My Screened Doors are Ready and I’m Sharing the Exact Cost

Welcome to the 606th Metamorphosis Monday!

I definitely had a case of sticker shock when I saw the bill for my new screened doors. Maybe I should call it invoice shock instead of sticker shock. In any case, it took my breath away! lol

A few months ago I shared the damage that was done to the doors on my screened porch last winter when some very bad mice (or was it rats?) decided to take up residence in the grill on one of my decks.

Screen door damaged by a mouse


To reach the grill, they chewed through both of the inexpensive wood doors on the porch. They chewed through the door that goes from the porch to the deck with stairs that leads down to the yard. Once on the porch, they chewed through the other door that leads out to the deck with the grill. I’ve since given the grill away to a friend since I so rarely used it. With the grill temptation gone, I’m hoping I don’t have that issue ever again.

Mouse damage to screened door


You may remember that I ordered two new screened doors from a company in Maine called the Wooden Screened Door Company. They handmake all their doors from scratch and they are stunning!


Many of their designs are nautical or hunting/fishing/camping motifs. I LOVE them all!


After agonizing over the door design and the motif I wanted for the door, I went with the door layout/design you see below, only I didn’t go with the kitty motif.

Screened Door, Cat Silhouette Design


I love cats so much, but I was afraid if I went with the kitty design, it would be a constant reminder of sweet Max.  I still miss him so much!


It still hurts just to see photos of him so I didn’t want a constant reminder each time I was on the porch, one of his favorite spots to nap and birdwatch.


What motifs did I choose? I went with a dragonfly for one door…

Screened Door, Dragonfly Cutout Design


…and this whimsical moon with stars for the other one. Porches are wonderful places to enjoy moonlit evenings and for stargazing.

Screened Door with Moon and Stars Cutout Design


I received an email last Friday that my doors were ready and would be shipping out that same day, arriving this week. Yikes! I didn’t want my house sitter to have to deal with trying to get those inside the house so I immediately called and asked if the delivery could be postponed.

I have to say, I gasped when I saw the final cost for the doors. I knew the cost of the doors themselves and had a general idea what the hardware and shipping cost would be, but I hadn’t realized there was also a crating cost in addition to the shipping cost. I hadn’t realized they were coming with pneumatic closures. The total was definitely a surprise. It’s really my fault that I didn’t ask for a full invoice in advance.

Here’s the invoice in case you would like to see the exact cost for two custom, handmade screened doors, the solid brass hardware that will be used to hang them-including the knobs, the fee to prime them, and the crating/shipping costs. (Update: Just noticed the invoice is dated for when I first ordered them, but they never emailed that over to me back then. I don’t think the owner realized it was never emailed because he mentioned something about it during our recent conversation.)

If you only have one screen door on your porch or home, your cost would be about half this, even less if you live in Maine and can pick your door up in person. The cost included pneumatic door closures. I’ve never used those on my screened doors in the past because I hate fighting a screened door when I’m trying to carrying something inside or out. Not sure if I’ll have those installed.

Cost for two custom screened doors

Anytime I make a sizable purchase for my home, I find myself mentally categorizing it into one of two categories: Category A: Stays with the house when I move (so the next homeowner benefits in the long term) OR Category B: Goes with me when I downsize/move one day, so I get to enjoy it forever.

I didn’t use to do this when I first moved into my home 30 years ago, categorize upgrades into “Enjoy forever vs Stays with the house,” but now that I’m older and unsure when I’ll someday move, I find myself more aware of upgrade/renovation costs and if they add value to my home that can hopefully be recouped in the future. Of course, bathrooms and kitchens are where you usually see your biggest return on renovation dollars.

Unfortunately, the new doors fall into Category A. I’m sure the next owners of my home will love them, but I know I won’t be able to increase the asking price of my home by $2,000 when I go to sell one day.

Do I regret purchasing these doors and not going with cheaper, poorly-made doors from the big hardware stores, doors that usually go for around $300 each, including installation? If these doors last forever and I never have to replace them again, the cost will definitely have been worth it. I know I’ll enjoy them every day I see them here on the porch.


I’ll let you know when the doors arrive. I still have the installation cost to go because I need to find someone I trust to install them. They are already primed and will get painted when the front porch gets painted this fall.

Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

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Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Franki Parde says

    Oh…….I almost fainted!! Well, they truly are beautiful doors…wowzer…cost a pretty piece, too!! EnJOY!! franki

  2. Wow! That’s some cost but do what it do when I want to justify the cost of an
    LV purse – divide the cost over the years of usefulness. I’m sure they’ll look wonderful.

