How to Fix a Slamming Screen Door

Have you ever had your screen door slam too hard and too quick?  It’s a relatively easy fix as long as you have some time on your hands.   Here’s how to do it!

Materials needed:  Chair, Screwdriver.

Total project time:  3 ½ hours, 30 seconds.

This is a reenactment of my actual experience  …


Look at front door and remember the slamming screen needs to be fixed.  Resolve to fix it immediately.


Head on over to take a look.

Notice movies on front hall table that need to be returned.

Quickly run to stick those in your purse.


Head back to front door to fix it and notice that bunch of stuff always sitting by the basement door.  Figure you should probably pick it up and put it in the basement once and for all.


Head back to front door.

Discover cat vomit on cowhide rug.  Mutter, swear, then clean it up.

Grab the screwdriver you know you’ll need to fix front door.  ‘Cause you’re proactive like that.  Peer outside and notice something that needs to be dealt with.


Take down Christmas wreath.  Seems a bit early, but better to get it done with.

Return inside and actually make it to the front door.  Stare outside longingly waiting for spring to arrive.  Do this for approximately 15 minutes, then realize a watched pot never boils.  Spring will come when you’re not looking.  Remember door needs to be fixed.  Head to kitchen to grab a chair to stand on to fix door.

Notice messy kitchen.  Resolve to ignore messy kitchen.  Door needs to be fixed.

Tidy up kitchen.

Make it 2 feet from kitchen table then have a snack.  Most people do a better job of fixing doors when they’ve had a snack.

Arrive again at door.

Without chair.  Get chair.



Notice Christmas tree on front porch.  Again … a little early but should probably take it down.



Pitch it just far enough onto the front lawn that I can’t see it from inside the house.

Ready to fix slamming screen door!  Stand on chair and assess “closer”.

Reach for screwdriver in back pocket, which is not there because you left it in the dining room when you took down the Christmas wreath.  Go back to cupboard to get screwdriver.



Discover a bag or rats in cupboard!  Wait.  No.  It’s hair extensions from a television show you hosted several years ago.  Model them for yourself.  Contemplate the fact that even though hers cost $7,000, your $100 hair extensions look exactly the same as Kate’s from Jon and Kate Plus 8.




After at least half an hour of ponytails and braids, return to fixing door.  Take a look at the “closer” of the screen door.  That’s the black tube hydraulic looking thing with the screw on the end of it.

Insert screwdriver.



Turn screw clockwise a smidge.  Door fixed.  No more slamming too quickly.

If your door closes too slowly … turn the screw counter clockwise.


Prep time … 3 ½ hours.

Work time … 30 seconds.

Total time required … 3 ½ hours, 30 seconds.


If this interested you, you might also be interested in How to Cut a bunch of Spring Tulips if You Have a Minimum of 17 Hours on Your Hands.


  1. Alison says:

    I had just gotten dressed to go out for dinner. Hair done. High heels. But it was early so I thought I would read up on how to fix one of these doors–just moved into a new house. Found your website. Grabbed the phillips head and job done. Off to dinner. Thanks

  2. Melissa says:

    I LOVE this! Thank you :) I can definitely relate, only I’ve been putting off this 30-second repair for days, if not a week or more! You put a smile on my not-so-smiley morning. Thanks!!

  3. Darci says:

    Hilarious!!! I feel like this is every project in my life…..
    and thanks, I was able to fix my screen door without help from my husband or father. Girl Power!!

  4. Kevin says:

    Don’t forget to adjust the spring as well. For those who have the spring built into the hydraulic part, just pop the pin off the end that’s mounted to the screen door and rotate the entire piston clockwise.

    Ideally you should have just barely enough spring tension for the door to latch itself. (wd40 on the latch to make that amount of tension even less).

    Now your screen door won’t hit your backside on your way in.

  5. Britt says:

    Hooray! You have saved my roommate and I from calling our landlord and looking like helpless, know-nothing wimmin-folk. Screen door fixed – no more slamming! This whole post is great. :)

  6. Jaimie says:

    This was hilarous! I found you while literally googling “How to keep my screen door from slamming”. :) The line about hair extensions made me laugh out loud :)

  7. Tricia says:

    So my door slapped me in the rear when I was carrying my 21 day old son in his car seat into my mom summer house for the first time, my husband and I are really the only one that use this door. Can’t tell you how many times it has happened since then, what I can tell you is I have had a second child and we are celebrating my son’s (the one who was 21 days old when it first happened) 9th birthday in 2 weeks. Guess life gets in the way.

