Make a Cheap Custom Homemade Screen Door for Your Porch

Homemade Wood Screen Door

Zoom in to see layout of screen door

I built this cheap diy screen door in a couple of hours.  We couldn’t  find one at Home Depot to fit our front doorway, so I busted this out.  My girlfriend painted it BRIGHT RED. Total cost was about 30 bucks, so it ended up being a very cost-effective way to get some air circulating through the house in warmer months.

Here is what you need to do. Depending on the measurements of the door opening (especially if it’s an old house), it might be anywhere from 2’6″ – 3’6″ wide by 6’6″ – 7′ tall.  Grab 1×3 furring strips and lay them out in the dimensions of the actual door opening measurements.  Remember, you will be making two OPPOSING layers of wood, so the thickness will be more like 1 1/2″ thickness than 3/4″ thickness.

Then, on the opposite side of that roughly laid-out door, you position a second layer of 1×3 boards so they all hold together with screws and glue (this means you reverse the layout of the wood so it creates alternating lap joints).  See the illustration of lap joints.

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You can also zoom in on the door photo above to see how it was laid out.  The trick is in having TWO LAYERS sandwiched together with alternating corners all around.

alternating layers for screen door

layers alternate to form lap joints

Where the screen will go, you just roll out some window screen material from the hardware store flat, and sandwich it tightly between the two upper layers of the door frame.  DIY Cheap Wooden Red Screen Door The bottom wood panel is 1/8″ luan plywood, and is similarly sandwiched between the layers, too.

You might want to take some wood putty and fill up the screw holes, too.

Make sure to paint the screen door with house paint that’ll hold up to outside elements!

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Jason Sipe Jason Sipe (68 Posts)

Jason Sipe is an artist, craftsman and writer. He has spent the last 20 years working in the art and media fields. He now turns to this blog and helping others learn about creating art as his main focus.

2 thoughts on “Make a Cheap Custom Homemade Screen Door for Your Porch

  1. How do you keep it from opening and banging shut when it gets windy?

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    • I put a screen door hook to keep it locked shut. Plus, it has a spring to swing shut.

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