    Maybe the pneumatic things can be inactivated when necessary.
    PS I am getting twitch to travel so contacted a mileage redemption service to see if I can swap my miles for a couple weeks in the UK Next summer in Business Class. Cross your fingers for me!

    • lol I better live here a few more years, then! 😉
      The owner of the company told me that the tension can be adjusted, but I think I’ll just leave them off. That sounds wonderful! By then we should all be able to travel again.

  3. Fingers crossed that they don’t get damaged during shipping. They look like beautiful doors. We have the closures on our screened door. I like it because then I don’t have to listen to a screened door slamming every time I go in and out.

    • What kind of closures are they, Pam? I don’t like that slamming sound either.

      • Take heart…enjoy your doors ! We had a similar door made, similar specs, for a reno in ’06 to our vacation home and the total was $1,500. The only additional item was a glass panel for winter use. The door has held up beautufully. The brass hardware is slightly pitted (not a surprise since we are near salt water),and the screening material has been replaced twice (normal wear and tear issues). We had sticker shock at first, but have enjoyed the look since the beginning. You will not regret your decision.

  4. Wow!! Yes they do cost quite a bit, but your porch is so lovely and very deserving of a special door. I really think you will enjoy them. Looking forward to seeing them installed.

  5. with all of the woodworking shops I would think in your area couldn’t you of just taken a picture to one of them and asked for a estimate and that might of even included installing them but then no shipping and handling charges. My husband is a custom woodworker and he gets pictures all the time from people who want things made. That being said you can’t beat assembly line items …they are by far much cheaper than custom made. I think you’ll love the doors and enjoy them every time you look at them and then the price will be erased from your mind or at least I hope so. I am getting ready to redo my kitchen from floor to ceiling and it’s a job but I think when it gets done I’ll say okay it was pricey but I love it and that’s what counts for me anyway. I really thought those doors would be around 1500.00 each so just think it would of been worse. Please enjoy your doors you earned it. rls

    • I did check with several companies and contractors and they had no ideas. One recommended I contact Home Depot and have them order from their “book” saying those screened doors were much better than the ones that you find in store. I called Home Depot and they told me they no longer order doors, that all they sell is what they have in stock. I called a couple of local hardware/lumber companies and they were of no help. If there’s a local company out there making quality screened doors from scratch, I wasn’t able to find them.
      Thanks! Looking forward to seeing them in place. 🙂

  6. Beautiful doors Susan. For that money I’m sure they will be amazing. These days my mantra is “if I don’t spend my money the kid(s) will.” Also, I bet you have saved that much in expenses since we’ve been in Covid-19 lock down! Life is short…buy what makes you happy. XXOO

  7. I guess I’m nuts, but I love the sound of a wooden screen door slamming shut. It reminds me of summer when I was a kid.

  8. Jean from Georgia says

    I love the sound of a porch door closing. It reminds me of the screened doors at my grandmother’s home and that is a memory I will always cherish. Sometimes I get a bit “carried away” in what I think I want versus what I really need. How long did your big box store doors last you? Mine have been around for over 20 years with a little painting here and there. Good luck in the shipping,

    • That’s awesome that your door has held up so well. Have you ever had any issues with it dragging on the floor? I don’t have any memories like that since my last grandparent died when I was around 3. I’d really rather not hear a slamming door, if possible but mostly I just don’t like anything trying to close on me before I’m ready. lol
      The original inexpensive doors didn’t last a year before they began dragging. I had to sorta lift up the door each time I opened it. Various contractors have told me that’s a common problem with screen doors bought in the big box hardware stores. My original doors came from Lowes. I replaced one when it started separating at the bottom…that was after about 5 years of use…so they didn’t last very long. I hope these will not drag. I’ve been told they will not since they are much better constructed.

      • Susan, fyi, there is a device called a turnbuckle that can help keep your doors from sagging and dragging (if only there was such a thing for us girls! ;o) ) haha, anyway, you might want to ask your installer about it. It’s a thin metal rod that fits diagonally across the bottom of your door and you can adjust it to get the height on the door that you want.

  9. The money you saved from not traveling this year can be applied to the extra surprise charges.

  10. Shipping charges have gotten horrendous! Especially if it’s coming from the ends of the earth (West Coast or Maine) :o)
    Or maybe I’m just noticing them more because I’m staying home and ordering more items that have to be shipped. Maybe they’ve been horrendous all along!?

  11. Mary from Virginia says

    I think they are going to be wonderful and a maintenance free addition. As they say “buy the best and you only cry once.” AND you’ll have another porch where ever you go so these do not convey with the house. I love them!

