Screen Door Construction Instructions Screen Door Construction Instructions

What You'll Need
Disposable glue brushes (the foam ones work well)
Polyurethane glue
Aluminum mesh screening
Staple gun and staples
Tape measure
Screen molding
Hardware (hinges and knobs or pulls)

Building a new screen door can be a relatively simple project. As long as you have the right tools, materials, and some patience you can have your screen door constructed in a day.


Carefully measure the existing door frame and jamb. You will want to give the door you are building enough space to swing open in the frame without rubbing against anything. Usually taking about a half inch off of the total measurement will work.

Cutting the Boards

You need to create slots in the boards that will hold the screen. You can do this with a Dremel or a precision saw. If you choose to use the saw, make sure you have the boards clamped down tightly so they won’t move while you are creating the slots.

Assemble the Door

Using the nails and wood glue (optional, but adds extra security) start to assemble the frame with the cut lumber. The clamps come into play with this step, too. Use the clamps to ensure a tight fit with the boards. If you choose to use glue, you can glue the corners together first, clamp it down, then add the nails. Once you know the corners are fit tightly, you will want to allow time for the glue (if used) to set before moving on. You can then sand down any rough spots you may see.

Finish the Door

Before you attach the screen you will want to stain or paint the door to your liking. This needs to completely dry before you start to add the screen or the hardware. It’s also a good idea to add some waterproof sealant to the door if it’s in an area that will be exposed to the elements.

Attach the Screen

Attaching the screen and pulling it tight is difficult and is best accomplished with two people. One person can hold the screen taut while the other attaches it. To attach the screen you will want to slide the screen into the slots you created earlier. Start with just an inch or two. Use the staple gun to attach the screen inside the slot. Continue to do this until the entire side is attached. Start with one of the sides, then the top, then the bottom, then the other side. You can attach trim work or molding around the screen attachment to hide the slots and the screen attachments. Be sure to take your time with this so that the screen is even and looks good.

Attach the Hardware

Now your door is ready for the knobs or pulls you have purchased. To ensure proper placement you may want to hang the door first.

Attach the door to the existing frame as you would attach any door. You want to try to make sure the hardware and hinges are on the outside so it doesn’t interfere with the other door already hanging.

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