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Suggested wood choice for building a porch screen door ?

778 Views 19 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Knockonit
We have a screened porch that a previous owner had built. The structure and roof were done well but their choice for the screen door was a cheapo PVC thing with plastic spring hinges that can be found at the orange and blue big box stores. We want to replace this door with a screen door hung from barn door hardware so that we have more usable floor space inside the porch or outside on the deck. I can't find any place that stocks a door wide enough for this, so I'm going to build one. My problem at this point is figuring out which wood to use (that I can get).

It's going to be painted. I figured douglas fir would be a good choice, but I can't find anyone around that sells it (central Virginia). I need a wood that will hold up in hot sun, rain, humidity, and occaisional snow. Will clear pine hold up if primed and painted? Any other suggestions suited for outdoors that will sand and take paint easily?

Being hung as a barn door, I don't expect to worry about it sagging. I figure I will just use pocket hole joinery, plug the holes, sand, and paint. I'll also be installing a doggie door in a lower panel.
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How do you plan on a perimeter seal around a barn door setup? Obviously you'll want a screen door to keep out bugs and critters. That may be a difficult task given the hardware usually provides significant space for the door to roll past adjacent walls and trim surrounds. It also allows for the door to swing freely at the bottom. So wind may be a factor in keeping the door flush with the seal. For material, I'd prefer to use poplar vs pine and either build the thickness to 1 1/2" by laminating or source thicker lumber. Using 1by will be too thin and flimsy for a screen door. Thicker material will also make insetting the screen easier. It'd probably put the screens into individual frames that inset into the door frame so they can be removed to replace damaged screens, which is inevitable. Just some thoughts to consider.

Edit: Oh, the doggie door will also cause the door to swing out when the dog goes out...well if it's a medium to large dog.
We have the same bugs here in Western PA and mosquitos 😟 Stink bugs always find a way in. Not sure how, but they do, hate the cold and know when it's time to go inside. lol
Have you looked at the retractable screen doors? They pull out like window blinds only horizontally instead of vertically. Some run in a track frame work. totally out of the way when not in use.
There are also those curtain type screens with magnetic strips to keep them closed. I'm just curious why the OP needs a screen door at all. They don't care about keeping the bugs and critters out and their dog obviously has free rein of the yard. Just leave the darn back door open lol
I think it's safe to say that there is virtually nothing that anyone has discussed on these forums that anyone needs. We need food and water. Everything else is, at most, wanted. And my wife wants screen doors on her porch. I want to please her because it pleases me to please her. As a retired software engineer, I will put it this way: She and I are in agreement in the functional requirements. It's up to me to figure out non-functional requirements such as reliability which is why I'm asking about the wood species. Don't be a lumberjerk.
Your explanation was fine. The last part unnecessary. Screen doors have an implied purpose. I asked a reasonable question. Have a good day.
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