Screen doors for french doors Q&A

Over the years I have answered questions about screen doors for french doors. Here is a sampling of these questions 

by Kristi
Noblesville IN

Right or left hand sliding screen doors ?

I have a pair of Relia-bilt French doors installed. The primary door is, as I look at it from inside, the left one, swing-in. The right door is stationary. I purchased the screen doors recommended for this set of French doors. After installing them. The active door is on the wrong side. If I reverse them. The lock would be on the outside. Can you help?

Hi Kristi

Usually screen door locks are installed more or less in the middle of the vertical rail so they are symmetrical.

You should be able to rotate the whole door to get the lock on the left or right as desired. The screen door lock night end up upside down and the hasp might need to be moved so the door can latch again.

If the lock ends up upside down, remove the lock and reinstall it the right way up. You might need to move the latch plate but they are generally made so that they can be assembled either left or right handed.

Since your lock is now on the outside, remove both screen doors and turn the one with the lock so it faces in. Then rotate the door end over end to get the lock in the right position.

Reinstall. Hopefully I have made myself clear !

Gotta keep the pets in !

by Bethany
San Clemente, CA

Hello! I have two cats who think they are escape artists. I live by the beach, which means no air-conditioning and have french doors. I am not allowed to install a screen, but need to let the breeze in and keep my cats inside. Any suggestions? I would really appreciate any help you can provide.

Thank you!

Hi Bethany;

I think what I might try is picking a small screen door say 28" x 80" and screening it with pet screen.

Then I would mount 2 wooden blocks on one of the long rails so it could stand up like a fire grate.

Then I would open the french doors and slide the screen up against them so the cats couldnt get out.

Its removeble so no one should see it or complain about it.

Screen door for out-swing  french doors

by Patrick P
Miami,Fl, USA

I am in the planning stage of install a removable patio screen frame for out-swinging French doors. Could you please advise on I should go about it.

Thank you.

Hi Patrick;

With an outswing door there is no place to install a slding screen. It could be done on the inside but that would probably look a little weird.

The only practical choice for outswing doors is the retractable screen. It is also installed on the inside but at least the screen dissapears into a cassette and so is mostly out of sight when the doors are closed.

If your french door has both sides opening outward you will have a couple of choices for retractable doors.

Have two retractable doors that pull out from the sides and meet in the middle. Or use a single retractable door that pulls all the way cross the whole opening and parks itself in the middle unless you want to open it all the way.

Retractable screens are much better used inside in this manner because ther is less chance leaves, twigs and general dust and dirt will get trapped inside the cassette every time the door opens and closes.

When a retractable door is on the outside, the buildup of dirt inside the cassette can stop the door from working. Then the cassette has to be disassembled and all the detritus cleaned out for it work properly again.

Hope this helps you find a suitable solution to screening this door.

Hurricane rated frenchdoor for Florida USA

by Jerome
(Tampa, FLA, USA)

I live in Florida. Can french doors be hurricane rated?

Second question do I need a screen with my french door if i have an enclosed patio ?

Hi Jerome;

Marvin Windows makes hurricane rated french doors and I am sure that other major manufacturers have them.

In Florida the local dealer from the Marvin website would be:

Central Florida Glass and Mirror
4441 US Hwy 27 South
Sebring, FL 33870
(863) 385-8289
(863) 385-2340 (Fax)

The Marvin hurricane rated french door appears to be an outswing model where the doors open out.

That means you would need a retractable screen on the inside. My French Door kit goes on the outside and works only with inswing doors.

As well, doors made of fiberglass would be a good choice as these are the strongest for storm conditions.

You probably dont need a screen door on your french door if you already have an screened in patio.

If you want the screens on the patio left off for a better view you might want to put a screen on the french door.

If you are going to put out the money for a hurricane rated door you might as well go a little more for a nice retractable on the the inside.

Hope this helps

Jeld-Wen french door

by Scott
(Bigfork, Mn)

The outside threshold of this new patio door has no rail on bottom nor channel on top to accept a screen door....The door is a left inward swinging with the right door "pinned" top and bottom, but capable of being opened also.

I just want to screen the left side opening like a normal patio door. Do you sell a track/channel kit that would allow me to purchase a standard patio door screen? I'll probably never unpin the right side door so....

Home depot has a screen that is mounted vertically from both sides and you pull the two sides together to meet in the middle...

It just seems kind of hokey and the weather stripping to keep bugs at bay looks it's $400.00....


Hi Scott;

I do have a kit to install a sliding screen door on an inswinging hinged patio door, see my French Door Screens Kit The kit comes with top track, lower track and screen door.

Check the instructions on the page to see if you have room at the top of the door for a top track. Also check to see if the door handle does not interfere with where the screen door will have to slide.

Installing the kit is not difficult, the toughest part is getting the bottom track in line with the top but if you can use a plumb line its really not a big issue. Happy to help you get the measurements right so you can get this door installed.

Broken Screen Roller on French Door

by Richard
(Middletown, MD, U.S.A.)

broken screen door roller for french door
broken screen door roller for french door
broken screen door roller for french door
broken screen door roller for french door

One of our French Door's original Screen Door's Rollers broke (at the top). It took some wrestling, but I was able to get the Screen Door off intact.

I have looked at the pages on your website and watched some videos, but I am still unsure if your Screen Roller Kits will fit my Screen Door. The Screen Door measures 1.5 inches by .5 inches at the mitered corners.

The only way I see to be completely sure is to disassemble the Screen Door and measure everything. However, that would leave me without a Screen Door. (The Screen Door is usable even though it is missing a top roller.)

I wanted to know if there was any way you could determine from these photos what I needed to affect repairs.