9.17.2010

Welcoming Fall with a New Screen Door

A few months ago during a routine trip to the Depot, S and I bought a screen door. It's a $20 basic wooden door and is so popular at our local store that you literally have to be there the day the shipment arrives if you want to snag one. I was super excited to install it on our front door, until I realized that the summer here is like the depths of winter at home: you need storm doors and windows closed since the a/c is on all the time. I opened the windows once this summer and I think I did that because I wanted to shake out the bath mat. It was THAT hot. THAT miserable. Second only to the most absurd winter on record. So much for a moderate climate.

Fortunately after our escape to Maine, which I intend to make a full-summer escape next year, if it's anything like this, we returned to cooler temps. I will preface that by saying it is in no way cool here, and yesterday I was tempted to turn the a/c back on for a little relief from the humidity. But, it is cool enough that we're leaving windows open and the storm windows are up. In short: it's finally open window season.

We're considering entirely new doors sometime this fall to round out our tax credit purchases, but our basement door is in dire need of replacement, so replacing the front door is on the back burner for now. And since we know (hope) another storm door season is just around the corner we needed to devise an installation method that allows us to easily swap out the screen door with our 1940's storm door.

We decided the easiest way to make the seasonal swap would be to simply remove the pin on the hinges. Unfortunately the hinges to the storm door are painted in so many layers of paint that replacement would be a total pain, if not impossible. So S zipped on over to the Depot to pick up a few sets of hinges for the screen door that matched the hinge pattern of the current hinges. Some finagling with a hammer chisel and screwdriver got the paint encrusted pin out of the old hinges and the storm door off. We then lined up the storm and screen doors next to each other, took a few measurements, and put new hinges on the screen door in the exact spot as they are on the storm.
Then we tested it out...only to find that the screen door was a little less than half an inch too wide for the door opening thanks to the added width of the new hinges.

So we took off the new hinges, marked a straight line down the edge of the screen door with one of my sewing rulers, and shaved a bit off the door with the circular saw. The cut came out just fine, a table saw would have been perfection, but we work with what we have. S notched out a space for each of the hinges again and screwed them in place.
We put the door back on the hinges...and it worked perfectly.
We put a little handle on the inside and an eye for the hook and eye lock to keep it closed.
Now we're all enjoying the nice "cool" breeze coming into our living room from our new screen door.

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