Can You Put A Screen Door On Any Door?

There are numerous benefits of installing a screen door. It aids home ventilation during the sweltering days of summer, conserving energy and preventing your utility bills from ballooning. And it also keeps the bugs out. As a result, some homeowners consider putting one on any door they can install it on. But doors vary in size and design. So is installing a screen door on any door possible? For your convenience, we brought you the answer.

You can put a screen door on any door, including a French door. And you can accomplish this project by yourself using the right tools, as most screen doors these days are universal with clear installation instructions. 

If you still have some questions about screen doors, don't worry. In this post, we'll discuss the topic in greater detail. Whether it be a sliding door, a French door, or a bi-fold door, outfitting your door with a screen door is a great idea, which is why a considerable number of DIYers do the job on their own.

Close-up of a screen door, Can You Put A Screen Door On Any Door?

Can You Put A Screen Door On Any Exterior Door?

The best part about screen doors is that you aren't limited to your main entry door only. It is even recommended to put a screen door on every exterior door in your house to keep bugs out.

Are Screen Doors Universal?

A metal door knob in a screen door for a front door

You might wonder how you can screen any door. After all, the 4 types of exterior doors come in different sizes. In addition, they are installed in various ways, opening in a direction that depends on the homeowner.

Fortunately, screen doors, especially the traditional ones, are considered universal. Thus, you can install them on any door. In other words, you can put the screen door on any exterior doorway regardless of whether it slides and opens on the right or left.

If you have unique doorways, cast your worries aside because custom-made screen doors are also available. Now, all you have to do is install it.

How Do You Put A Screen In A French Door?

French doors are the most challenging to install a screen on, as both doors usually swing open outward, unlike other door types. But times have changed.

There are screen doors you can install without too much difficulty. The most appropriate and efficient screen door for a French door is a retractable screen. We'll dig deeper into the process below:

Using A Retractable Screen Door

For starters, a retractable screen door is a protective screen that slides in or around the door, perfect for in-swing or out-swing doors. They are commonly retrofitted to the door, but you can still buy one for any existing French doors.

One huge advantage of this screen door is that it does not always stay in place, still allowing you to show the exquisite beauty of your French door.

You can install a screen door on the top or the side of the door. But for this post, we will focus on the top-door installation since it creates less obstruction for the French door.

For installation, follow the steps below:

  1. Measure the size of the exterior French door first to help you determine the right size of the retractable screen. French doors are usually 5 to 8 feet wide.
  2. When you have the screen door, you may need to cut the ends of it to match the size of the door frame.
  3. Attach the plastic cap, which was at the end of the screen storage cassette, to the cut area.
  4. Secure the mounting clips at the top door jamb using a screw and an electric screwdriver. Doing so will firmly hold the French screen door cassette—the storage of the screen—in place.
  5. Snap the screen cassette in place with the clip you have installed. Then, with a pencil, mark each side jamb directly underneath the cassette.
  6. Measure the height of the jamb from the base until the pencil mark. Cut the side tracks to that measurement.
  7. Install the side tracks, making sure to slip their tip under the ends of the screen cassette.
  8. Drive a 1 1/2-inch screw directly to the weatherstripping of the side tracks to securely attach it to the door jamb.

Check if the screen rolls down smoothly a few times to ensure it stays on the side tracks. If it does, then your project is complete.

How Do You Install A Screen Door On An Existing Door?

A blue screen door in front of a small country home

Existing single and double door types use the same fundamental approach when installing a screen door. But there are a few differences, which you will discover in this step-by-step guide:

  1. Take the interior measurement of the door jamb. For reference, door frames are always slightly larger than the average door size—80 inches by 36 inches.
  2. From there, take the smallest measurement and further deduct 1/8 of an inch that will provide fitting clearance for the screen door.
  3. Get the screen door that closely matches the measurement you have for the exterior door. The choices you can usually choose from are unfinished pine, vinyl, aluminum, and hardwood. The cheapest you can buy is around $50 depending on the brand and style.
  4. Fit the screen door of your choice on the door opening by wedging shims in the side spaces. If the screen door does not fit, lightly sand the door jamb to make it conform with the screen.
  5. While the screen door is stuck on the jamb, mark the areas where you will install the hinges.
  6. Drill pilot holes on the pencil markers first. Then, put back the hinges and drive the mounting screws into the pilot holes, starting with the middle of the screw hole. Fix the hinges on the screen door. Afterward, firmly press the hinge to the door jamp with the screwdriver.
  7. Finally, check if the screen is balanced using a level. If it is, you can proceed to install the decorative door knob or pull using two screws.

Just like that, you can put a screen door on an existing door without too much of a hassle.

How To Install A Screen Door On A Door That Opens Out

Screen doors open outward away from your home, so they usually go on the exterior of the doorway. But some doors also open outward. Lucky for you, solving this problem is not difficult.

What you should do is install the screen on the interior side of the entryway. Install it to the side of the jamb where the door is attached.

As a result, the screen door will open inward. Just follow the installation steps we have detailed above.

How Do I Know What Size Screen Door To Buy?

Different sizes of screen doors placed on the side of a room

Doors are not created equal in every aspect, including their size, quality, and design. Thus, there will be times that a standard size screen will not fit your doorway. But one way you can reduce the hassle of finding one that matches is by determining the height and width of the door beforehand.

So the initial action to take is to identify if your home door is square. The square pertains to the equality and balance of the door. If they are slightly imbalanced, you may need to sand the door to make it square.

From there, get the top, middle, and bottom width and height of the interior jamb from one horizontal end to the other. The smallest measurement you can take is the size of the door.

If your door is a regular one, the jamb can be as high as 80 1/4 inches and as wide as 32 1/4 inches. You need to subtract 1/4 inch from each measurement.

This way, you can ensure there is clearance between the screen and the door jamb. For example, a regular-sized door will require a screen door that is 80 inches high and 32 inches wide.

In Closing

The benefits that screen doors provide greatly outweigh the labor required for installation. Whichever exterior doors, regardless of their type, consider putting a screen door on them.

As you read through this post, some more questions about screen doors might have popped into your head. To discover more about screen doors, do check out these articles:

Can You Put Screen Door On The Inside?

Do Screen Doors Need Frames?

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