Screen Door Will Not Open From Outside

by Terri



Having problems with two screen doors that open out to the side yard and the backyard and have not seen anything similar posted on your site.

The side door when I am OUTSIDE does not open up no matter how hard I try. If I go around, it opens and closes from the inside but locks me out when I am outside.
The back door opens out fine but gives me a little trouble when opening it to go back in.
Am attaching a picture - both doors and locks are the same and they both are perhaps 5' up on the door to prevent children from opening it as there is a pool.
Any suggestions would be helpful but easy ones I hope. Am an 84 year old female and not quite as strong as you guys!

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Jun 30, 2019
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One More Question
by: Terri

Can you give me the Ideal model number? There are so many that I don't want to purchase the wrong item!

Jun 26, 2019
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by: Adrian

Hi Terri;

You are right this is not something I have written about and its a pretty common problem.

The handle mechanism get old and cant push the little spring loaded bar back far enough to allow the door to open from the outside.

On the inside its easier because you have stronger hand pressure to get the spring loaded pin to move all the way over

Easiest thing to do is just replace lock. Even though new storm door locks look a little different you can make them fit.

The locks are available from Home Depot and Lowes and many other stores. They are made by Ideal, the same company that has been making these locks for 50 years.

The hardest thing is getting the right length of screws to fit the thickness of your door. I usually buy screws too long and cut them down when I fix doors like yours to whatever length is needed.

The more modern locks have a plastic catch instead of the old style which has a spring loaded pin.

You might be able to keep the old latch on the door jamb because frankly they are a lot better than the modern ones

The new handle will be much easier to actuate on the outside to open the latch properly.

Its a super easy job for a good handyperson

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