Congratulations! You're now the proud owner of a beautiful custom screen door. You've put so much work into choosing the right door for your home, now let's make sure it's installed properly.
We recommend you fit and install, drill for hardware, finish, and then permanently install your screen door. Remember to finish your door within 15 days of receipt to prevent warping/splitting. Store your door straight up and down until installed.
Before you receive your door, make installation arrangements with your carpenter. By doing so, you'll insure a prompt and proper installation in accordance with our warranty. Our doors arrive to you unfinished so they'll need to be stored properly until they can be sealed. We recommend storing your door in a warm, moisture-free environment to prevent warpage/splitting. Sun exposure should also be avoided to prevent bleaching or discoloration; cover the door with a sheet or blanket. Your screen door should be stored vertically or horizontally and preferably not directly on the floor.
Step 1: Check Fit
We recommend dry-fitting your door before installing the hardware to check fit. The door will ideally be an overall 1/4” narrower and shorter than the storm door frame (1/8” on each side & 1/8” on top).
Place your screen door into the opening where you want your door to be installed. If the door is too tall or too wide, you may need to trim excess material to get a proper fit. Check for gaps using cedar shims. A proper fit would allow for a 1/8" - 3/16" gap all around the door. This allows for the hinges, lockset, and natural movement associated with all wood doors.
Please refer to the chart below for trimming specifications.
Trimming Specifications for Montana Screen Doors
Note: Trimming beyond the specified trim depths will compromise the structural integrity of the door and violates our warranty.
Step 2: Determine Handle Placement
Determine the direction the door will swing. You will want to ensure that the handle and latch for the storm door do not interfere with the main door’s handle. Install the hardware on the same side as the entry door if there will be no obstructions, otherwise, attach it to the opposite side. Follow all installation instructions included with the hardware.
Step 3: Determine Hinge Placement
To determine the hinge placement, use the main door as a guide. Typical placement is 7” from top of door, 11” from bottom, and the middle hinge is centered (see diagram below). Using a pencil, mark the placement of the hinges on both the screen door edge and the door jamb. Make sure the hinges are placed in the right directions to swing out the way you want them to.
In most cases, you will want to mortise the hinges into the frame by using a chisel and hammer to remove material the thickness of the hinge leaf. Using the marks, drill pilot holes with a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the screws. Drilling pilot holes prevents splitting and cracking in the frame and screen door.
After the pilot holes have been drilled, attach the hinges with the provided screws, starting with the door frame. Once the screen door is hung and in place, open and close the door a few times to check for tight areas that may need to be trimmed. Once you’re happy with the fitment, uninstall the door and hardware.
Step 4: Finish Your Screen Door
Stain, seal, or paint your screen door. (See the Finishing Instructions.)
Marine grade spar varnish is the only finish coat we recommend. All other finishes over raw wood or compatible stains will void our warranty. Marine grade spar varnish can be applied over raw wood or complimentary stains as recommended by the manufacturer. It takes at least two full strength coats to get a good finish, using 220 grit sandpaper or steel wool between coats. We recommend reapplying a coat of varnish every year to maintain a protective finish.
Be sure to varnish all sides of the door, even the bottom, and give extra attention to tight areas that might be missed. Remove any decorative panels to ensure even coverage, reinstalling them after the varnish has dried completely.
Step 5: Attach Hardware
Attach door hinges to the frame. Holding the door in place, install the hinges on the screen door. To make sure the door fits correctly, tighten only one screw from the top and the bottom hinges onto the screen door. Check to make sure the door opens and closes correctly. If so, continue to place and tighten all other screws in the hinges on the door.
Follow the manufacturer instructions for attaching the closer (if applicable).