Sometimes there's nothing like the feeling of a gentle breeze as it comes into your home. While an open window can do this, your door allows in a breeze from head to toe. It also allows in natural light and fresh air.

However, if all you have is a front door, leaving the front door open exposes you to other elements, including bugs. It also makes it easier for neighbors to look inside and see you (which you may not want). In order to enjoy the same gentle breeze and fresh air but cut down on the problem with insects, you need to install a screen door.

They provide you with this opportunity. However, if you try to go out and hire a contractor to come out and install a screen door, it will cost you far more than it should. In fact, they are relatively easy to install and can be done in less than an hour (after you have all the supplies). By installing a screen door you'll instantly improve your overall level of enjoyment while being able to take in the fresh air and the outside breeze, all while still having a door closed.

Choosing a Screen Door

Before you begin installing your screen doors, you need to know what kind of door options you have available. It really comes down to what you're interested in and what the best look is for your home.


Storm Door

The first option is a storm door. Storm doors and screens are different, yet often confused for one another. Storm doors are designed to provide your front door with additional protection during less than desirable weather (such as heavy rain and wind). Storm doors are generally made of a more rugged material, such as steel, vinyl or aluminum.

Occasionally storm doors might have a screen within the door as well as a glass panel that allows air to move through. This may be a viable option if where you live, you often experience heavy rains and wind. These are often more expensive yet provide you with an added level of protection and will stand up better against storms.

When selecting an actual screen door instead of a storm door, there are three different main variations of screen doors. There is the traditional type of door, which fits on the exterior of your doorjamb. This way, it is flush with the outside of the jamb and opens outward.

This is as basic as it gets when it comes to screen doors. These kinds of doors are often used on the back door or in cottages. Most of these doors are made out of wood, although the opening is usually partitioned into different sections, which makes it easier to maintain the screen (and to repair it when necessary).


Retractable Screen Door

The second form of the style of a door is a retractable screen. This works like a pull-down window blind, where the screen is loaded in the top of the door frame. In this form, you have the singular front door, and then when you want to enact the screen, you open the front door, then pull down on the spring-loaded screen at the top of the doorjamb.

This will allow you to block out bugs while enjoying the outdoor breeze. If you have a beautiful front door and you don't want to distract from the overall curb appeal of the front door, this is a solid option.

However, if you want added protection, you need to look for something other than this because in many ways it isn't a screen door but instead a basic screen.


Physical Sliding Door

The third option is a physical door, but instead of opening and closing on the outside of the front door it runs on a rod and slides back and forth. Typically, these kinds of doors are used on patios where there is additional room for the door to slide.

In general, when it comes to selecting the right kind of external door of your home, you'll likely go with the traditional screen door or the storm door. This comes down to the level of protection and the structural stability of the door. Outside of this, the installation of the door is the same. Once you know the door you're interested in; you'll be able to move on and pick up your door.

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Installation Process

If you're going to install the traditional/storm door, you'll need to measure your doorjamb to see what kind of space you have to work with. So measure the opening of your doorjamb on the very outside where it opens up to the outside. When you go to the home improvement store and select a door you are interested in; it will offer you measuring instructions.

Occasionally these instructions might differ (in which case you might need to go back and measure a second time from the alternative measuring points), but typically this area is where you need to measure.

With the measurements in hand you can purchase the door you're interested in. If you have an oddly shaped door (most doors are relatively universal, but from time to time you might have a door that's taller or narrower than others. In these instances purchase a door that is larger than the doorjamb and cut the screen accordingly.

The door you purchased might come with slightly different installation instructions. However, it usually is as simple as taking the door and fitting it into the open doorjamb (there should be about a 1/8 inch gap on the sides of the door and 3/8 inch gap at the bottom of the). With the attached hinges, use a pencil and mark the points along the doorjamb where you must drill in the provided screws.

Traditional doors are made so you can select whether the door opens to the right or the left. This way, you can have it match your door, so you're not opening a door one way and then opening the home's door in the opposite direction.

The main difference between installing the screen doors comes with what you're drilling into. Usually, the doorjamb will be made out of wood. This is easier enough to use as you can use a drill to drill the provided screws into the marked off location for the hinges.

However, in some instances, you'll drill into brick. If you are drilling into brick or cement, you must use a drill bit designed for drilling into masonry. You'll also need concrete screws and anchors. For these kinds of doorjambs, you'll use the masonry bit and drill the set length into the doorjamb.

From here, you'll insert the concrete or brick anchor into the drilled out area. Now, with the door in place, drill the concrete or brick screws into the opening. These will feed into the masonry anchors, which forces the anchor to spread out and grab hold of the hole drilled in the stone.

With this in place, you are now all set, and you can enjoy your screen door.


Repairing a Screen Door

The beauty of screen doors is it is easy to install and often not expensive. However, the screen is not a durable material. It is easy to puncture holes in it if you're not careful. Due to this, you will probably need to repair the screen from time to time. Thankfully, this process is relatively easy to do and doesn't take long. You must go to the home improvement store and purchase a new screen (this should only cost a few dollars).

Now, take a screwdriver and remove the handle from the door. With the handle out of the way, remove the spline that flows around the edge of the door which secures the screen in place. With the spline out take out the rollers, which are slender tubes along the edges.

Now, take the new screen and lay it flat over the opening. Using a utility knife or screen cutter, run along the edge of the screen. As you cut, push down a new roller alongside the cut screen. This will help secure the screen, so it does not pull away as you continue to cut. With the new rollers and screen in place position the spline back in position and secure the door tightly. You can now attach the handle back in position and tighten it down to complete the repair process.

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Conclusion

Screen doors are great additions to any home. From the front door to the back door, patios to cottages, they allow you to enjoy the gentle breeze and fresh air of the great outdoors without suffering from bugs and other elements you would rather avoid.

While there is a number of different top options once you find the screen that works best for you it shouldn't take long to install the screen doors into the desired area. From there, you may need to repair occasionally the screen, but you'll enjoy the addition of new screen doors throughout the course of the year.

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