‘Fetching’ ideas to fit, fix screen door

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

My husband and I are those people. We have had our 7-year-old dog, Lilo, since she was just 12 weeks old, and we treat her like she is a member of our family. We go out of our way to visit pet-friendly establishments so she can come with us, and we often spoil her with special treats and toys.

We even let her get away with things that we would not let our human daughter do. For instance, when we first moved into our house four years ago, Lilo figured out that she could get through our screen doors by breaking the screen portion. She punched through them with her snout and created her own doggy doors. We let these go until our baby daughter was old enough to follow Lilo through.

Because they were old doors, we decided to replace them instead of just repairing the screens. Everything was working well for a few days. Then, the doors suddenly started falling off. We would put them back on, and figured out the best way to live with them was to slide them slowly and carefully. However, our baby daughter did not treat the doors with the same amount of care. She would slam them open and shut, and inevitably they would come tumbling down again.

Searching for answers, I consulted some handy friends of mine. It turns out that the problem wasn’t the doors themselves or the fact that we were using them a bit roughly. There are two major factors that typically cause doors to jump track: the wheels or the door length.

To fix your door, start by removing it. Then, lay it on a flat surface and locate the four screws in the corners and tighten them.

Next, adjust the roller wheels’ height. Locate the rollers on the bottom of the door. There should be screws next to each one. Tighten them to force the wheels farther out. They should sit about 1/8 inches off the threshold. If there are any damaged wheels, replace them.

If the door is too small for the frame, you will need to adjust the length. Locate the screws near the top and bottom rails. Loosen them, then, slide the rails out to lengthen the door to your desired length. Tighten the screws to hold them in place.

Replace your door and test the slide. If it falls out again or if it doesn’t slide smoothly, you may need to make some additional adjustments and try again.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisin@gmail.com.