How to Build and Hang a Custom Screen Door | Ask This Old House

5April 2020


Table saw []
Mortising machine []
Rubber mallet []
Clamps []
Track saw []
Drill driver []
Staple gun []
Utility knife []
Brad nailer []

Shopping List:
5/4” x 8” x 8’ straight grain fir
Wood glue []
Victorian corner brackets []
Weather resistant screws []
Screening []
Brad nails []
Surface mounted screen door hardware []
Screen door compressors []

To build the frame of the door, Tom used 5/4” x 8” x 8’ straight grain fir, which was provided by Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods ( For exterior doors, Tom finds it very important to prevent the wood from warping in any direction, which is why he recommended using a combination of a half lap and a floating tenon for the joinery. To make those cuts, he used a Domino Joiner [], which is manufactured by Festool ( and a Jobsite Saw Pro [], which is manufactured by SawStop (

To secure the boards together, Tom used wood glue by Gorilla Glue [] ( To trim the door to size, Tom used a TS 55 circular saw [], which is also manufactured by Festool (

The corner accent brackets and the antique hardware were either found or salvaged by the homeowner, but similar products can be found online, at hardware stores, at specialty woodworking shops, or at antique sales/salvage yards. The hinges and the screen door compressor can both be bought at home centers. In this case, Tom used heavy duty screen door hardware to handle the weight of the large door, and two compressors on the top and bottom of the door to control the swing of the heavy door and to ensure it closed tightly.

The screening material they used for the door can be found at any home center. Tom recommends using clamps to slightly bow the door during the installation of the screen to ensure a tight fit. To secure the trim pieces over the screen, Tom used a 20V Max Cordless Brad nailer [], which is manufactured by Dewalt (

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Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Jenn Nawada.

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How to Build and Hang a Custom Screen Door | Ask This Old House” subscribe=”UCUtWNBWbFL9We-cdXkiAuJA”]

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