DIY Screen Door

Houston has some nice weather this time of year. The days are warm and evening temperatures hover around 70 degrees. They're the perfect type of evenings for opening up the windows and enjoying some fresh air.

Unfortunately, my apartment's windows don't open. The only way to get fresh air in is by opening the sliding glass door in my living room, and there's no screen door on it. So for the last six months, I've had to choose between stale air and higher A/C bills, or opening the door and letting all sorts of bugs in.

This weekend, I had had enough, and decided that I could build a screen door myself. After some quick measurements and mental calculations, I headed out to Home Depot and rounded up my supplies_

  • 25 feet of half-inch PVC pipe
  • A roll of fiberglass screen
  • 4 ninety degree PVC connectors
  • 2 'T' PVC connectors
  • 1 small roll of foam rubber weather stripping
  • Total Cost: About 20 bucks.

Assembly was pretty simple. I cut up the PVC into the right lengths, assembled the frame with the connectors, then used my staple gun to attach the screen. After making sure that it fit into the track properly, I added the weather stripping so that I could close the sliding glass door up against the screen and prevent bugs from slipping through the crack.

I think it looks pretty good_
screen from outside screen from inside

I have to slip it into place every time I want to use it, so it's not quite as convenient as a sliding door, but it works well. Painting the PVC black would have also made it look a little nicer, but I was going for cheap.

All in all, I'm pretty satisfied. I figure I'll more than make my 20 bucks back by running my air conditioner less this summer. And as long as the weather holds, my apartment won't have to smell like what I've been cooking for days afterward.


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