Can you fix a screen door hinge? Most of the time the answer would be yes.
Not sure if you are in the right place? See 'Troubleshooting Door Problems' for more information.
The first thing to do would be to define what you mean by a 'screen door'. A screen door used to consist of a wooden frame with screening in the middle. This was to keep the bugs out when you opened the regular door on a hot summer day. Screen doors have evolved and become more complex
Now a screen door may include glass or plexiglas and be an all weather door. Via a sliding mechanism you still may be able to have a screen when you want it, but not always. Screen doors or 'Storm Doors' as they are called are also decorative. They add both beauty and protection to a home.
You can still get a plain old screen door with a wooden frame. Yes they still keep the bugs out on hot summer days. They don't come in decorator colors and they don't have glass to keep the wind out. The hinges for the simple wooden ones are easy to replace. The same is not true for many storm doors.
Fixing a Screen Door Hings - The Issues
What Can You Save? - Replacing hinges on a screen door is not too hard, provided that you can find the right size. Allow around $75 for someone to come out and do this. This is a good opportunity for you to be sold on a new storm door. When this happens, you could be looking at $250 of $400.
How Hard Could It Be? - Changing screen door hinges when you have ones that match is fairly easy. These repairs will have a Difficulty Level of: Simple. These repairs require a Skill Level of: Handyman. For and explanation of the terms in this section, see 'How to Use This Site'.
Check the Simple Things! - Try lubricating the hinges if they are just sticking or squeaking. A little oil can work wonders sometimes. See the article 'Fixing Squeaky Door Hinges', for more information.
What Can Go Wrong? - Don't take the door off unless you are sure you can find replacements for the hinges. Best thing to do is take off one hinge and try to find a set that matches. There is an aluminum rail that is mounted on the door frame. When this loosens up, it may seem like the hinges that are causing you trouble.
Lubricating Screen Door Hinges
Lubricating screen door hinges can be quick and easy. Follow the instructions below.
The first thing you need to get, to lubricate a screen door hinge, is some silicone spray. You can get a can for less than five dollars at a home supply store. You want to get the kind of can that has the red tube taped to the side. Another important tool will be a rag.
Keep the rag handy during this operation. Quickly wipe up any excess oil, to avoid damage or stains to other surfaces. After you apply the lubricant, you want to repeat the process with the other hinges. Remember, take pins out one at time. You don't want the door to fall down. After you have lubricated all the hinges, open and close the door several times. The door should start to free up and quiet down.
For stubborn or long neglected doors you may need to repeat the process. Carefully apply additional oil until the door works smoothly and quietly.
Purchasing Screen Door Hinges
The old fashioned wooden screen doors will have spring loaded hinges. These hinges are normally surface mounted. For this style, size is not a critical issue.
It is still a good idea to take an old hinge with you when you go shopping. Color and hole alignment may matter. Replacing the hinges with the same size and style is the easiest.
Hinges for storm doors may be a little more of a challenge. They are usually fitted to the frame. The size will matter when you try to replace them. Again, the best course of action would be to take an old hinge with you to the hardware store. Remove the middle hinge for this step. The door will still be supported by the top and bottom hinge.
Storm door hinges will be made of either steel or aluminum. Hopefully, your home supply or hardware store will have a selection and you can match them up. The next step, would be to look online.
Before you do this you want to measure the hinge. Screen door hinges are measured by the height and the width across both faces of the hinge. You take this measurement when the hinge is lying flat. See the article 'Door Hinge Sizes' for more information on measuring hinges.
Replacing Screen Door Hinges
Replacing screen door hinges will only take a few minutes per hinge, as long as you have the right ones.
A screwdriver or a battery drill is all you need to replace most hinges. A traditional 'screen door' will have surface mounted hinges that will not require mortising.
Remove one hinge at a time and replace it with the new one. Most screen doors will have three hinges. You always want at least two hinges in place at any given time. If you only have two hinges or you have to take off more than one at a time, you will need to take the door off.
Make sure all the screws are snug before you move onto the next hinge. Repeat this process for all three hinges.
After you have replaced all the hinges, you want to try the door. Make sure it is closing properly. That's about all there is to it. When the door won't close, check to make sure you have everything tight. A screw head that is sticking up will bind the hinge and make the door not operate correctly.
How did things go with your screen door hinges? Were you able to lubricate them get them working again. That is good news. Oiling hinges is not that hard at all. Or were the hinges in too bad of shape? Then you probably needed to replace them. The trick to replacing them is finding the right size replacement hinges. After you found the hinges, replacing them only should have taken a few minutes.
Hopefully, you are all done with your screen door hinges. Now you can think about other projects that you have around the house. Check out all of the home repair articles for more help.