How to Install a Spring-Loaded Hinge on a Screen Door

Spring-loaded hinges are installed on screen doors for a variety of reasons.

Keep the critters out.
You can keep a screen door secured, even on windy days when the latch isn't closed. Or when your hands are full--or your children or pets aren't being mindful of manners--the hinge will close the door for you. Some install spring-loaded hinges so a screen door can just be pushed to open. .

Stand the screen door on the floor, the side for the hinges facing up.

Position the hinges on the edge of the door with the adjustment pin positioned to be facing up when the door is installed. Place the bottom edge of the bottom hinge 10 inches from the bottom of the door. Place the top edge of the top hinge 5 inches from the top of the door. Rest the barrel of each hinge against the front of the door.

Trace the hinges onto the door frame with a pencil.

Slide each hinge toward the front of the door and trace the depth of the hinge plate. Unlike regular hinges, spring-loaded hinges do not come apart, so trace only the thickness of one of the plates on the front of the door. This is the depth of the hinge recess in the door.

Place the edge of the chisel on the edge of the door with the curved side of the chisel facing in toward the hinge area that will be removed. Tap the chisel with a hammer until it has cut into the wood the depth noted by the thickness of the hinge plate. Follow the outline of the hinge plate all the way around on the traced line for each hinge. Make additional cuts in the side of the door in the area for the hinges spaced about 1/4 of an inch apart with the chisel.

Place the edge of the chisel on the line drawn for the top or bottom of each hinge on the edge of the door, with the flat side of the chisel facing down. Tape the edge of the chisel with the hammer to remove all of the little sections of wood where the hinges will be located.

Lay the hinges in position. Use a pencil to mark the location for the screw holes. Remove the hinges.

Insert a 1/8-inch drill bit into a drill. Drill a small pilot hole in the center of each screw location.

Place the hinges back in position and attach one faceplate to the door with wood screws.

Hold the door in position in the frame. Pull the hinges apart enough to mark the location for the screw holes for the other side of each hinge on the door frame. Remove the door.

Drill pilot holes in the screw locations on the frame with a 1/8-inch drill bit.

Place the screen door back in position and install screws through the face plate and into the frame.

Things You Will Need

  • 2 spring loaded hinges
  • Pencil
  • ½-inch wood chisel
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Wood screws (usually included with the hinges)
  • Hinge tension tool (included with hinges)


  • Use the tension tool to loosen the tension in the spring assembly while installing the door in the frame. Adjust the tension for the perfect closure after hanging the door.


  • Do not cut the hinge recess too deep, or the hinges will not work properly.

About the Author

Emily Patterson has been creating content for websites since 1996. She specializes in home improvement, natural body care and natural cleaning articles. Patterson holds a computing certificate from Penn State University.