    • Thanks, Mary! I love that saying! lol I thought about that, buying a couple of regular screened doors prior to moving and taking ’em with me. 🙂


        • My son does have a screened porch but not sure they would fit his door opening. He lives in an older home so I think the screened door on his porch is original to the porch.
          Thanks, Nita…looking forward to sharing them installed sometimes in the next few weeks.

  12. Well, you did save on sales tax, there’s that to soften the blow! What would kill me would be if the varmints came round again. You’ve never had any problems with your furniture and accessories so it seems unlikely with the grill gone. Having said all the if’s, the doors are very special and you enjoy your porch so much they will be a wonderful addition. Ten years from now the initial cost will be a blur. I do have the pneumatic door closures on both of our metal screen doors; keeps the door from getting away from you when you go in and out. Can’t wait to see the crate they come in and how they look when installed!

    • I know, can you just imagine the crate they must come in? I guess it will be slightly bigger than the doors. I hope they make it in one piece. I think this company ships a lot so they probably have a great system for packaging them up.
      I thought about that, too…would be so upset it these get chewed into. I had the porch for 11 years before that happened, so hopefully, it never happens again. Thanks, Kathleen!

  13. Actually, for a custom door, primed, with quality hardware, I thought the cost was appropriate. And once it’s installed and you start enjoying your investment, you’ll find yourself quoting John Keats (“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”). Looking forward to when you share the pictures!

  14. Those screen doors will be beautiful. They are pricey but I bet they will be gorgeous and you won’t be disappointed. Think of all the use you will get out of them. I completely understand how every items adds up! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Elizabeth Keating says

    Hi Susan. I have been meaning to write, but as usual life got in the way. I wanted to Thank You for responding to my question about your darling little votive holders that you had purchased at the Dollar Store. Unfortunately I wasn’t as lucky as you in finding them. About you gorgeous screen doors, I actually found them to be reasonably priced due by their provenance..they are uniquely yours with your personality and style. They will look ABSOLUTELY wonderful…whimsy with a purpose and perfect in your porch…with the pneumatic closing as an added bonus, you can’t go wrong!! I can’t wait to see the installed finish product, I also hope the installation will go smoothly for you. Funny how woman are, I never blink when spending money on a bottle of perfume that cost over $300.00 but cringe when buying a toaster oven that costs $180.00…go figure.

  16. Chris Bannard says

    Custom has a price tag but it also should ensure a quality that lasts and withstands life. The crating charge is a positive because you have peace of mind that it will be shipped (and arrive) in good condition. The photos look wonderful and I expect they will be a great addition to your screen porch. Looking forward to seeing the final installation!

  17. Deb Herfindal says

    I love them and think they are totally worth the price that you paid. I look forward to seeing them installed!

  18. Linda in NJ says

    Custom quality has its price, but I’m sure they’ll be well worth it, especially since you were able to customize them to your taste. I think we get used to seeing the prices of items manufactured elsewhere where workers are minimally paid, but then the quality wouldn’t hold a candle to what you’ll have, either. Enjoy them, and if you move, take them with you!

  19. Bobbi Duncan says

    Hi, Susan. I’m in love w/ your doors! As doors come in standard sizes for interior and exterior applications, you should be able to take them to your forever cottage where they will look adorable as well. Isn’t it amazing how all those items add up? I believe I mentioned that I’ve seen doors like this on some Adirondack cabins in upstate NY…instant love, and they really add that something extra that sets a home apart. On a side note, we had a washer malfunction last week whereby the water continued to fill rather than shut off at it’s normal pre-set level, causing the door to pop open and flood half of our second floor and some damage to ceilings on the first floor & garage as well, so it’s been interesting around here. Of course, this would happen just as we’re working on the house to sell it (arg!). No more second floor laundry room for me after this house–even thinking I may have it in the garage where the floor slopes. The remediation co. installed these amazing floor mats that suck the moisture out of your floorboards & sub-floor, but they’ll still require refinishing. Think I’m ready to move to an RV & travel. lol! Hugs!

