Install a Security Screen Door

Yellow house with locking screen door
  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-700
What You'll Need
Manufacturers instruction manual
Electric drill
Tape measure
What You'll Need
Manufacturers instruction manual
Electric drill
Tape measure

If you want both security and fresh air, consider installing a security screen door. These types of doors come in many styles, sizes, colors, and types. They also come with optional features that provide added security. Whether you do it yourself or have the door installed by a professional, it is important to know the installation process. This knowledge will add to the overall security of your home or business.

Step 1 - Examine the Doorway

Before you buy your new security screen door, you’ll need to measure your doorway frame. Measure the length of all four sides of the frame. You will also want to determine which side the door will be hinged. Some security screen doors come with the handles already installed.

Step 2 - Purchase the Right Security Screen Door

Close up image of a screen door

Security doors are sold in a wide range of prices that provide for a variety of security needs. A house in a neighborhood with relatively low crime will have different security requirements than a diamond store that is next to a pawn shop. Shop around and be sure to talk with the sales representatives of the stores you are considering buying from. They can help you make the right choice for your needs. Another source for the selection process is security experts. If you work for a company that employs a security team, ask them.

It is also advisable to talk to your local firemen and women. They will let you know of different considerations regarding security screen doors and fire safety.

Step 3 - Read Instructions and Check Equipment

Read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly and verify you have all that you need to install the door. You should take out all the screws and put them in separate cups according to type and location of where they will go.

Step 4 - Install Handles and Locks

(If your door already comes with the handles and locks attached you can proceed to the next step.)

First, determine the side the handles and locks will go on. Attach both the exterior and interior backing plate to the door.

Place the snib lever and inside handle into the interior backing plate that is on the door. While holding the snib lever, fit the handle assembly and backing plate together on the lock body. Be sure the handle is pointing towards the side the hinges are on and is horizontal.

Push the handle rod through the lock body, then into the interior handle that is being attached.

The second handle will now be attached in the exterior backing plate. Rotate the handle and fit the lock body with both the handle assembly and plate. Secure it with the screws.

Step 5 - The Hinges

Screw the hinges onto the door. You’ll want to make sure your measurements for the location are precise. Perfection with measurement will ensure that the door will open evenly. The location of the hinges will most likely be marked for you.

Step 6 - Z Bar

Cut the Z bar with a hacksaw. The Z bar should be cut 3/16 shorter than the width of the doorway.

Step 7 - Install the Door

Front door with a screen door

You will want a partner to help hold the security screen door up while you put it inside the doorway. Be sure the door fits properly.

Step 8 - Drill

You will want to start by first drilling a screw into the top hole of the top hinge, drilling all the way through the Z bar and into the molding. Take care not to strip the screw. Next, drill the second screw into the bottom hole of the bottom hinge. Test the door by carefully swinging it, making sure it swings evenly. You’ll also want to ensure the proper gap-usually around 3mm. Remember, there will be a strip that will need to be placed at the bottom of the door. If all is well then screw in the rest of the screws.

Step 9 - The Header Piece

The header piece will need to be installed above the security screen door. There will be holes that are already drilled through the header piece that will determine where the screws will go. To prevent damage, use a screwdriver for these screws.

Step 10 - The Expander Piece

The expander strip will act as a barrier that will keep debris from accumulating underneath the door. With the door open, slide the expander piece across the bottom of the door. You can use an electric drill for the process. Open the door and check the bottom spacing.

You are now finished and are able to securely let some fresh air in.