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Screened Porch Door...flimsy vinyl door, and needs door to swing into porch.

Screened Porch Door...flimsy vinyl door, and needs door to swing into porch.

Old 08-12-12, 11:17 AM
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Screened Porch Door...flimsy vinyl door, and needs door to swing into porch.

We just used the "Screen Tight" system to screen in our existing covered porch; but are now stumped by the screen door. There are about 5 steps leading off the porch into the yard (and NO landing), so we want the screen door to swing INTO the porch. Here is what it looks like: Name:  100_8992.jpg
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Size:  31.2 KB

We are currently faced with a couple issues:

#1. The "Screen Tight" vinyl screen door we purchased (and already installed) is extremely flimsy! The door that was shipped to us arrived broken (see photo) Name:  100_8994.jpg
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Size:  33.1 KB We already contacted Lowe's who said we can return it, and there is already another door being shipped out. So, no problem...right? Well, my concern is I spoke to a friend who has used these doors, and he said the vinyl screen doors are very flimsy, and his break and have to be replaced every single year. Clearly I do NOT want to have to replace my door every year! Is this "flimsy" problem just with the Screen Tight brand? Is there a more sturdy vinyl screen door brand anyone can suggest? Or should I stay away from vinyl screen doors all together? (I do NOT want to use wood because I don't want the hassle of painting, wood rot, and warping.)

#2. I thought the best solution to the "flimsy" problem would be to get an aluminum/steel screen door, but I can't find any! The only doors I can find in aluminum/steel, are STORM doors. I considered buying a storm door, and remove the glass pane so it is screen, but the problem I'm encountering is all storm doors swing OUT. I need a door to swing INTO my porch. (VA code says exterior doors can't swing out over stairs...and I know screen doors don't technically apply, but the spirit of the code is still true--a door swinging out over stairs is dangerous, and having young children, I don't want to have them fall because they are forced to walk backwards down the stairs as they are trying to pull the screen door open.) I thought we could turn the storm door around so it swings in, but then all the interior door parts (like the pieces used to remove the glass panels, etc.) are on the exterior of the house--this will look ugly and I don't know if the interior of the door is meant to withstand the weather of being an exterior door. Thought? Solutions?

#3. Even with our current vinyl door installed as it is, I'm having an issue with the spring being on the exterior of the door. (see photo) Name:  100_8993.jpg
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Size:  23.4 KB I worry the spring will rust being exposed to the elements; and it just looks ugly! Plus, the vinyl door is so flimsy, that the tension of the spring makes the door wobble as it is opened/closed. I'm thinking we may just remove this spring all together....this will mean we have to manually pull the door closed, but who cares?!?! I have to manually close all my other doors. LOL. But removing the spring will mean we must install *something* to keep the door closed tight. I had brainstormed an idea to use magnets, but don't know how exactly to make this happen. Does anyone know of any magnetic latches that would work for this purpose? Or can anyone suggest a better solution to this problem?

I never expected to encounter so many problems with this part of the project! We really need a solution ASAP, as this is now holding up the entire job. Thank-you in advance for your help!!!

Last edited by n2flipn; 08-12-12 at 11:19 AM. Reason: photo's didn't upload....trying again.
Old 08-12-12, 11:36 AM
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Yeah, the vinyl screen doors just seem too flimsy. After you have them hung, they flop and just don't close with any authority. I understand what you are saying about the storm door, and if that isn't an option, I would opt for a good quality wooden slammer, painted white if that is what color you want. Look for thick (or wide) rails and stiles, and be sure to install an anti sag turnbuckle rod diagonally from latch side (low) to hinge side (high) to keep it correct in the opening. Spring loaded hinges are almost worthless. I like to rely on good old slammer springs attached to the middle or upper rail and the jamb. Having it on the outside is a default, due to you not having a landing so the door must swing inwards. Sort of like making lemonade of lemons.

Old 08-13-12, 04:22 AM
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If you use a wooden screen door be sure to use an oil base primer and prime all 6 edges [including top/bottom] Latex is fine for the top coat. The better the wood is sealed from moisture the longer it will last.

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