For many homeowners, a garage is not just housing for a vehicle. It can be a workshop, pantry, storage area or place to grill steaks during a summer storm. However, an open garage door, a necessity for ventilation and natural light, also admits bugs, rain and dust. Garage door screens hold the elements at bay and come in a variety of colors. They are bulky but simple to make, using a sewing machine capable of heavy canvas work, patience and an occasional helping hand.
Things You'll Need
- Heavy mosquito mesh 150/546 denier or similar
- 2-inch heavy duty self-adhesive fastener tape
- Waterproof construction adhesive
- Staple gun, screwdriver or hammer
- Heavy duty staples, wood screws or flat-head nails
- 4-inch canvas binding
- Sewing machine
- Sail-maker's needles and thread
- Grommet kit and hooks
- Marine snap kit and Allen wrench
Measure the height and width of your garage opening carefully, and add 4 inches to both dimensions. The extra cloth allows trimming or folding over while binding. A two-car garage might require 18.3 feet by 7.3 feet of netting and 50 feet of binding.
Apply 2-inch canvas binding (4 inches, turned and folded) around the three edges -- the top and both sides -- of the mosquito cloth. Push the binding in so the edge of the mosquito cloth rests in the fold of the binding, and sew the binding along the edges, finishing the corners on either bottom side.
Add the bottom binding, leaving it open at either end so a piece of conduit can be pushed in to provide weight to the bottom.
Sew loop-side strips of heavy duty self-adhesive fastener tape along the top and sides on one side of the binding. Make three passes on 2-inch tape. Choose “indoor-outdoor” or “industrial-strength” tape. An 18-by-7-foot opening would require about 34 feet of tape.
Draw a mounting line around the door frame. Ideally, the mounting line should run around the inside of the door frame. It could also run around the outside door molding. Both methods allow door closure. If enough clearance exists to roll the screen up before dropping the garage door, you might choose to mount the screen to the inside of the door.
Glue the hook-side strip of the heavy duty self-adhesive fastener tape along the mounting lines on the top and sides of the door frame with waterproof construction adhesive. Add staples or tacks to add strength along the top of the frame. Allow the glue to dry for a day before hanging your screen.
Open the garage door and hang the screen, starting at one corner. Ask an assistant to support the weight of the screen while you attach the overhead tape for several feet and the side for half of its length. Ask your assistant to shift to the center and pull the top tight before attaching the opposite corner and side.
Press the tape together along the center of the top, adjusting for gaps if necessary. Finish attaching the sides once the top is tight.
Tips & Warnings
- Choose black mesh because it allows visibility from inside, but appears opaque to the outside on a sunny day.
- Provide extra security for top mounts and in areas where heat might compromise the tape or adhesive or in places subject to strong wind by putting grommets in the canvas binding at the corners and every 8 inches. Screw small awning hooks into the frame to correspond.
- Marine snaps work along sides of garage screens. Apply the male side to canvas binding with a punch tool, which is included in sets. Screw the other side, which has a tack, into the door frame to match the screen as it hangs.
- Add fastening tape-tipped canvas strips to the top of your screen to allow you to roll it up when not in use.
- Wear eye protection when using grommet or marine snap punches and on any work above shoulder level.
- Do not attempt to contain pets or children with a garage screen.
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