Do Screen Doors Need Frames?

Adding a screen door to your entryway gives you benefits such as letting in natural light, improving ventilation, and keeping out bugs and wildlife. If you're looking to purchase a new screen door, you might be wondering what you need to buy with it. Do you need a frame to put up a screen door? And what comes with the kit after purchasing? We've researched this for you, and here is what we found.

Yes, a frame is needed to install a screen door. Basic screen doors need frames to hold up the mesh screen. These are often included in the installation kit, if not built with the door already.

Before installing a screen door, you should determine whether you can add it to your front door in size and placement. Keep reading as we discuss further on screen doors.

Close up of an open, retro porch door. Do Screen Doors Need Frames

Do Screen Doors Come With Frames?

A screen door installation kit usually comes with all the needed hardware and equipment, including a frame. You can also purchase these separately if necessary or for spare parts. In some cases, the screen door is prepared and ready for immediate installing.

Unlike storm doors that consist of a glass pane, screen doors use a mesh material. Since these are not as sturdy as glass, they require a door frame to stand.

You also can opt to purchase the materials separately and build the frame. If you're looking to construct a screen door frame yourself, the recommended material to use is wood.

How To Make A Screen Door Frame

Prepare the materials listed as follows:

  • Screening material
  • Tape measure
  • Wood stain
  • Wood sealant
  • Circular saw
  • Protective tools like goggles, gloves, and a dust mask
  • Utility knife
  • Drill
  • Screen molding
  • Plywood panels in sizes 2x8x8 and 2x6x8

Once you have these ready, start with these steps:

  1. Put on your protective gear after gathering the materials.
  2. Measure the height and width of the door frame. Cut the panels according to those measurements with the circular saw. You will have a total of 5 panels in three sizes.
  3. Assemble the panels to form the frame. Place the pair that covers the length of the door parallel to one another. Do the same for the pair that covers the door's width.
  4. Take the shortest panel for the center brace and position it in the center.
  5. Line up each of the panels in the right places.
  6. Place a brace, sized 2 1/2 inches, on each corner of the frame and use a drill to screw them into the door frame.
  7. Secure the center panel with a brace on each side and screw them in. When doing this, work slowly to keep the frame from moving.
  8. Move the frame to a well-ventilated area for staining and sealing. Start staining from the top of the door frame working around it in a clockwise direction. Do this for both sides, applying as many coats as needed.
  9. Repeat the previous step but with wood sealant instead of the stain.
  10. Let the frame dry completely.

How Do You Frame A Screen Door?

One of the steps in installing a screen door from a kit includes framing the door. Follow these instructions to learn how to do it:

  1. If the screen door frame needs assembling, construct the door frame according to the instructions provided by the installation kit.
  2. Take the screening material and place it on the frame, making sure the edges are covered. The screen overlaps on each side of the frame by an inch or two.
  3. Secure the mesh by stapling the screen to the frame with a staple gun. There should be a 1/8-inch distance between each staple. Note that some screen door installation kits do not require stapling to keep the screen in place.
  4. Cut the excess screening material with a utility knife.

Pre-hung options are also available if you need to save time or you lack the tools and skill to make it yourself, but these can become a problem when the measurements are not exact. Working with an installation kit allows you to adjust the door's build to your preference before hanging it up.

Does Home Depot Install Screen Doors?

If you're looking for professional help with screen door installation, Home Depot offers this service. Their installation service includes in-home measuring to help you get the best fitting door and in-store consultations free of charge.

When opting for Home Depot's door installation service, you can purchase the door directly from them and have it installed later. They also provide a warranty on both labor and materials used.

It costs about $100 to $550 for a screen or storm door installation with Home Depot. The total charge will depend on the labor required and the materials needed. You have the option to choose between wood to metal options and complete or partial installations.

Can You Install A Screen Door Yourself?

Yes, installing a screen door is a task homeowners can do with the right tools, materials, and instructions. Usually, this is done with basic retractable screen doors.

For hinged and sliding options, contacting a professional would be best to avoid damaging the door. In the end, it boils down to whether you want to lower costs by installing it on your own or you want to save time and reduce risks with professional services.

Assistance from an expert will help you with other considerations, such as determining the best side to install a screen door, what direction it should open, and what kind of screen door to have installed.

Read more on how screen doors open through our post: Do Screen Doors Open In Or Out?

back porch with screened door. Do Screen Doors Need Frames

Can You Put A Screen Door On Any Door?

Although screen doors commonly go on top of exterior doors, you can put them on almost any door. Most screen doors are reversible, meaning you can install the hinges on either side of the door based on preference. And so, you can add them to other doors around your home.

The primary purpose of a screen door includes:

  • Letting in more natural light.
  • Allowing room for better air circulation to improve overall ventilation.
  • Keeping out insects, pests, and other harmful wildlife from breaking into the home.
  • An added layer of security against outdoor dangers.

These uses are most beneficial when used for entryways and other exterior doors. Thus, most homeowners place screen doors with front or back doors.

With a few minor tweaks, you can put a screen door on interior doors. It would be ideal for locations of a home that require better airflow or to keep out children and pets from areas that aren't baby or animal-proof.

If you have cats and other pets around the house, read more into our post on How To Keep Cats From Opening A Screen Door.

Porch with white curtains and screen door

Are All Screen Doors The Same Size?

Not all screen doors come in the same size, but most variants follow the standard size. Standard screen doors are usually 80 inches in height with 32, 34, or 36-inch widths. Other suppliers may offer larger sizes or even custom options.

Although standard sizes are available, you should consider choosing a size that fits your entryway best, especially if the door is for long-term use. Below is how to measure for a screen door:

Measuring For A Screen Door

  1. Measure the door from the bottom left corner to the top right corner and vice versa. Make sure the door is properly shut to ensure you get accurate measurements. If necessary, adjust the door jamb until the frame is square.
  2. Measure the bottom sill up to the underside of the top frame to get the door's height.
  3. You will need to take three different measurements for the width. Start by measuring across the door 6 inches from the top of the frame.
  4. Repeat the previous step with the bottom part of the frame.
  5. Measure across the door from the center of the door and compute accordingly to get the final width.
  6. Subtract about a quarter inch from each measurement to account for clearance between the frame and the door.

Side view of a large two story blue gray house with wood and vinyl siding, screen door. Do Screen Doors Need Frames

The Bottomline

Screen doors come with various benefits when added to a home. These usually go on top of entryway doors but can also work indoors.

A screen door can be bought pre-hung or for manual assembly. If you opt for a screen door installation kit, it will likely contain all the equipment required, including the screen door frame and hardware. Some screen door kits consist of only the hardware or the materials, meaning you will have to make the frame yourself.

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