How To Replace a Window Screen – “How-To Tuesdays”

by Rachel Laurendeau on March 19, 2013

Welcome back to “How-To Tuesdays”. Today’s DIY project: replacing a channel-frame window screen.

You may not be ready for window replacements yet but you can certainly address holes and tears in window screens as they can be unsightly and let in the bugs that you’re trying to keep out. If your screen has only small holes, you can buy a simple patch kit from a home improvement store. Small holes in metal screens can be filled with epoxy while those in fiberglass of nylon screen can be filled using instant adhesive.

However, if the screen has more than tiny holes, follow these simple steps  for window screen replacement around your home.

Step 1. Remove the old screen using a small flat-headed screwdriver to pry up the spline (the stiff plastic cord that is wedged into the groove of the frame) and then pull out the entire spline. It is easier to do and less likely to bend the frame if you hold the frame against a hard flat surface while you do this. When you’re done, clean the channel and the frame so that it is free of dirt and dust.

Step 2. Take a piece of the spline to the home improvement store so that you can buy replacement spline of exactly the same diameter. You’ll also need to buy a roll of window screen material and a spline roller while you’re there.

Step 3. Lay the frame with the channel side up on your work surface. Unroll the screen and cut it so it is overlapping the frame by about an inch on all sides. You can use a utility knife or scissors for this.

Step 4. Unroll the spline and cut a piece for each side of the frame, slightly longer than the channel.

Step 5. Center the screen on the frame, place the longest piece of spline on top of the screen and, starting in the corner, press the spline and screen into the channel using the spline roller. Keep pulling the screen tight as you work your way up the channel.

Step 6. Cut the spline to the exact length and push in the corners with the flat-headed screwdriver if your roller can’t reach.

Step 7. Pull the screen nice and tight to avoid wrinkles or loose screens and repeat the same process on the opposite side. When that’s done, you can do sides three and four. (Important note: if you have any wrinkles or if the screen is too tight or too loose, you can simply pull out the spline and start fresh.)

Step 8. Using a sharp blade on your utility knife, cut away the excess screen, being careful not to damage the frame or the new screen.

Do you have too many window screens needing repairs and need someone else to tackle these home improvements for you? Or perhaps you need help with new window installation? If that’s the case, then get in touch with your local window experts and have a pro do it for you.

References: Lowe’s Creative Ideas and Martha Stewart

Related post: Broken Window Repair

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