Once upon a time, I purchased a travel trailer from a friend. Included in the deal were lots of new-to-me supplies. I certainly had a learning curve in front of me!
Also included were window screen repair tools. I had never replaced a window screen before, however it felt smart to stock it anyway!
I was fortunate enough to not have to need these supplies the entire time I owned the trailer so I never had the chance to play with them. When the trailer was sold, I salvaged the supplies I desired to keep, scattering them around the house, including this kit.
Years later, I stared at a house window screen that was damaged and thought… “I have the goods to actually fix this!” But you think I could find the tools? Nope!
One shopping trip, I considered stocking up on new supplies for this. Grasping them in my hands, I told myself, “NO! You have this! Look for it…HARDER.” Gulp. This could take awhile.
Then another screen crumbled and died. Two down! I suffered years looking at the busted out screens but could not. find. that. kit!
But one deep DEEEEEP purge day, there they were, all rolled up in amongst some other stuff I never use. YES! YES YESSSSS!
Everything I needed to replace one screen was there. So I couldn’t wait to start!
I’ve long since found that my local hardware store carries bulk screen on a big roll, so I can cut what I need! SO COOL. I think I have a new hobby.
Since this was new to me, I felt it may be also new to you. So I hereby share, how to replace window screens! Which will likely having you run to the store for a kit of your own…
How to replace window screens yourself
I’m going to be sharing how to replace the screen on existing frames that are still in decent shape.
If your screen frames are damaged, you can purchase fully made entire new screens, or frames you can custom build yourself. I’d price it out to see which is your better option.
Supplies you’ll need:
(this post contains some affiliate links)
Window screen material (there are various types on the market)
Window screen frame (IF yours needs replacing)
Spline (a foam rope type thing)
Screen roller tool
1. Remove the old spline to release the old screen.
A screen spline is a long foamy rope thing that holds the screen in place. Since it isn’t glued in, it’s effortless to remove.
Find where the spline starts and stops, dig into the corner, and pull it out.
You can reuse it if it’s in good shape, or replace it with a new one if it isn’t.
About screen materials
Window or door screen material is either sold by kit, as a roll or cut to suit. I got mine from a bulk roll at my local hardware store. I simply cut and purchased the exact size I needed. Very cool!
You can get a little fancier than standard screens too if you wish. There’s aluminum, fibreglass, pet-resistant, extra fine, and more. I just went with the standard and most price-efficient fibreglass for my needs.
HERE is an excellent website that explains the different screen types and what they do.
2. Position new screen over frame, ensuring overlap on all 4 sides by a few inches.
I roughly positioned the new screen on top, then cut the screen to the rough desired shape.
3. Holding the screen in place, insert the screen roller into one window groove with the sharp (convex) side, and roll the screen roller tool to create a crease in the screen.
4. Position the spline along the the groove, then push it down into the grove using the groove (concave) side of the screen roller.
5. Complete one side at a time, ensuring the screen is aligned and taut.
6. Trim the screen by running an exacto knife against the screen frame along the outer edge of the spline.
Then be absolutely positively amazed that your window screen looks brand new and you did this yourself!
I immediately placed this screen in the guest room window and it looks as good as new, just like the rest of the room! LONG overdue.
Next up, I plan to attempt to build a screen from scratch to incorporate two handles in my photo studio… (this will be a challenge…)
And plan to revamp my DIY screen doors on the french doors upstairs… knowing I now can! But this time, with the anti-pet climbing stuff so they can’t ruin it…
Look out windows, I’m coming for all of you now…
Have you changed out your window screens? Think you’ll try?