Build this easy DIY wood window screen for tricky windows!
.I’ve wanted a window screen on this goofy two-handled problem window for over 10 years. TEN YEARS.
This big, massive window is in my photo studio. It’s a room filled with lots of windows and little temperature control. So as you can imagine, I suffocate in the summer due to no window nor door screens, and have to leave everything closed to keep the indoor cats inside.
A window screen made from a kit was a consideration, but couldn’t find all the right parts for the two-handled window.
I really wasn’t even certain a screen could even be added to this type of plastic window frame. It’s really weird with no obvious way to hold a screen in place.
Then I picked up a rolling door screen from a big box hardware store, but it didn’t fit right and was made so poorly, I returned it.
My last attempt was to hire a window company see if they could make a custom window and door screen, but when they didn’t show up, forget it! I was done.
But everything changed once I made my first screen door for the front of the house. The added tools and new know-how suddenly opened up the possibility of building my own version of a wood window screen, door-style!
I had no idea if my little brainstorm would work, but here was my thought process…
The possible solution:
A window screen was desired for this two-handled window.
Since the entire window framing is plastic, I didn’t want to drill into that.
So what if I:
- added a strip of wood along the left side
- attach it to the window frame via pocket holes
- then create a wood frame window screen and hinge it to the board
- then paint it all out white?
I honestly thought it was worth a shot!
Giddy, I started within minutes!
As for the outcome? I’m writing this post for a reason! Not only did this quirky wood window screen idea work, I love the look and functionality of it WAY better than the purchased-type!
So first, I’m going to share how I made the wood frame window screen, then show how it functions in a video! Also included is a video on how to use a Kreg Jig.
If you also have a problematic window to screen, perhaps this idea will work for you too!
Here’s how I did it:
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DIY wood frame window screen, door-style
Supplies I used:
1 x 2 lumber cut to fit – for support board and window screen frame
Kreg Jig (I have the K4 model)
Building the support board:
1. Create a support board by cutting a 1″ x 2″ to the desired length. (to at least the height of your screen frame).
I decided to treat my support board as part of the window moulding, so I cut mine the entire height of the overall picture window, measuring 81″ long.
2. Add a few pocket holes along one side of the support board.
Pocket hole placement tip:
You have the ability to hide some pocket holes with the wood window screen hinges if you pre-measure where you will be installing the hinges.
Window screen frame how-to:
3. Measure the size window screen desired, ensuring the top and bottom boards overlap the sides.
Screwing into the sides of wood grain will create much stronger joins than if you screw into the front of wood grain.
Decide if you wish the screen frame to bypass any window handles or lay on top of them when closed. I chose to have the frame lay on top of the handles.
4. Cut 1″ x 2″s to desired lengths.
My screen frame measured:
- Top / bottom boards – 21.5″
- Side boards – 35″
5. Add two pocket holes to each top and bottom of the 2 side boards.
I started by adding one pocket hole, but found adding two pocket holes made the frame much more sturdy..
Video – how to use a Kreg Jig
Click above to learn how to use a Kreg Jig. It’s really easy!
Paint the boards
6. Paint (or stain) the support board and wood window screen frame as desired, including inside the pocket holes if you think you’ll will leave them open.
I wanted these boards to seamlessly disappear against the rest of the window, so I used my fav semi-gloss white trim paint.
Installing the support board
7. Position the support board into the window frame, then attach with screws through the pocket holes.
8. Fill pocket holes if desired, then paint over them.
I personally left my pocket holes open so I can easily remove this frame at a later date if desired.
But I will create a ‘how to fill pocket holes’ post as soon as I eventually do it! 🙂
Adding screen to the frame
9. Position the wood window screen frame with back-side facing up.
I chose standard screen, however if my cats take a huge interest in climbing it, I’ll be changing it out to pet screen that I used in my screen door post HERE
11. Use an electric staple gun to attach screen to the frame.
Find various window screens on Amazon HERE
Cover the staples (along with the pocket holes) with some kind of trim work if desired. I left mine as shown above.
Installing the hinges
13. Hold the window screen frame into place, then dry-fit 2 spring hinges, one at a time, penciling-in the screw placements.
The hinges were positioned over 2 of the pocket holes to hide them.
Find the spring hinges I used on Amazon HERE
14. Pre-drill pilot holes into the screw markings.
Pre-drilling holes makes inserting the screws easier, plus removes the possibility of the wood splitting on the finer screen frame.
Use a smaller drill bit than the size of the screw, to ensure of a tight hold.
15. Attach hinges with screws, and you are done!
Why I chose spring hinges
If you can make it work, I personally think spring hinges are a great choice!
They help keep a window screen closed without doing any further drilling into the original window frame nor leading to possible glass damage.
There are two types of spring hinges… you can also get adjusting ones so you have the ability to tighten the springs up over time.
Learn how to use adjusting spring hinges in this French Door Screen Door post HERE
The finished window screen!
And there you have it! A wooden-framed DIY wood window screen that fits perfectly, works super slick, and does the job of letting in that fresh air flawlessly!
One thing I love about this style of screen is that it stays indoors! So it stays cleaner and will last longer.
Here is how it looks with the window closed…
And here it is with the window open.
Isn’t it pretty? It’s so fresh and seamless with the rest of the window!
With window closed, here’s how the screen frame lays on top of the handles. This does leave a small gap along the side, which I don’t mind.
You could of course build your frame to bypass the handles if desired.
And when the screen is open, the frame rests on the metal handle plates. I think it’s perfect!
Thanks to the spring hinges, it works as slick as can be, opening with ease and stays closed all on its own!
Plus…. that squeaky screen door sound is absolutely EPIC.
Click above to view a short video on how the screen operates!
Music: Journey to the Dream by TakeTones.com
The photo studio is NOW officially ready for summer!
And next up? That sliding door to the left needs a fabulous new look too… you just wait…
Pretty neat trick, huh?! Do you have a problematic window this idea may work on?
Other related posts you may like:
Visit many other of my DIY projects HERE
Check out more posts on my Photo Studio HERE