  8. Melida says:

    This my be one of the funniest things I have ever read! I was tired of my screen door slamming 3 separate times at 6:38 every morning when my 3 oldest girls get on the bus. I knew there had to be a solution when I looked this morning and here it is. When I would take 3 1/2 hours and a chair I was perplexed and intrigued at why it would take that long. Now I’m ticked pink and so glad I’m not the only one living in 3 hour simple task mode! I literally laughed out loud at your Kate Plus 8 hair extensions.

  9. Lesley hart says:

    You and I are living parallel lives and this is quite possibly one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Thanks for fixing my damn door and for making me laugh harder than I have in months.

  10. DanaR says:

    Haha! Thank YOU! 2 summers later…’s fixed! .

  11. Dana says:

    Haha! Thank YOU! 2 summers later…’s fixed! Can’t believe it was Sooo simple.

  12. patricia A says:

    thanks SO much for this article–it really came in handy. one thing i might point out, and which might cause you to revise the ENTIRE article, is that it took an additional hour for me to fix my screen door. to my horror, i discovered that the pneumatic hydraulic thingy on my door has a PHILLIPS screw and not a slotted screw like on yours. please note this very important distinction. not all of us will be able to deal with the unexpected challenge of encountering a situation that varies from what was depicted in your blog.

    LOL! all the best. :)

  13. creature says:

    Hello lovely: You are hilarious! For some weird reason I thought I was the only avid, [somehow] successful DIYer with a 30-second attention span, and you proved me wrong. Thank you. ;D

    Apart from your brain, I also really like your tutorials. Most of them are things I need to do… and hey, now I know how to do them right. Biiig hugs!

  14. Gino says:

    Hilarious. Sexy, funny and informative. Thank you.

  15. Lynn says:

    Just found this on Pinterest. After laughing over the procrastination, which is how I do things too, I grabbed my screwdriver and fixed our screen door! Woohoo! And my husband wanted to buy a whole new door……..ha!

  16. janet says:

    Though I already knew how to fix the screen door problem, as I have “fixed” mine in the past, I felt the need to read this anyway. I laughed at a couple of other articles you put out there, yet found this one to be the most hilarious. Karen, I do believe you, Em and I were triplets separated at birth! Ha! Thank you for the well-needed laugh! Keep doing what you are doing, girl!

  17. jake says:

    you are cute, and that was an awesome tip to turn the screw on the pneumatic pump a little bit clockwise… easier then breathing. another easy tip for creaky hinges is quickly spray a little wd40 on each hinge, and it fixes those squeaks in a snap, just a little smelly for abt 24 hrs. cheers.

  18. Stephanie says:

    Hey Karen,
    Where do you buy your cowhide rugs??? I’m looking for an off-white or really light beigy cowhide and I finally got the “ok” from my mr. cheap to buy one. Ikea has some, but not in the right colour range for me! Where else should I look?

    • Karen says:

      Stephanie – Ikea is where I got mine! I wouldn’t look anywhere else. For the price you’re not going to get anything better. In fact, even for 3X the price you won’t find anything better. Just keep going back to Ikea and checking. They get new hides in, in different colours all the time. Just be patient! ~ karen

  19. RRDH says:

    This is exactly how I get so much done at home. Unfortunately this is also how I start about a 100 things and then seem to have 96 of them unfinished.

    I did laugh. I did cry.

    I did stop doing what I was doing – then tried to keep working – then kept reading – then working – then reading – then working – then writing.

  20. Connor says:

    First off, cute top! Second, did you like Black Swan? Cause it’s seriously my new favourite movie!

  21. Grace Rodich says:

    Perfect timing on this post.

    BTW, I really like the back of your hair. Super cute!

  22. em says:

    OMG – are you my twin?
    Thank you so much for the belly laugh girl!

    American who must fix her screen door before another child gets hurt. And guess what? It doesn’t even have that hydraulic thingy.
    It’s that old. Ugh

  23. Traci says:

    I love that you are only just now taking down Christmas stuff! LOL!!

