When it comes to home protection, it's common to have a screen or storm door along with a sturdy exterior door. Screen doors are best to block out insects and protect a home from harmful conditions outside, but do they work when put on the inside? We've done the research to bring you the answer.
Yes, you can install a screen door inside instead of on top of the exterior door. Putting a screen door inside a front door still adds a layer of protection, focusing more on inside security. When a screen door is inside, it becomes easier to keep main doors open without worrying too much about the front door blocking the interior.
If you decide to add a screen door inside, you might want to know more about installing them and the options available. Keep reading as we elaborate about screen door installation for interior doors, screen door measurements, and swing directions.
Why Should I Put A Screen Door Inside?
Screen doors commonly go on the outer side of exterior doors. But you can also put a screen door inside the main front door, and doing so comes with a few advantages.
Whether the screen door is inside or outside, it allows more room for ventilation and natural light and increases front door security.
Although inside screen doors offer these same benefits as outside screen doors, you might want to consider the following points:
Works With Out-Swinging Front Doors
With a screen door, you can leave the front door open during the day. Some homes have front doors that swing outwards. In this case, it would be better to install a screen door on the inside to keep the doors from hitting each other.
Doesn't Block Off Interior
In connection to out-swinging doors, having a screen door inside means that the main front door wouldn't be blocking off the interior even when you leave it open.
Added Interior Security
As opposed to outside screen doors, an interior screen door would provide less protection for the exterior door. Instead, they offer an increase in the safety measures directly inside the home.
How Do You Install A Screen Door Inside?
Installing a screen door inside follows the same process as adding a screen door on top of an exterior door. Most screen door installation kits include the equipment and hardware required to hang the door. But if you only purchase the door itself, prepare the following tools:
- Measuring tape
- Screen door
If you're starting from scratch, check out how to assemble your screen door frame in this post: Do Screen Doors Need Frames?
To start the installation, follow the steps below:
- Decide the direction you want the screen door to open.
- Put the screen door in place and mark where it should go with a pencil. Take any measurements if necessary to put the door in the perfect spot.
- Fit the door into the opening, making sure there's about 3/16 inch between the screen door and the door jamb on every side.
- Carefully drill the holes onto the marked areas.
- Screw the hinges into their places and install the screen door to the door frame. If you are installing the door alone, position the screen door into place before attaching the hinges.
- Install the other hardware, such as the handles and latch.
- Test the screen door by opening and closing it a few times. Wedge papers into the edges of the door, close it, and then lightly tug onto them to see if it's properly secured.
Are Screen Doors One Size Fits All?
Most screen doors come with a universal fit. These usually follow the standard sizes of front doors to ensure that they are snug when installed.
While screen doors come in a size that fits most doors, this could vary depending on the type of door it will go on top of or behind. For instance, a conventional-sized screen door might not fit a double-entry doorway.
What Is The Standard Size For A Screen Door?
The standard measurements of a screen door include a height of 80 inches and widths of 32, 34, and 36 inches. Other manufacturers offer larger and custom screen door options to cater to different kinds of doors.
Even with these provided sizes, taking the needed measurements for the door will allow you to pick the best-fitting option available. To measure for a screen door, refer to the section below.
How Do I Measure For A Screen Door?
Calculating sizes for a screen door requires you to gather the measurements of different parts of the entryway. The crucial areas to consider are the door jamb, sill, and trim or frame. These will guide you in determining the door's height and width.
Here is what you should do to measure for them:
- Start by measuring crosses on the door, ensuring the door is in its proper place and aligned correctly. Follow this by measuring from the bottom left corner of the door to the top right corner, then the opposite way.
- From the bottom sill to under the top of the frame or trim, 6 inches away from the door jamb, measure to get the door's height.
- The width of the door requires you to take 3 different measurements. About 6 inches from the top of the door, measure from one side with the door frame until you reach the door jamb of the other side. Including the trim helps you note allowance for the hinges.
- Repeat the previous step 6 inches from the bottom of the door.
- Measure the center of the door from end to end without the door trim to get the final width measurement.
- You can repeat the measurements of the door height and width inside the door frame to confirm your calculations. Be sure to subtract around 1/4 inch from each of the measurements for an ideal size.
Which Direction Should A Screen Door Open?
The direction a screen door opens mainly depends on where the front door opens. There is a general rule that the door handle of a screen door should be on the opposite side that the exterior door handle is on. Thus, it should open opposite of the handle placement.
If the screen door's handle goes on the left side, the door will open towards the right. If the handle is on the right-hand side, the direction it opens will be towards the left.
When choosing between having the door open inwards or outwards, the direction your exterior door swings will determine whether the doors will hit each other. For an outward swinging door, the screen door should go open inwards and vice versa.
To get more insight on how a screen door opens, read this post: Do Screen Doors Open In Or Out?
It's common for a screen door to go on top of a front door when the exterior door swings inward. Installing a screen door inside is recommended for main doors that open outward.
In addition to the usual benefits of adding a screen door, having it on the inside may reduce the door's overall protection while increasing the security provided inside a home.
Suppliers often match screen door sizes to the standard measurements, but calculating measurements based on your door and entryway helps you choose a screen door with a snug fit.