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I'd like to install a screen door for accessing my deck. Currently I have French doors with one that is stationary and one that opens to the inside. Looking at the existing setup, it appears that there might(?) be a rail for attaching a screen door to? Is the ridge in this picture for a sliding screen door, and if not, what is it? It seems like it would impede me installing any sort of swinging or sliding screen if that's the case.

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I’d be careful screwing anything down through the threshold.

The “lip” (ridge as you call it) is for keeping wind blown rain from backing up to your interior swinging door.

An exterior swinging screen door would be difficult at best. You’ll need a screen door frame that is “L” shaped that will lap over the existing door frame. I doubt if you’ll find one that is the exact correct depth, so you’ll need to install furring stripes on the head and jambs. Sealing the head is usually with flashing, but maybe you could use glazing tape.

Likewise for sliding screen doors you’ll have similar installation problems.

My daughter just installed magnetic screens on her deck door and she (and her dogs) love it.

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You (or a pro) can easily install a pair of swinging screen doors for your exact situation. You need to specify the purpose and the doors will require an astragal and a special latch assembly. Go to a pro door shop.

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  • One of the doors is fixed, so I don't know that double doors would make sense – 2 Left Thumbs Jul 8 '18 at 23:35
  • Yes, the set-up includes provisions for one door to be latched into the closed position using flush bolts (in front of the "fixed" door), allowing the other (normally opened and closed) door to latch to it. It is not an uncommon setup for door specialists. – Jimmy Fix-it Jul 9 '18 at 1:41
  • I think a double door that opens in the middle would be a little odd given that there is a "pillar" in the middle. In the picture above, the door handle is on the left. How would a swinging door clear the lip on the threshold? – 2 Left Thumbs Jul 9 '18 at 2:15
  • @ 2 left Thumbs, this is the standard way to screen french doors, done a bunch myself. it's pretty simple: open swinging door inward to my right, now looking at closed screen door. Open swinging screen door outward to my right, now exit. There is nothing strange about it it is the normal way to do it. There may be other ways too. P.S. in the picture above, the door handle is on the right (left when viewed from inside), there is no way you could hang/hinge two doors from that "pillar", which is actually a wooden astragal. – Jimmy Fix-it Jul 10 '18 at 4:04
  • I think I need to take a picture of the whole door. When standing on the inside, the door handle is all the way on the right and the hinge in the middle. The left "door" is permanently closed and cannot open as there is no hinge or handle. So really it's effectively a single door with an identical looking "window" next to it – 2 Left Thumbs Jul 10 '18 at 5:31

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