How to Make Perfect-Closing Screen Doors

Turn the adjusting screw on storm door closers to make them close smoothly and securely.

We'll show you how to adjust a storm door so it closes perfectly. By simply turning a screw, you can fix the door so it won't slam shut or be hard to pull closed. If you can use a screwdriver, you can fix this problem.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

TIME

Instant!

COMPLEXITY

Super Simple!

COST

Free!

Adjust the storm door

If your storm door slams shut or won't close hard enough to latch, try a few simple adjustments to make it close just right.

First, change the mounting position of the closer's connecting pin (Photo 1). To remove the pin, you have to first lock the door open with the hold-open washer to release the tension on the pin. But there's a good chance that your hold-open washer won't work. In that case, open the door and snap a locking pliers (such as a Vise-Grip pliers) onto the closer shaft to hold the door open.

To repair the washer, slip it off the shaft, put it in a vise and make a sharper bend in it using a hammer. Or you can take the entire closer to a home center or hardware store and find a similar replacement. Some closers mount a little differently from the one we show. For example, you may find that the door bracket, rather than the closer, has two pinholes.

If moving the pin makes matters worse, return it to its original position and try the adjustment screw (Photo 2). Turn it clockwise for a softer close, counterclockwise for harder. If your door has two closers, treat them exactly alike. Adjust both screws equally and make sure their pins are in the same position.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Locking pliers
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

No materials are needed.