How to put screen door back into its track?


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Old 01-14-10, 05:49 PM
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How to put screen door back into its track?

Hello,

we live in a condo apartment with a juliet balcony. Needed to replace the screen so we took the door out (by force) and fixed the screen.

Now we can't put the door back in the track! It can't be approached from the outside and there's not much room to maneuver from the inside.

There are 2 screws on the side of the door - one at the top and one at the bottom. Not sure if doing anything to them would help (and afraid to ruin the door and just try it.)

Window manufacturer is Allen Windows, I assume the door is by them as well.

Any ideas on how to get the door into the track?

Thank you in advance!
 
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Old 01-14-10, 07:29 PM
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There are usually two screws at the top and two at the bottom. Some may be hidden by plugs. You should be able to turn these screws with the door out, to retract the rollers.
Once retracted, you should be able to lift the door against the top of the frame and seat the bottom over the track. Then adjust the screws to lower and raise the rollers so the door slides smoothly.
 
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Old 01-14-10, 07:43 PM
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Those are the instructions that I found on the web, but they're for doors where you have access to both ends of the door.

Once I put the screen door in, I only have access to one side of it.

This is what I'm dealing with (hope this makes sense )

|1|X|2|

1 - fixed window
X - sliding door + sliding screen door outside
2 - fixed window

My arm isn't long enough to push the roller at the other end of the door from outside.

The screws are only on one side of the door. And even if there were screws on the other side as well, I wouldn't be able to tighten them once the door is in place.

Hopefully this better describes what we're dealing with.

TIA!
 

Last edited by needaclue; 01-14-10 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 01-24-10, 02:58 PM
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Bump

Hello,
bumping this up.

There are two horizontal spaces in the fixed panel at the bottom on the inside, in front of the screen door. I thought they were for water draining (still might be for that), they're located at the level of the rollers on both ends. That's not helping though -- I can't stick anything under the door from the inside through those spaces, they're very narrow.

Just one d@mm roller, can't put it back into the track. No ideas either
 
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Old 01-24-10, 03:20 PM
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You need to put the screen door in the track, top first, and rest the bottom rollers on the sill. Take a thin putty knife, slip it under the roller and have someone on the inside push the screen door up as high as it will go while the person on the floor pushes the putty knife under the rollers on bottom. Your goal is to slip the putty knife between the bottom of the roller and the top of the track that it rides on. Once you do that, keep the screen centered over the track while you pull the putty knife out. Probably not fun to reach out the door and do this but if your arm isn't long enough find someone who can.
 
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Old 01-24-10, 03:24 PM
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I got a 12" screwdriver and even though I can reach far enough, there's not enough room to exert necessary pressure on the farthest roller.

I was wondering if there's any way to do it from the inside, since there are those 2 spaces at the level of the rollers?

The rest is already in - the top and the closer bottom roller.
 
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Old 01-25-10, 06:14 AM
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You seem to have a very unusual situation. If you could post a photo, I bet someone will solve your problem. You said that you took the screen out "by force". If the top of the door has sagged, then that could be your problem. I have replaced many doors that had to be lifted on to the track with the help of a pry bar or even bowing the screen slightly.
 
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Old 01-25-10, 04:01 PM
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I think you need to put the screwdriver away, get a thin putty knife and try the advice that has already been given. You might be able to insert the putty knife from the inside and get it under the wheel, but you will still have to push it from the outside until it is centered over the track. The usual way to do this is from the outside, so you might TRY following the instructions I mentioned earlier.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 08:43 AM
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Pictures

This is the side where we got the roller onto the track OK (the top rollers are also in):
Picture 1

Also shows you how little room we have for an arm to get through. We did use a putty knife but it was too inflexible to fit it under the door in that little space between the screen door and the glass of the "balcony".

Even though I can extend the arm out, I don't see what's going on at the other end and where the roller is.

And this is an overview:
Picture 2
 
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Old 01-27-10, 09:22 AM
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Too bad you didn't post a picture of the top track. Right now it looks like it's not in the top track but on the bottom track. Is the top track an upside down "U" or a rail like a "T"? Once the door is in place, why would you have to slide it open since you can't go outside? The roller adjusting screws are in the hole show in the photo. Bring the door inside and turn the screws until the rollers don't protrude past the screen door If the top track is a rail, you must bring the top rollers as far as you can into the door frame. Now you can force the door back in to the tracks and since you have no reason to slide the door, you're done. Hope you succeed.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 09:35 AM
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I know this is probably crazy...but builders do crazy things.

