How Do You Install a Retractable Screen Door?

Retractable Screen DoorsBefore you learn how to install a retractable screen door, it is important to understand exactly how they work as well as how to select the right one for your space. These doors are relatively easily to install and offer the ease and comfort of window screens or blinds without taking away from the appearance of the door itself as the screen is easily tucked away when not in use. Be sure to take your time when selecting a retractable screen option to make sure that you get the correct size and style for your space, and then carefully follow the instillation instructions to ensure the use and functionality of your door system.

How Does a Retractable Screen Door Work?

You can think of a retractable screen door much like a window shade turned on its side. As you picture how the door functions, then think about the screen being completely enclosed in a thin housing or casing that sits along the side of the door. To use the screen, all you have to do is slide it across the door and the screen is visible and functional. When not in use, simply allow the screen to retract back into the housing where it is no longer visible. Essentially a retractable screen door functions in much the same way as a sliding glass door only it is much thinner and lighter and is not present at all times.

How to Select the Right Retractable Screen Door

To ensure proper installation, you need to carefully select the door you plan to use, according to the San Francisco Gate. To do so, consider a few key characteristics of these doors to make sure you get the best quality product to fit within your space.

  • Price and Quality – The first thing you’ll want to consider is price and quality. Obviously, the quality of the product increases as the price increases. However, that doesn’t mean you have to purchases the most expensive option to ensure you chose the correct one. Take your time to compare prices as well as competing displays. You should be able to find a quality option that fits within your price range relatively easily.
  • Warranty – Also be sure to inquire about the warranty coverage on the door you choose. It typically pays to spend a few extra dollars on additional coverage that includes the finishes and components of the door.
  • Compatibility – You also need to be sure that you select a door that is compatible with your frame. Be sure to carefully measure the height and width of your frame prior to selecting a screen door. You also need to consider the type of framework or surround of your existing door in conjunction with how the screen door will function. The depth and structure of your current frame needs to allow for a proper fit of the new scree door.
  • Installation – Consider the installation of the unit as well. Some options are easier to install than others, so be sure to choose an option that you are comfortable installing yourself.
  • Finishes – Also consider the finishes available. Be sure to choose an option that offers the finishing colors that will blend most seamlessly with your door.

How to Easily Install a Retractable Screen Door

Once you’ve selected your door, it’s time to begin installation. Follow these steps carefully, and you’ll have your new screen door in place in no time.

  • Measure and Trim to Fit – To begin, measure the width of screen door casing compared to the opening of your existing door. The casing should be 1/8 in. less than the opening of the door. Measure and trim the casing to fit appropriately.
  • Replace the End Caps – Once you’ve trimmed, if necessary, replace the plastic end caps by snapping them into place on either end of the casing. Also replace the handle of the screen if you removed it during cutting.
  • Secure the Mounting Clips – Next, screw the two metal mounting clips to the head casing of the door. Be sure to adjust the clips so that the curved lip faces inward.
  • Mount the Storage Casing – Once the clips are in place, raise the casing up and snap it in place. Mark a horizontal line with a pencil along the side jambs directly beneath the casing.
  • Install the Side Tracks – Take down the casing and measure from the sill up to the pencil lines. Subtract 1/8 in. from the measurement, and cut the two aluminum side tracks to the appropriate length. Reinstall the casing, and slip the side tracks into place beneath the ends of the casing.
  • Secure the Side Tracks – Secure the side tracks to the door frame with four 1 ½ in. screws. If necessary, insert a short section of plastic pipe into the track to separate the weather stripping, making it easier to drive in the screws.
  • Test the Screen – Once you’ve finished installing the door, test it a few times to make sure it functions properly.

Correctly installing a retractable screen door is relatively simple as long as you select a high quality product that appropriately fits your existing door. Don’t let not knowing how to install a retractable screen door get in your way anymore. Select a door and install it in the matter of a couple of hours.

Related Resource: Available Warranties on New Windows