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How to Replace Window Screens

When “fix broken window screens” appears on your “honey-do” list, you’ll only need a few simple tools. Your most important decision will involve selecting screen material. You can choose from aluminum, fiberglass, or polyester. When you’re learning how to replace window screens, you should also think about your goals. If you want clear views or to stop pet damage, shop for screens made for these purposes. In this article, the window experts at PJ Fitzpatrick share step by step instructions to help you through the process.

Steps for Window Screen Replacement

  1. Place the screen on a work table and pry old spline out of channels with flat-head screwdriver being careful not to bend frame channels.
  2. Pull off old screen.
  3. Tape the frame to the table for stability. Make sure that the frame still has the channel side facing up.
  4. Roll new screen over the frame.
  5. With scissors or utility knife, cut the screen so that it overlaps all frame channels by 1/2 inch on all four sides.
  6. Select spline that fits the channels. If using very heavy screen, then you’ll need spline one size smaller than channel.
  7. Start at any corner and push spline fully into channel with the screen tool. With heavy screen, you should run the screen tool along the channel first before adding spline.
  8. Keep screen material tight and smooth as you press spline.
  9. Use utility knife to trim excess screen along the frame by the outer edge of the spline channel.

Building New Screen Frames

Sometimes screen frames cannot be salvaged. As a result, you’ll need to build new ones.

  1. Measure the old frame and then subtract 1-1/2 inches from the height and width. (This creates room for the corners.)
  2. Mark measurements on frame pieces with a pencil.
  3. Carefully cut frame pieces with a hacksaw.
  4. Fit pieces together with screen corners.
  5. Add tension springs along the top of the frame.
  6. Follow the previous directions for how to replace window screens.

Tools & Materials

If you’re only replacing the screen, then you need:
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Heavy-duty tape
  • A Screen tool (Has narrow rollers on each end for pressing spline into frame channels)
  • Screen material
  • Screen spline
If you need to rebuild screen frames, then you also need:
  • New frame sections
  • Frame corners
  • Tension springs
  • Hacksaw
  • Pencil

If you’re pressed for time, the professionals at PJ Fitzpatrick know how to replace window screens quickly. No job is too big or small for us in the Delaware Valley. Contact us today for an estimate.

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