  24. Christina says:

    My screen door absolutely closes too fast. I instinctively wince every time I come home and open it in preparation for it to wack me in the keister while I fumble with my keys. It has caused me great pain and turmoil since it was installed nearly a year ago. And the only reason I haven’t done anything about is because… well because I thought it would take 3 1/2 hours and 30 seconds. Damn.

  25. Elise says:

    Before I clicked on this post, I thought “I know this does not have any use for me, but I know if i don’t read it, I will miss something awesome.” Sure enough, hilarity ensued. Thanks! =)

  26. hannita says:

    Can you do a cat vomit clean-up tutorial? Admittedly, my barfy cat died last summer but the other cat still pukes on occasion. I moved recently and really want a cowhide rug but then I think about the cat vomit potential and it puts me off.

    • Karen says:

      Hannita – I have some very good news. Cows … being outdoor creatures accustomed to rolling in their own vile poo among other things, is incredibly resilient. Cat vomit cleans up like a breeze! Even off of my white cowhide. ~ karen

  27. sharman says:

    It’s heartening to see that I am not the only one burdened with cat vomit! What’s with these cute, cuddly but oh-so-messy critters!!!

  28. This is one of my favorites, Karen.

    THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for making me feel less crazy. This is my typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon!

    Totally agree with Blake about the “extension expression”. :)

  29. blake says:

    Loved this…and is exactly why I am reading this instead of working on a floor plan that was due in March!

    p.s. the expression on your face while looking at yourself with the extensions is fabulous! somewhere between longing, pain, hope and disgust!

  30. Paulina J! says:

    I will use this as an example next time my husband complains about me taking too long with projects. Thanks Karen!

  31. chrysanthi says:

    ha!ha!!!that’s my way of avoiding reading for my studies!!!ok!i guess fixing the door is not that interesting than waiting for spring to come!neither reading…believe me!(i hope you understand my horrible english…)

  32. aimee says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, and it is *especially* wonderful to see that there are other people than myself who can take such a …hmmm…circuitous route!


  33. Diana says:

    How long did it take you to perfect the Design*Sponge doorstop? I tried making it. My highly-skilled and very focused mother tried making it…all attempts came out completely wonky. Damn the monkey’s fist knot!!!!

    • Karen says:

      Diana – Oh dear. Well … it really only took a couple of shots. Mainly to get practiced at tightening the knot. That’s the most important part of it. I just watched the video and tutorial they provided and did it. Try it again. It really can be done! It’ll look stupid until you start tightening it. And you have to go through the tightening process 3 or 4 times before the knot is completely perfect! ~ karen

  34. Melanie says:

    Yup yup- see?! Cheeky/Interesting as always. Melanie (aka favourgirls on twitter)

  35. Courtney says:

    I noticed the rope knot hanging from the door knob. Is that purely decorative or a cat toy? Either way I like it a lot!

  36. Love your cat – nice to have a buddy when doing these tasks even if he creates the odd mess to clean up.

  37. michelle says:

    Love that top. Where did you get it? Oh and, the post too, loved it too. Very funny. And the top.

  38. Farquist says:

    Karen –
    Sadly, I don’t own a screen door and my Christmas stuff gets turfed on Boxing day.
    Can you give a review of the cheese you were snacking on? I have recently been seen loitering at the cheese display trying to decide if it would be worth my $6.00 and if so, which flavour I would enjoy.

  39. Jacque says:

    I just wanted to say that if you really had the time to do all of that then you wou… oh look… a birdy on my fence!

  40. Hi Karen,

    Your snack looks really interesting, what is it?


  41. Pam'a says:

    I immediately recalled your tulip post (one of my personal favorites)! I could have written either of these posts. Actually, no– but I have LIVED them.

    Does it get worse for you in the spring like it does for me?

  42. kim says:

    Now I need to go back and see how many times you are wearing those shoes!! I was really hoping to get to bed early@@

  43. kim says:

    Hey Karen, I went to the link to see how to cut flowers in such a short time and I noticed that you are wearing the same shoes in both posts!!! Surely you get paid enough to buy new shoes!!!!??? Or do you have several pairs of the same shoes???

    • Karen says:

      Kim – I’m horribly embarrassed to have been seen wearing a pair of shoes twice. I thought for SURE I’d thrown those shoes out after I wore them that one time. Apparently I only thought I did. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go throw out that winter coat I wore once. Phew. Thanks for reminding me! Potential embarrassing disaster averted! ~ karen

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