4 Easy Steps to a New Window Screen

A window screen is guaranteed to do two things: keep bugs out and rip. Whether it’s from the inevitable wear and tear of old age or a rip is caused by your cat clawing its way outside, a window screen can easily be replaced with just a few simple tools and basic know how. If just one window screen needs to be repaired, a screen repair company can charge upwards of $50 to come out for a five minute job. If you want to save on your screen repair job, own these basic tools, learn these tips and techniques and buy some screen for the ultimate in a painless and cheap window screen replacement project.

Step One: Removing the Spline

Around the perimeter of the window screen frame is a small channel or grove that holds the spline in place. Spline is a rubber or plastic tube shaped material that holds the screen tightly in place. It can be removed by using a small pair of needle nose pliers. Firmly grab the end of the spline from the corner of the frame and pull straight away from the screen. Holding the screen in place with your foot can really help the project run smoothly. Once all four corners of the window screen spline has been removed, pull out the old screen and set the spline and the old screen aside for now.

Step Two: Cutting the New Screen

This simple trick can ensure your new screen is carefully cut to the exact lengths so minimal waste is used. Unroll and layout the new screen onto freshly swept concrete slab. Place the old screen on top of the new screen with the red factory line aligning its side. Now make a three inch cut around the perimeter of the old screen. A long 2×4 or piece of plywood under the edge of the screen can help make an exact three inch mark around the screen. Discard the old screen.

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Step Three: Installing the Screen

Use the old spline to match up the correct diameter and shape of the previous spline in the old screen frame to ensure a correct retrofit. You’ll also need a spline wheel to install the screen successfully. Insert the screen into the frame and align the red factory line of the new screen to set into the center of the groove on the screen frame. Place the spline and wheel in one hand while using the other hand to direct the spline into the groove. Use the red line as a gauge to keep the longest side of the screen on the straight and narrow. Keep the screen square by using a framing square to keep the frame at a 45 degree angle.

Step Four: Last Three Spline Channels

Insert the opposite side of the screen in the same fashion as described in the previous step. The only difference is that you’ll need to prevent the screens from pulling tight. This may seem unnatural but it is necessary to prevent the screen frame from warping. Now install the two smaller spline pieces, pulling gently to slightly tighten the screen at the corners and remove any wrinkles or warps in the screen.