Amazon.

8. Drill the hinges into the door frame

While holding the door in position, drill all three of the hinges into the frame of the door. It's best to create a few pilot holes first so that the mounting screws can slide easily into place. Before drilling the hinges in, make sure that all of the wood shims are in place to hold the door in position while the hinges are being installed.

It's also a good idea to take out your level and double-check the door's alignment to make sure that it is not positioned at an angle. Lastly, remove the door shims; this is also a step for which you can use an additional set of hands to help hold the door in position.

Buy a level on Amazon.

9. Test the door and adjust as needed

After you have screwed all of the hinges into the door frame, open and shut the door repeatedly to ensure that the hinges properly support it. Inspect the hinges closely and make sure that they are not crooked or sagging. If they are, tighten them up with a drill or screwdriver. If the door feels like rubbing against the frame, try either tightening or loosening the mounting screws to see if it helps. 

Buy a drill on Amazon.

Do screen doors come with frames?

Yes, most screen doors will come in a kit that includes jambs (frames) for the door's sides and the top of the door. They will also include a strike and hinge jambs.

How much does it cost to install a screen door?

UPVC mosquito nets, screen doors for installation

The cost to install a screen door will vary depending on your location and other additional factors such as door design and your current door frame condition. Installation prices can range from $100 to $1,600, though they tend to be average $300.

Does HomeDepot install screen doors?

Yes, Home Depot does install screen doors, and they charge about $200 to $500 for this service.

Does Lowes install screen doors?

Yes, Lowes also installs screen doors, and they charge about $150 to $400 for this service.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has answered all of the questions you have regarding installing a new screen door. Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

How Much Does A Screen Door Cost? [Price By Type Of Door] 

18 Enclosed And Screened-In Porch Ideas [Photo Inspiration] 


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