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How to replace a screen door

Broken, damaged or missing screen door? If you need to know how to replace a screen door, it’s really very simple. Check out the steps here on how to do it!

Screen doors really take the brunt of all weather.

They are constantly in the sun, being rained on and dealing with fluctuating temperatures.

No matter what material or quality of construction your screen door starts as, it is going to take a beating over the years.

Inevitably, your screen door is going to break (probably why you’re here reading this post) and you’re going to be faced with the decision to either install a new one or make a repair.

Don’t waste anymore time with a busted screen door or trying to fix small parts here and there. You can get a new screen door and be all set for a long time.

A screen door is very easy to replace! This is a simple DIY project that you can take on in about an hour!

Looking to just replace the screen on your screen door? We’ve got you covered here!

How to replace a screen door - Charleston Crafted

Replacing a screen door

Over time, all screen doors are going to need repair or replacement, depending on their issues. There’s lots of reasons to replace a screen door.

  • Misalignment
  • Broken screen
  • Rusted hinges
  • Dry rot
Dry rot on door hinge

Replacing your screen door can often be more cost-effective than replacing different pieces over time. If you have to replace the screen here and the hinges there, it can add up and take more time than just replacing the door itself.

Dry rot on door frame

It’s also really an upgrade to replace a wooden screen door with one made from plastic or PVC. It will last much longer and have less issues!

Replacing a screen door is simple to do and takes about 15 minutes. Here’s how.

Purchasing a new screen door

When you need to replace your screen door, start by measuring your existing door for height and width.

Standard screen doors at the hardware store will come in 36″x80″ and 32″x80″. These can be trimmed, minimally, depending on your needs, but if you need something vastly different, you’ll need to special-order it.

Most places will sell screen doors in unpainted wood, white wood, and white vinyl.

Unpainted wood is good if your screen porch isn’t white and you need to customize it. These are the cheapest option, but they will be more difficult because you’ll need to paint them, which means you need to buy exterior paint in the right color too.

White wood and white vinyl doors are both good options for a white screened porch. If your porch has vinyl posts, go with vinyl. If you have a wood porch, you can go with wood or vinyl. Vinyl will last significantly longer than wood and you can barely tell the difference.

Most vinyl screen doors will come with a hardware kit that includes hinges, handles and latch. If not, you’ll need to buy that separately.

Preparing your new door

After you have a new screen door, make your preparations to install the door.

If needed, make sure you make any trimmings. Be careful to only trim up to the maximum allowed by the door you purchased.

Start by pre-drilling holes for your hinges. Mark your door from the top at 12″, 40″ and 68″. Center a hinge on each of these points and make marks where the screw holes are.

Once all marked, attach two of the hinges into place, but don’t fully screw them in. Leave them a little loose for adjustment on the door frame later.

Prepare your door frame

Remove your old screen door by removing the screws holding the hinges in place on the door frame.

Removing old door

Now it’s time to prepare the door frame the same way you prepared the door. Make your marks at the same 12″, 40″ and 68″ measurements from the top of the door frame.

Marking pilot holes on frame

Hold the hinge center to the door frame and mark where the screw holes need to be. Then drill pilot holes for the screws.

Attach that hinge into the final spot on the door.

Hang your new screen door

Line up the top hinge of the door centered on your pilot holes in the door frame. Screw the top hinge in, leaving a little room for wiggle.

Attaching hinge on frame

Move down and screw in the middle and bottom hinges.

Finalizing hinges

Now, go back and adjust the door up or down or side to side as needed, utilizing the wiggle room left in the screws. Tighten the screws into place.

Add screen door hardware

Finish up replacing your screen door by adding new hardware.

Start by adding the handles. Mark your screw holes, then drill pilot holes before attaching.

Attaching handles

Finally, add a latch. Make sure to line it up so that the hook can reach the eye on the door.

How to replace a screen door - Charleston Crafted

It’s easy to replace a screen door and make it look brand new. After a quick change out, you can have a new, fresh look and a door that swings smooth.

After it’s all done, if you tear your screen, that’s easy to replace too, just follow these instructions.

Before you go…

Be sure to check out our guide on 3 ways to repair a screen door.

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