    • Thanks so much, Bobbi! If the company is no longer in business at that time, I would def be tempted to take them with me. Yes! I was def surprised how fast it all added up but I’d rather let them supply the brass hardware parts than have to hunt those all down. Hopefully, the quality will be equal to Baldwin Brass’s Lifetime brass. The BB that I have on all my exterior doors has really held up beautifully. They all still look new.
      OH MY GOSH! I have never thought of a washer doing that so appreciate you sharing about that! I’ve always wanted a second-floor laundry but this is def making me change my mind. I know what you mean. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not better to just rent and never have to worry about repairs. lol I love RV idea! 🙂

  20. Brenda Lawrence says

    That is a definite sticker/invoice shock Susan! But I think in the long run, it will be worth it. First off, these are hand crafted so more of an art along with function. Handcrafted pieces last longer or should because they are better made and not just slapped together. And they are just plain gorgeous. Can’t wait to see them installed in your home! I could never afford them, so will live through you. lol Hugs, Brenda

    • It was, but I’m sure they’ll be worth it. That’s so true, they really are art in that respect. I would love to visit Maine and see the shop where they are built.
      Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!

  21. Linda Practical Parsimony says

    Southern Accents in Cullman, AL can do quality work or can tell you who to get in your area. They are only two hours from you. Ask for Garland. Take those with you! Look at their website.

  22. Linda Practical Parsimony says

    You will like the pneumatic closers. If you don’t use those, you will need one of the springs to make sure the door closes. Do you really want a spring?

    • Actually, I don’t want anything on it. I don’t have anything on my current doors and I’ve never had a problem. The owner of the shop said the pressure can be adjusted, so I’ll take a look at them, but I’d really prefer to not have anything on the door.

  23. With the cost of the two doors, I would think the butler would also be included to open them!

  24. Love, love those doors!! They look fabulous and expensive!! Way better than “big box” store ones!! When you go to sell your home- it is obvious to the buyer that you selected quality items for your house!! And you get to enjoy them for however long you live there!! I am doing a bathroom Reno and have to remind myself as well!!

    • Thanks, Anne! Yes, leagues better than anything I’ve seen in the big box hardware stores. I do hope the next owners will love them, too…if I don’t take them with me. 😉

  25. The door are beautiful and you will thoroughly enjoy them! Can’t wait to see them installed. Happy Labor Day.

    XO- MaryJo

  26. Worth every penny and much better than certain purses I know someone buys. : – P

    Love them – ya done good – no remorse. This year has been crappy enough.
    You can’t travel much, can’t go shopping much, can’t eat out much – these doors worth every penny, as you are. ♥

    • lol Now who could you be talking about? Hey, purses are forever, as long as you take care of them AND they def go with you when you move. 🙂
      Awww, thanks Michele! ♥

  27. Going down the list, look how much you saved not paying the sales tax !
    Sometimes we arrive at an age where we want what we want.
    I thought of you the other day when I was listening to Clark Howard or Kim Komando on the radio. I think you said you use plug in’s. There is a problem with Word Press plug in’s. Hope that’s not what you use.

    • I noticed that…tax would have been pretty high, for sure. That probably paid for the shipping alone.
      Oh, I love listening to both of them! I haven’t in a while because I’m not in the car all the time like I used to be.
      Unfortunately, all blogs have to use some WordPress Plugins, otherwise the blogs would barely function. The good plugins are regularly updated so they don’t have vulnerabilities that can be exploited, but even then, bad things can happen. Last year, I had a plugin break my blog for around two full days. I’ve learned over the years that when the blog isn’t working properly, it’s almost always the fault of a plugin.
      Thanks for that heads up, Myrna! I’ll see if I can more info about that on their websites.

  28. Thanks so much for taking the time to host each week!!
    It is greatly appreciated!!
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!

  29. They will serve you well! It is reality that sometimes our only reward for a quality, high dollar purchase is in the joy of having lived with a thing of beauty that is functional and efficient. We don’t always recoup what we paid, except in daily appreciation of using or seeing something we love each and every day.

    Having said that, you could just repeat the old adage, “buy cheap, buy twice!” LOL

  30. Thank you so much for hosting! This week I am excited to share how to make an easy homemade tic tac toe board and my end of the summer tablescape! Hope you are having a great week!

  31. Tina W Reynolds says

    Dear Susan, I am catching up on your posts and finally read about your doors. They are the “real deal” and will be top quality, I’m sure. While reading I couldn’t help but remember the wonderful old Cary Grant movie called “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse”. It is all about how costs can run away! I think the movie is tremendously funny and if you’ve never seen it, try to locate it somewhere. The laughing will do you good!T We’ve all had experiences like your doors or Mr. Blandings dream house. I live in a home that was built in 1886 and it seems like everything is just epic! So many things need to be repaired at the present time, but, suffice it to say, I would need to play and win a big lottery!

  32. Mary L Butterworth says

    enjoy your doors. They are custom purchases, and the crating and shipping fees were a fair,standard price.

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