I have an old (c. 1950) wooden screen door that I need to remove so that I can replace the screen. I think it's probably made by Pella (The original owner of the house was an executive for Pella) but it has no markings or ID plates, etc.

The rollers don't seem to retract into the frame at all. There are screws in the corners of the door. I thought that if I loosened them that the rollers would retract, but apparently, those screws are holding the wooden door together.

There don't seem to be any screws in the top runner channel other than one that anchors a spring which closes the door. There doesn't seem to be any other screws holding the top channel in. Even if there were screws in the top channel, there's no room to slide it off to either side anyways.

I can't figure out how to get the door frame out of the track. I tried contacting Pella directly, but...no love.

Here's some pix:

enter image description here This is the top corner of the leading edge of the door. Shows a screw hole behind weatherstrip and the spring mentioned that pulls the door closed...bottom corner is similar. No spring at bottom.

enter image description here This is the top corner of the trailing edge of the door. (Bottom is identical.) Shows the track at the top and one of the screws which I thought was to move the rollers, but turns out it's structural and holding the door frame together.

enter image description here Here's a shot of the interior handle/latch. Perhaps would help to identify the manufacturer or something.....

Any suggestions?

  • 2
    A picture or two would help. Aug 13, 2019 at 3:27
  • Doesn't seem to want to let me upload pictures...maybe images are too large. I'll try another way....
    – gnicko
    Aug 13, 2019 at 12:05
  • I agree a photo would be helpful at first I was thinking a swing open type door then the description of rollers a slider? Then a spring close so back to swing.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 13, 2019 at 14:44
  • @EdBeal - Yes, it's a sliding door.
    – gnicko
    Aug 13, 2019 at 15:57

2 Answers 2


I have repaired a few screen sliders in the past several you just lifted the screen to the top and pull out at the bottom to remove. My current house the slider takes 2 people to remove lifting the screen the wheels do not clear the track a 2nd person is needed with a screwdriver to lift the wheels pull that side out then the other as they are spring loaded. This is the only way I have found to remove this slider so I could replace the screen. Make sure when you put the new screen in the door is square or it won’t seal properly. I usually measure diagonally corner to corner and make sure they are the same, I made that mistake in my youth and I had to get another screen.

  • Thanks, Ed. The door does not lift more than about a millimeter or so, and the wheels do not appear to be spring loaded. They don't move/retract at all either. Just to make sure, I'll get a buddy and try again, but it was all pretty immobile for me. Thanks for the tip on squareness.
    – gnicko
    Aug 13, 2019 at 16:23

If the door can't be lifted to allow the bottom of the door to clear the lower track, then an entire track will have to be removed. (Or the moving door will have to be disassembled in place.)

You mention that the upper track has no removable screws. Does the bottom track? If neither track is removable, you may need to remove the finish trim surrounding the lower (or maybe upper) track to see if there's a hidden bracket beneath that holds the track in place.

If one (or both) of the tracks does not run the entire span but comes in two parts (half for the fixed pane and half for the moving pane, with a split in the track between the two, probably at the center of the top track), it's possible that one of these half tracks can be removed. Maybe you can detach the bumper that prevents the moving door from opening fully, allowing it to open just a little farther and its half track to be removed.

If neither track can be removed, then the door had to be assembled inside the tracks after they were installed. This seems weird, since it'd be difficult to keep the door square within the cavity or install the tracks to be straight and parallel. But on a screen door, this is a possibility. As such, the screen had to be installed after the moving door went in.

  • Thanks, @randy. Got the son-in-law to give me a hand. We were going to take off the top moulding and pull the upper track out (it's one piece) but a small temper tantrum later we were able to bend the long sides of the screen frame enough to pull the door out of the tracks. Getting it back in was a treat, too.
    – gnicko
    Aug 13, 2019 at 23:27
  • Actually, I considered trying to install the screen in place ...for about a minute. When I think things like that, it forces me to consider that maybe I shouldn't be around tools without adult supervision...
    – gnicko
    Aug 13, 2019 at 23:37

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