DIY Screen Door For Renters

It is slowly, but surely warming up in Seattle. This city generally tends to skip spring time all together and around the end of April we end up jumping wholeheartedly from Winter weather straight into Summertime! WOO!

In preparation for the warm weather, Eric and I are fixing up the patio that is attached to our apartment and because we are renters, we cant install an actual screen door so after some brain storming and clever internet searches — I found THIS idea, for a removable screen door. The photo was tiny and the idea of having to sew didn’t exactly have me thrilled — but I decided it was my best option.

Since the patio door is 36″ wide, I ordered 2 of these mini tension rods off Amazon, for under $5 each. These are the same types of rods you usually see used for a shower curtain but they are thinner and shorter.

Next I started searching for mosquito netting to make the curtain but ran into some trouble since most of the netting I found came in sheets sized too small to cover the full height of our doorway. It was then that I remembered these LILL curtains from Ikea — which are essentially mosquito nets — they’d work perfectly and at only $4.99 for a pair this is a great option!

DIY Screen Door For Renters

Before ordering them I opted to go check out the local thrift shop a few blocks away to see if they had anything similar — and they did! For $2.99 I got a single sheer polyester curtain that (bonus) was already seamed at the top and bottom of its 84″ (the exact height of the door!)

Today the rods arrived and I had the solution up in just a few minutes! The top and bottom rod will allow us to keep the door open this summer for fresh air and not have to stress over our cat wondering outside. It’s simple to just slide the curtain open or closed if we want to enter in and out — or if we have friends over and the kitty isn’t roaming free we can always take the bottom rod out to have a barrier against bugs but easier access to come and go.

You will need:

  • A tape measure (start by measure the interior frame of the doorway, of course.)
  • adjustable width tension rods (measure your doorway to determine the size — but morst standard doorways will fit this 28″ – 48″ option.
  • 1 mesh, net or sheer curtain (Ikea’s LILL curtains or check out your local thrift shop or fabric store!)

You might need:

  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine

Over all this was cheap, easy and (i think) looks pretty darn good! I suggest this to anyone who lives in a rental and needs a screen door solution! :) If you end up trying this too — post a photo link to the finished product in the comments below and let me know how it went for you!



7 Responses to DIY Screen Door For Renters

  1. Jessica says:

    THANK YOU! I moved to FL in September and don’t have a screen on my front door – so I have been searching and searching for an inexpensive way to screen the front door to get a good cross breeze and not have to use A/C while the weather is nice but still keep the bugs out! Everything I could find had these adhesive velcro strips – which in my opinion I might as well mount something that is permanent. This is a GREAT idea! And when you take it down – it’s ALL DOWN….no tacky adhesive stuck to your front door. Thank you – You are amazing for thinking of this – and posting it!

  2. Crystal says:

    Would this be sturdy enough to keep a cat inside?

  3. Soma says:

    Super great idea, I am a renter in Oklahoma, and needing a solution like this. I too, have cats, both of which are pretty obsessed with the birds outside. How has this worked out for you with your cat? I worry it would be too simple for kitty to squeeze by the sides and go galavanting off. I guess that depends on the tension between the top and bottom rods / how tight the fabric is? I would love to hear your feedback now that you’ve had this for a while!

    • liz says:

      I haven’t had any troubles. Have had it up the last couple days and my furry little man sits near te screened doorway to look outside, but has not tried to disturb it at all. I’m sure if you have a cat who is hell bent on finding a way to get outside – you may have some issue… but it’s been a good solution for me.

  4. Bea says:

    This looks like a cheap, easy and perfect solution for the doorway to my balcony. I have been trying to figure out how to make a screen after receiving a quote of $400.00 for a Phantom screen. I also have two cats. I will try this and will let you know how it works out. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Bea says:

    Update.. I used a single sheer panel. I have not placed a rod at the bottom, but I could. The cats go out but this is not an issue as my balcony is enclosed and they are too old to jump. More important to me, no bugs, moths or other ufos so far. Thank you again.

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