how to hang a screen door

how to hang a screen door
Tools Needed
1 Utility Knife
2 Chisel
3 Drill and Drill Bits
4 Screwdriver
5 Table Saw
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Materials Needed
1 Ladder
2 Tape Measure
Total Cost
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
1-2 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

screen doors

When you are making improvements to your beautiful home, one of the best things you can do is to hang a screen door. It allows breeze to flow into your home on a hot, summer day and lets fresh air in all year long. You don’t want to leave your front or back door open without having a screen door or the bugs will come flying and crawling in. The great news is that these doors are very simple to hang and you can start this home improvement project through the steps below.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Get Organized

hanging a screen door

You will need to start by measuring the opening of the door where the new door will be placed (make sure it is on the outer area). Generally, this type of door is available in only standard measurements so you should pick the one as close to your measured size as possible. The height may be varied a bit but the width is usually standard. You may have to do a bit of trimming on the door if it isn’t an exact fit. You can put in the rain caps if your new screen door isn’t big enough.

You should make sure all the tools you are going to need are by the door opening. This way you won’t have to stop working on the project once you get started. Generally, the screen door you buy will have packaging instructions saying what tools you are going to need. The list above are the most commonly used items for hanging a screen door.


Fitting Your Door

side view of a new screen door

You will need to decide before hanging the door which direction you would like it to go. Usually, your screen door handle will go in the same direction as the main door. If the handle will be hitting onto the other handle, you can switch the direction. Deciding this before you hang the door is best so you don’t need to take anything back off after you have already done the work.

The next step is going to be putting on the rain cap. This is used if your door is likely to get wet. You will be installing it over the door so water doesn’t get inside. There will be instructions on the rain cap packaging to let you know how to properly install it. Since these aren’t too expensive, it is recommended to use one, especially if it rains a lot in your area.

There is something called the dry fit. This is when you place your screen door inside of the opening and adjust it equally between the bottom and top of the opening. You will want it to be a minimum of ¼ inch from bottom and top and 1/8 inch from the sides. Many of the newer screen doors come with an expander in case the door is a bit small for the opening.


Installing The Hinges

screen door hinges

After you have done the fitting for the door, you will adjust the size of the door. For screen doors that are bigger than the opening, you can lower the expander or cut off some to make them fit. If it is far too big, you may need to remeasure and get another door instead.

Before you place the hinges and door into place, you should mark the location where each of the hinges will be installed. You can use a pencil to make the placement for the screws and hinges. This will be done when you are holding the door up into place so you know exactly where the hinges go before you put the door down. Now that you have marked the location for the hinges, you can put them in. You will install the hinges on the marked placements. Just make sure the hinges will open correctly before you screw them into place.

You can then put the hinges onto the door jamb. You will need to get the drill and drill bits out for this step. Generally, the screen door will come with the screws needed for this step. You should screw your top hinge on first but be sure to start with the bottom screw. You can then use the level to assure the door will be straight when you finish attaching the hinges to the door jamb. There are wedges you can use to help keep the door in the proper placement while you attach the hinges.


Adding The Hardware

person tightening screws on a screen door

Sometimes the handle is not already installed onto the screen door. In that case, you will need to do this. The instructions that came with the door should tell you how to properly place the handle. The next step is to try out the door. You will want to open and close it to make sure it doesn’t slam shut or get stuck. If it does, you may need to tighten or loosen the screws to make the necessary adjustments.

Some of the screen doors will include a door closer. This is the automatic closer so the door shuts properly. If this does come with the screen door you purchased, the instructions will let you know how to add it on.


There are so many home improvements that can be made. Adding a screen door onto your front or back door adds some more personality to your home. It also helps to save energy as you can open your main door, while leaving your screen door shut, to get air into the home. That way you don’t have to turn on the air conditioner or furnace, depending on the time of the year. You now have the proper instruction to make this home improvement happen.

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