Measuring For Your Screen Door

1. Decide where the door will be hung on the frame

Refer to the Typical Door Frame Situations page to decide which part of the door frame your screen door will be hung from. Some notes and hints:

  • If there is an aluminum screen door on the frame now, you must remove some of the metal edge trim to get a true picture of what the wooden frame looks like.
  • There is no hard and fast rule as to which way the screen door swings, generally it is hinged on the same side as the entry door is, but sometimes obstructions and ease of entry dictate otherwise.
  • If the new door will be hung from a moulding, make sure that the moulding is firmly attached at the points where the hinges will be installed.
  • Ensure that the new door will not hit a porch lamp or a sloping roof. A lamp can be removed, and a low roof will require a special door sizing.

2. Measure the width of the door frame

Measure across the opening in three places: top, middle and bottom. Take the largest measurement as your frame width and expect to do some shaving of the door to get a good fit. Some notes and hints:

  • Remember to remove the metal edge trim on an existing aluminum screen door to get a true measurement of the wood behind.
  • Remember to add the width of the tape measure case if you are measuring that way.
  • If there is an existing wooden screen door in place, then measure it as a double check, it will be slightly smaller than the frame but not inches smaller.
  • Don’t measure the entry door, it will not necessarily be the same size as the screen door will need to be.

3. Measure the height of the door frame

Measure the height of the frame at the left and right of the frame. Again, take the largest measurement and expect to shave the door. See the notes for item 2 above.

4. Measure the location of any special characteristics on the main door if you are having the screen door made to match it

Height measurements should be taken from the top of the door, if possible. It is also advisable to provide a sketch.

5. Calculate the size of the screen door

Order your door 1/4 inch narrower and 1/4 inch shorter than the frame size, for a protected location. In an exposed site, we recommend ordering the door 3/8 inches shorter than the opening which will give a full 1/4 inch space at the bottom for the door to dry out after a rain.

6. Measure for any mouldings and stops that must also be ordered

Provide the width, height and depth of any special parts that must be made up for the door frame. Again, a sketch is helpful.