How to Measure for a Screen Door

Before investing in a new screen door, learn how to take accurate measurements.

A front porch with a red screen door

pbk-pg / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 - 15 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0

When you want to enjoy the fresh air and a nice cool breeze without worrying about flies, mosquitos, and other pests, a screen door is an excellent option. However, before you can install a screen door in your home, it's necessary to take precise width measurements of the top, middle, and bottom of the doorway, as well as several height measurements to help determine the correct screen door size that you will need to install.

A standard screen door measures about 32 to 38 inches in width and 72 to 80 inches in height, though you can also install a sliding glass door with a screen. Sliding glass doors typically consist of a fixed glass panel, a sliding screen door, and one or two sliding glass doors, depending on the product. The average size for a sliding glass door is about 60 to 72 inches in width and 72 to 80 inches in height.

Doorframes are generally built to a standard size, so your measurements should match up with these common screen door sizes, revealing the right door for your home. Keep reading to learn how to measure for a screen door so you can enjoy the outdoors without allowing pests indoors.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Step ladder

Instructions

  1. Gather Your Supplies

    Before you can measure for a new screen door, it's important to have a piece of paper and pencil, a tablet, phone, computer, or any other method you want to use for recording the measurements. As much as it may be tempting to simply try and remember the measurements, it's always better to write the exact numbers down while you work so that there aren't any mistakes when you are searching for a suitable screen door.

    Standard measuring tapes typically come in a range of sizes from 15 to 50 feet. Even a 15-foot tape measure is more than enough for taking doorway measurements, so as long as you have a standard measuring tape on hand, you should be set. Also, if you feel as though you would need to stretch to reach the top of the doorway, it's recommended to use a stepladder to ensure the measurements are accurate.

  2. Measure the Height of the Doorway

    Whether you measure the height or the width of the doorway first doesn't really matter as long as you record the measurements correctly. If you are measuring for a standard screen door, then it will be difficult to mix up the height and width measurements, but if you are measuring for a sliding glass door, then the height and width could be very similar, so make sure that the measurements are clearly labeled to avoid confusion.

    Take measurements on the left side of the doorway, the right side of the doorway, and the center of the doorway. Measure the inside of the doorway from the top of the door sill to the bottom of the trim or header.

    Doorways may not be completely level or square, which is the reason for taking multiple height measurements. If you are installing a metal or glass door that cannot be trimmed down, then use the smallest height measurement for your screen door.

    However, if you are installing a wooden screen door, then it's recommended to use the largest height measurement because if the new screen door doesn't fit, you can use a planer to trim the edges for an exact fit.

  3. Measure the Width of the Doorway

    Similar to measuring the height of the doorway, you will need to take multiple measurements of the width to ensure that you select the right screen door size. Use the measuring tape to measure the doorway from the inside of the trim on the left side of the doorway to the inside of the trim on the right side of the doorway, ensuring the tape measure is level.

    Take width measurements at the top of the doorway, the middle of the doorway, and the bottom of the doorway. Use the smallest measurement if you are installing a glass or metal door because these materials are not easy to trim, so you want to ensure that the new door fits the opening.

    If you are installing a wood screen door, then use the largest measurement. Wood screen doors can be trimmed down with a planer if the door doesn't fit the opening.

  4. Calculate the Screen Door Measurements

    Now that you have the height and width measurements for the doorway, you can find the right screen door to fit the opening. Record the measurements in a width x height format using the smallest measurements for metal or glass doors and the largest measurements for wood doors.

    For instance, if you measured the width of the doorway at three different points and found that the width measured 34 inches at the top, 35 inches in the middle, and 34 inches at the bottom you would write the width as 34 inches for a glass or metal door and 35 inches for a wood door.

    If you took height measurements at three points and found that the doorway measured 80 inches on the left side, 80 inches in the center, and 79 inches on the right side, then you would write the height as 79 inches for a glass or metal door and 80 inches for a wood door.

    Taken together, the measurement for a glass or metal door would be 34 x 79 inches, while the measurement for a wood screen door would be 35 x 80 inches.

    To be absolutely sure of your measurements before buying a new screen door, it's always a good idea to measure the height and width a second time to ensure that there weren't any mistakes the during the first set of measurements.