So here's my problem: My main exterior door was re-framed at some point before I bought the house. It's fine.

But the screen door, oy! I finally had to pull it off, since whoever hung it didn't have enough frame on which to fully hang the hinges, meaning that the hinges would pull out every single year, and no matter how I tried to re-build or reinforce the frame, they wouldn't last.

So I finally pulled the old screen door off, and discovered that the entire screen door frame is skewed. The bottom jamb and the top lintel are more or less level, but the two sides are off square at least 1/2” from top to bottom. Sort of like this: /_/ (except the sides aren't parallel). The door width is 35.875” at the top and 36.25” at the bottom. So I have a door frame which is a quadrilateral. Finally, the trim over the frame is really strongly attached and I have this nasty suspicion that if I try to remove the trim to get to the frame, I'll destroy both the trim and the siding surrounding the trim.

The obvious answer would be a pre-hung door, but the only pre-hung storm door I could afford would be one of those really cheesy aluminum ones, which are ugly and don't suit the house. I guess theoretically I could find someone to build me a pre-hung wood door, but research has led me to conclude that it would cost me way too much money. Pre-hung seems out of the question.

I found a nice wood screen/storm door in a flea market, which is in good shape and is square, but I can't figure out if I can, or how to, install it. Seems to me I've two choices: 1) cut the door to fit the skewed frame, or 2) cut/build out the frame to fit the door. Neither seems a good choice. If I cut the door to the odd shape of the frame, I still have to hang it on a non-square and non-leveled frame, which makes fitting it tough, and also really stresses the door and the hardware. If I try to cut and then build out the frame so that it's square and level, it will take a profound amount of work, and given my limited woodworking skills, may end up in disaster.

So, thoughts? I'm nearly at the end of my rope.


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My first question is where did you get the tape measure?  I have been using them for 65 years and have never seen one with decimal points.  When woodworking you only need one that measurers up to the sixteenths.  Another thing I need to ask is why you want the door square?  The door should fit the opening.  If the opening is square the door should be too but if not the door should be the same.  I have a screen door that I made and the bottom is almost an inch wider than the top and it works fine.  My doors always stick in the spring and fall but using a plane or sander usually takes care of the problem.  No need to take the door off and square it up.  In my mind you are making a big solution out of a small problem.  Living in an old house most of my life I have seldom let a square or level determine the outcome of a project.  I have found something perfectly square or level will often make the whole room tilt to ones eye.  This is just my opinion. I may have just read it wrong and it is my misunderstanding.  Lair

No old house is perfectly square and Lair has a good point.  Either build a custom wood door to fit or plane the door to fit.  




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