You may need to remove the sliding panel AND the fixed panel on the side you are having trouble with, to be able to put the screen in. Either that or a long ladder or boom truck.

Sceens are installed from the outside (not all...but generally). If the adjuster screw is on the edge..not the inside..then you'll never be able to make it fit right.

Just wondering..whats there to prevent a person or child from walking right through the screen and falling to the ground? I see the one vertical bar I think..but that can't be all there is?
 
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Old 01-27-10, 09:39 AM
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Here's the photo of the top track:
Top rail

It's like an upside down U, there's nothing in the middle of it.

What a strange question!
The sliding door is for sliding it open, it should work properly.

I want to be able to open it if I need to let more air in, or throw out a spider, for example. Or just look out of the window
 
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Old 01-27-10, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Just wondering..whats there to prevent a person or child from walking right through the screen and falling to the ground? I see the one vertical bar I think..but that can't be all there is?
That's our fear, that it was done to last "forever" or by quickest method, and we may have to unassemble the whole thing!

There's glass that comes up to the waist level, it's clear and I guess just didn't show up in the picture.

The rail is on top of the glass.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 10:11 AM
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Ahh Ok...thanks... now I see.

What floor are you on? Could you possibly get it in place with the top screws all the way retracted and the bottoms at mid range...then adjust the top for correct fit while on a ladder?

You might also want to walk around and see if anyone has a new or rescreened sliding screen. Knock on the door and ask how they did it?

Makes you wonder though huh? How would these be repaired if the glass was broken or became fogged? You may find that removing the panels (at least the inner) may be easier than you think. I could pull the moving panel out of an Andersen door in about 45 sec or so.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 10:17 AM
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We're in a building with only a few units, and even fewer have juliet balconies, the rest are normal.

I looked at all screen doors and nobody but us changed the screen (a careless window washer made holes with his foot in everyone's screens but I guess nobody else cares, or maybe they realized how much trouble it would be!)

I'm on the 3rd floor, don't think a ladder is an option.

I called the window company but nobody has called me back.

The panels look fixed but, of course, the door is dirty. If I wash it, may discover some screws or space where I can lift the panel to take it out.

Just to make sure, in my case, you're talking about the vertical side panel on the left if I'm facing outside?

Thank you.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 10:33 AM
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Yeah...I think that would be the one. Might be pretty stuck from the amount of crud I see. BAD HOUSKEEPER......BAD! lol...just kidding.

You'll have to see about removing the inner panel first...if it won't come off to the interior..then you'll never get the fixed panel out.
 
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Old 01-27-10, 11:03 AM
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Thanks, everyone for the ideas.

Will keep you posted on the progress. Might be useful for someone else.

 
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Old 02-05-10, 04:29 PM
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Not sure if you are still struggling with that screen door or not... but I just looked at your pics for the first time... and I wonder if maybe you could use a couple shims to help you raise the door and get it back on track.

Get some tapered wood shims (usually sold in the millwork dept at lumber yards and box stores) and slide one partway under the far wheel. It might help to take a 2nd shim, turn it around and slide it in from the other way. (2 shims, shaped like long triangles, when turned in opposite directions will form a perfect rectangle) This might raise the door up enough that you can get that putty knife under the rollers. Or, you might be able to roll the door back and forth, while pushing the door in, trying to get that wheel back over the track.

I would think that the shims might be the trick to raising the door and holding it there while you work at getting the door pulled back.

This may seem goofy, but a malco sideswiper (a vinyl siding unlock tool sold in most hardware stores/ big box stores) might be just the thing to enable you to lift and pull in on the screen door. It has a small hook that you should be able to hook on the bottom of the door. Once you lift the frame, you'd still have to slip that putty knife under the rollers, or hope that the shims do the job for ya.
 
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Old 02-07-10, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
Not sure if you are still struggling with that screen door or not...
Hi,
it's been too cold to do anything with the door

Will definitely post an update with pictures once we're done.

Found 4 screws that may let us slide the left window/door, or possibly remove the vertical side panel as suggested by the GunGuy.
 
 

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