How to Reverse a Screen Door

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Drill

  • Pencil

  • Level

  • Wood spackle

  • Putty knife

  • Paint

Tip

This guide if for a simple, no-lock screen door setup. For locking and security screen doors, the process is more invasive and will include removing the strike plate from the door jamb as well as disassembling the door handle hardware and lock set, followed by patching the hole in the door where handle once was.

Working with a partner to hold the screen door in place, while you work to remove and then re-attach it, will speed the process up and make it less difficult.

Many screen door designs can be reversed to open on the left or the right.
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There is nothing more awkward when entering or exiting a structure and the screen door opens on the opposite side from the door itself. It seems wrong, feels clunky and almost always requires two free hands to negotiate. Whether the screen door was installed improperly to begin with, or you have changed the opening swing of the door, many screen door designs can be reversed. Allowing for your screen door to open in the same direction as your door, makes operation more functional and the appearance of the screen somewhat less obtrusive and less haphazard. Screen door designs can vary widely but the basic installation and reversal procedure will hold true for most standard screen doors.

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Step 1

Unfasten the screen door pneumatic or spring stabilizing hinge, if applicable, by unhooking or unscrewing the end attached to the door frame or door. Set aside the hardware in a nearby location for reassembly.

Step 2

Unscrew the screen door hinges from the door frame, leaving the hinges attached to the screen door. Set the loose screws aside nearby for reassembly.

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Step 3

Remove the screen door from the door frame. If the door is symmetrical in design top to bottom, and has handles that are the same top to bottom, such as a traditional D-shaped handle, simply turn the screen door upside down and set it aside.

Step 4

Remove the door hardware on screen doors where the handles have a distinct up or down orientation. Reattach the handle assembly on the opposite side of the door frame at the same height and same distance from the edge of the screen door.

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Step 5

Remove the screen door latch from the old position on the door frame. Set the latch fixture and screws aside.

Step 6

Hold the screen door and attached hinge, centered in the door frame. Check that the door is level in the frame. Mark through the hinge holes with a pencil onto the door frame.

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Step 7

Set the screen door aside once more and drill small pilot holes into the door frame centered on each of the pencil marks you made.

Step 8

Center the screen door back in the door frame and insert the previously removed hinge screws through the hinge hole and into the new pilot holes. Repeat for each hinge until the screen door is held in place in the door frame.

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Step 9

Re-install the the screen door latch on the opposite side of the door frame in the same manner, by marking and drilling pilot holes, screwing down the latch in the same orientation, aligned with the latch portion fixed on the screen door.

Step 10

Reattach the pneumatic or spring hinge, if applicable, by affixing the screen door fastener with screws to the door frame or the door front, as before but on the opposite side.

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Step 11

Fill in all of the old holes in the door frame and/or door front with a wood spackle product and a putty knife. Allow the wood filler to dry completely before repainting to camouflage the switch.

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