7 Tips for Easily Installing a Sliding Screen Door
If you ever wanted to let in some fresh air along with the sights and sounds of your peaceful backyard, then a sliding screen door may just be your best option. A sliding screen door easily installs on your existing sliding glass door frame, it allows you to bring nature into your home but with a barrier that prevents insects, leaves, and other things from entering. Installing a new sliding screen door is as effortless as purchasing a door that fits, inserting the door into the upper rail, guiding the rollers at the bottom onto the lower rail, and making sure everything aligns after installation. However, although simple in concept, a few easy tips could prevent multiple trips to the hardware store and give you more time back to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of your home.
Check the Frame
Before starting on installation of a new sliding screen door, check your existing frame and rails for damage. Any damage in the form of dents or protrusions will prevent you from gently sliding the rollers once installed so save time by fixing this first if necessary. To fix your dented frame, use a hammer to gently tap the warped area back to its original shape, this will save time later down the line.
Measure Twice, Buy Once
The saying is measure twice and cut once, but with a sliding screen door you’re looking to get the correct measurements so that your trip to the hardware store is a one time deal. To get a measurement for your future sliding screen door, use a measuring tape to get the height between the top and bottom of the existing frame. You will then need to measure the overall width of your existing frame, divide that number in half, and then add an extra half inch to get the width of the door you need to purchase. Some manufacturers will already have a part listed to add a sliding screen door to the patio door kit that was installed in your home, but it’s always good to double check and bring your own measurements to the store.
Check Door Orientation
Once you have acquired your sliding screen door, you’re going to want to make sure you have everything you need before getting started, including having your door in the correct position. An easy mistake made by people trying to install a screen door on their own is getting the wrong side of the door installed. Prevent any issues by checking the orientation of your existing glass door and matching your screen door to have its handle on the same side for continuity and easy sliding.
Adjust Door Expanders to Fit
Most sliding screen Bi fold doors come with adjustable expanders built-in, or separately but they work the same way. Expanders do just that, they spread out to fill in the gap between the door and the rail you’re going to mate it to during installation. Generally, you will use a screwdriver or allen key to open or close the expanders until you get the correct fitment; this is easily done before hanging the door.
Save Your Weather Stripping
One of the steps to installing your new sliding screen door is removing the existing weather stripping before lifting the new door to seat onto the upper rails. You want to save your weather stripping, the idea behind a sliding screen door is to allow fresh air in but not dirt or bugs, the weather strip is part of that barrier system. Try to be gentle with this weather stripping which is usually made of rubber, remember how it came out so when it goes back in you don’t risk damaging the seal or stopping it from working properly.
Test Functionality Before Closing Up
So after you hang the top part of your new sliding screen door you need to guide the bottom portion into the lower rail. You’ll then adjust your expanders again if needed, reinstall the weather stripping, and finally add the door strike assembly along with whatever remaining hardware. The final few steps should be paired with checking functionality just in case you’ve gone too far and you’re having issues sliding your new door. Slide the screen door side to side and make sure you’re absolutely ready to button things up.
Try Alternative Sliding Screen Doors
Now installing a sliding screen door isn’t too hard, with the right measurements you can order the door you need, the rest just requires a few hand tools and some patience. Some of us do not, however, have sliding glass doors at all; so where does that leave us? Well, there are now many alternatives out there with easy to install temporary screens that come with magnetic entry strips and can fit over msot doors. There are options for any home type that can allow you to experience a bit more nature, but at a distance.
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