Installing screen doors on french doors that were easy and cheap was high on the list this summer. We have two 4 month old kittens in the house these days. Actually 5 months now! They are growing daily in size AND on me. A quick fix was needed for summer ventilation and to keep my cats indoors.
I investigated all kinds of options for installing french door screen doors, but they were all so expensive, such as retracting screens, replacing the glass in the doors for windows/screens… I just wasn’t sold. I wanted to come up with an affordable way for ANYONE to have screen doors.
I even thought of making some myself from lightweight lumber and screen material, until…
I went shopping and found wood framed ready made screen doors for $35 each. Say what?! (found at Rona in BC, Canada)
Sadly, they weren’t really the right size. I asked how to install them and didn’t like that answer either. So I came up with my own fix. I WAS going to make these doors work or else!
Once again real builders, please look away…
Creating a frame for the doors
The proper way to install screen doors is to remove the moulding and replace it with something the hinges can attach to. Not only didn’t I want to do that, the doors weren’t even the right size to do that. So this is what I invented because cheating is my middle name. Funky Cheating Junk!
I picked up a couple of 2 x 6’s, cut them down to size and screwed them into both sides of the framework of the doorway.
I got a little giddy at this point because I could see it was going to work! My crazy scheme was going to fly, baby!
Installing the hinges
I wanted the door to close on something. Set at the height of a CD cover, the door hit the door jam at the bottom, and the framework on top. It was perfect! Thanks Hulk!
Every screen door NEEDS to slam, or at least self close. So I learned there are hinges with springs inside them. Better yet, you can even pick up adjustable spring hinges, meaning, you can adjust how tight you want the springs for the right slamming effect. SOLD!
I googled on the right placement for the hinges, and penciled them in at 6″ from the top and 9″ from the bottom.
Predrilling pilot holes is something I almost always do, to avoid the wood splitting on you. Plus, it’s just way easier building when you do.
If you have a Makita tool kit like THIS, you will have everything you need. Get this kit!
How to install self adjusting spring hinges
Next up is a mini lesson on how to adjust these hinges because NO WHERE did I find a good tutorial on this! And… you guessed it. The hinges didn’t come with a tutorial. YOU ARE JUST SUPPOSE TO KNOW WHAT TO DO. Really now… time to change that.
The hinges come with a long bar and a tiny pin. The little holes on the hinges sit on the bottom.
To adjust, place the long bar in a hole and crank it to your right. Then place the pin inside one of the holes to the left of the bar. The pin will lock the hinge in place.
Try out the door. If it is still too loose, crank the long bar to the right some more, and keep moving the tiny pin to the left.
p.s. I installed both hinges upside down until I figured this out myself dag nab it! And I’m sorry to anyone that knows more than I do and this is wrong. But it worked. Is there such thing as a wrong right? This would be it.
Add a few cupboard protectors and your doors will thump rather than slam. Super cool!
And you can bet I giggled at this point. It worked! It really worked!
Aren’t they cool?! For under $100, I have double french door screens to keep my kitties in and the bugs out! I LOVE them.And I even love looking at them.
I like the wood. It goes with the pallet wood furniture on my patio and it feels like the makings of a log cabin. It’s unexpected. The screen doors will get handles and decorated up yet, I have some ideas brewing.
Thanks to getting two kittens, I finally have screen doors, and you can bet I’m asking myself why I waited so long. A fly free summer sounds intriguing!
So my little kitties, what do you think?
That’s what I thought too…
They are puuuurfect…