Have worn out window screens? Learn how to DIY replacement window screens with frames yourself with price efficient screen and a simple kit!
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. But I kept the tools just in case.
Years later, I stared at two house window screens that were damaged and thought… “I think I have a kit to actually fix this!”
After much digging (and purging to find it again), I found I had everything I needed to replace one screen was there. So I couldn’t wait to start!
And know what? Fixing window screens was way easier than I could have imagined. So easy in fact that I kicked myself for staring through torn screens for years while I could have had this fixed in a short afternoon!
Screens can get weathered from the sun’s heat, pet claw pulls or punctures. They can also fade and covered with dirt so they don’t look their best.
Brand new window screens are easy to replace, making your windows look so much fresher and your outdoor views much brighter, not to mention, keeping small insects outdoors where they belong!
I’ve since fixed and DIYed many more screens after this, so I know first hand, try this once, and you’ll be a screen fixin’ machine yourself!
You do not need to spend big dollars on custom screens this round. This is a low cost DIY any homeowners can easily do.
Ready for a much prettier view outdoors? You will be after you try fixing a few screens of your own, using the best material you can actually choose, at a super affordable price!
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DIY replacement window screens with frames
This tutorial shares how to replace window screen material from existing metal window frames in good shape.
All the same steps also apply to assembled sliding screen doors, just on a larger scale.
Supplies you’ll need:
You can purchase a full window screen kit HERE, or supplies separately through an online store or a local checkout such as Home Depot.
Window screen replacement material (there are various types on the market)
Window screen frame (IF yours needs replacing)
Need new screen frames too?
Various types of frames for slider windows and otherwise can be purchased as kits or ordered professionally made, depending on your type of window.
Removing the spline
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 with a screwdriver, and pull it out.
You can reuse the spline if it’s in good shape, or replace it with a new one if it isn’t.
About screen materials
Standard window screens 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!
Having a better understanding of the types of screens available will also help you decide which screen suits your home best! For example, when I tried pet screen for the first time, while pricier, my cats no longer climbed it, and when they tried, they didn’t like it! Money well spent!
There’s aluminum screen mesh, fiberglass mesh, pet screen, 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 each type of screen is best suited for.
Replacing the screen
2. Position new screen over frame, ensuring the screen material covers inside of the window frame, and overlaps on all 4 sides by a couple of inches.
You don’t need a super accurate measurement. I simply positioned the new screen on top, then cut the screen to the rough desired shape with scissors.
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 as you work, but not so tight that you bend the frame out of shape.
Trimming the screen
Window screen mesh is very thin and easy to cut.
The replaced screen
Then be absolutely positively amazed that your vinyl windows looks brand new and you did this yourself!
Is there anything better than DIY replacement window screens?! I think not! The view just got a whole lot better outside and your entire window will appear fresh and new again!
And all it took you was a few minutes.
I immediately placed this screen in the guest room window and it looks as good as new! LONG overdue.
Which led to other amazing screen projects also long overdue…
I also wished to screen this two-handled window in my photo studio.
After this DIY replacement window screens tutorial, I felt confident to tackle this tricky window screen as well, frame and all!
So I created a wood framed screen on screen door hinges HERE that worked out beautifully!
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 screen like I did on my front door screen door HERE 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?
Other screen projects to DIY yourself: