question about sliding screen doors

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Forum topic by mzimmers posted 06-23-2016 08:06 PM 541 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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160 posts in 3339 days

06-23-2016 08:06 PM

Hi, all -

So, the little dog taught the big dog that it’s possible to push out the screening in the patio door, and I need to come up with a new door. I was thinking of something that would have a panel in the lower 1/3 to keep canine noses out. The concept is super-straightforward, but I wanted to ask about techniques/tips/tricks for ensuring the screen will stay flat under the tension of the screen.

I might be worrying needlessly, but the wood can only be about 3/4” thick, and over 6’ or so I’m concerned that it will try to warp.

Any ideas? Also, any suggestions for the joints on the corners would we welcome, too.


-- M. Zimmers

6 replies so far

View Elksniffer's profile


93 posts in 2821 days

#1 posted 06-23-2016 09:04 PM

You shouldn’t have any trouble with the screen tension distorting the frame. Especially if you break it up with the lower third being a panel to frustrate the dogs. I have used plain old butt joints, half laps, and the last was mortise and tenon, also have made them from pine and hardwood. I usually do put in cross member about hand height that I can attach a spring on. Bottom rail is maybe around 5” wide and the styles and top rail 2-2.5”. Are you going to cut mortises in for the rollers top and bottom?

View mzimmers's profile


160 posts in 3339 days

#2 posted 06-23-2016 09:07 PM

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I’ll cut mortises on the top (the door just hangs, so nothing on the bottom. I suppose I can use butt joints (don’t know how I’d lap for a 5” bottom rail) and pocket screws.

Think alder would be a decent choice for this?

-- M. Zimmers

View Lazyman's profile


618 posts in 811 days

#3 posted 06-23-2016 11:28 PM

They make special guards that attach to the frames to put over the screen to prevent your pets from damaging the screen so you might consider one of those.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


4044 posts in 1622 days

#4 posted 06-24-2016 06:36 AM

Can’t you just re-screen the existing door and then add a decorative metal mesh, or even some hardware cloth on the bottom portion? Sure seems easier than trying to build a new frame that will be sturdy enough and fit/run along the existing track properly.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View dhazelton's profile


2294 posts in 1720 days

#5 posted 06-24-2016 12:43 PM

I put a piece of hardware cloth on the inside of my swinging screen door because the cats liked to stand on it to watch the chipmunks and it ripped. If you want poochy to be able to see out try that. If the door is just opened for fresh air and you don’t go out that way often just put a baby gate there.

View mzimmers's profile


160 posts in 3339 days

#6 posted 06-28-2016 02:51 PM

Hi, Dhalelton – how did you go about attaching the hardware cloth? My concern is keeping it taut.

-- M. Zimmers

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