How to Replace a Window Screen

Window screens get damaged all the time. They often get cut or punctured, and over time they will wear out and tear. In addition, the frame could be damaged if something hits the window or if a bad storm blows the screen off the window. Fortunately, replacing a window screen is an easy and inexpensive process that anyone can do.

When replacing a screen, the first thing to determine is if the frame itself is damaged. Unfortunately, fixing anything more than small dents or bends is hard to do at home. If the frame can’t sit flush within the channels of the window it will need to be replaced. Most of the time the frame will be fine and only the screen will need to be replaced. There are a couple of choices for screen material, including sun shading material that can help cut down on glare and reduce heating costs. In addition to new screen material, this project requires a spool of spline, a screen rolling tool, an awl, a utility knife, and a work surface and wood blocks.

Start by using the awl to pull out the old spine, the cord going around the edge that holds the screen in the frame. Place the screen on the work surface and secure a wood block to the inside edge of the long edges to prevent the frame from bowing inward. Lay the screen material over the frame and trim so an inch is overlapping on each side. Use the rolling tool to push the spline into the groove in the frame, starting at a corner. Continue working around the edge until the spline goes all the way around. Pay attention to any bulges or wrinkles. Small ones should work themselves out as the tension evens out, but large wrinkles mean it’s time to pull the spline back and start again. Don’t make the screen too tight or too lose. Many professionals will place a heavy object, such as a brick, on the screen material after doing the first two sides to get the correct tension. When done, the screen should be tight, but not pull the edges of the frame in, which will only get worse over time.

New window screens will help keep bugs out of the home and work to shade the inside of the house. Replacing a screen is an easy repair that anyone can make, it is inexpensive, and the whole house can be redone in a day.

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