Add a Pneumatic Closer to Screen Doors

porch of yellow house with screen outside front door
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What You'll Need
Pneumatic screen door closer

If you have screen doors in your home, you may notice that they are prone to remaining open if not carefully closed and latched, or slamming shut suddenly. While this is problematic, it comes with the territory for a light construction such as a screen door - or so you would think. In reality, with a little bit of work and the right equipment, you can turn your lightweight screen door into a door that closes on its own, much like a door should. Pneumatic door closers are relatively easy to install and make a perfect project. What follows should help you through all of the steps of installing a pneumatic door closer to a screen door.


Before you even touch any equipment, you will have to decide where to install your pneumatic door closer. While it is possible to install a pneumatic door closer anywhere on the door - top, bottom, or in between - door closers installed on the bottom are vulnerable to being damaged. Additionally, most people find having a pneumatic door closer installed at the top to be the most aesthetically pleasing choice. However, if you prefer the middle, or installing your door closer at the top is not possible for some reason, the middle is a perfectly good place for your door closer.


screen door

The next step is measuring. Normally, this is the most difficult step as well as the most important. In almost any project, a very small error in measurement can mean the failure of the entire project from that point on. While accuracy is still important here and you must be careful, most pneumatic door closer kits will include a paper template that will assist you in figuring out the exact placement for all of your holes.

Before using the paper template, close your door as tightly as it can be closed, and make sure it will stay that way for the duration. Once you have done this, you can use the paper template to figure out your measurements. Use a nail to mark the locations where you need to drill holes.

Drill Holes

drill with drill bits laying next to it

At this point, it is time to drill some holes. Use the marks you made with the nail in the previous step to determine locations. Then, use your drill to make the required holes in your door and door jamb. Be sure not to drill all the way through your door. You can always go back later and make the holes bigger.

If you do not have a drill or your drill is not convenient to use for some reason, you can make holes by hammering in a thin nail a short distance and then removing it.


Now that you have some holes, you can install the brackets. Use your screwdriver to connect the brackets to your door and door jamb with your screws.


Finally, it is time to put it all together and install the main pneumatic closer. This step will vary based on the model you select, and many tools are possible. However, once you connect it as directed by the instructions, your door should open and close normally without slamming.