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Photo by Yunhee Kim (spandrel and brackets)

Nothing says summer like the slap of a wood screen door. But old-fashioned appeal can come at a price. Get the lovely vintage look, left, for less by dressing up a simple home-center door, like the Petguard Series Wood Century Screen Door (about $50; for stores), with stock wood details.

Using wood glue and finishing nails, add a spandrel across the bottom third and brackets in the resulting eight corners (about $14 per foot and $19 each, respectively;

If details stand proud of the frame, bridge the pieces with thin strips of molding all the way around.

Paint the assembly to hide the piecework—and perk up your comings and goings.