Replacing a Window Screen

By Robert Robillard on Home Maintenance

Replacing a Window Screen How to Replace a Window Screen 5-Steps

Replacing a window screen is an easy project and should take a novice 1 hour or less for the first window and even less as thy move on to other screens.

Tools Needed

  • Utility knife
  • Flat headed screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Spline rolling tool
  • Screen spline
  • Screen

Replacing a Window Screen Screen Type

When replacing a window screen is one thing but which type of screening should you use?  I typically use what ever was in the broken screen so all the windows match.  This is not always the case an I have swapped out materials, especially for screen doors, more on that below.

There are there basic types of screens:

  • Fiberglass
  • Aluminum / Bronze
  • Pet or Shade Screen

Fiberglass screening is the most common.  It is flexible and easy to install, in fact if you make a mistake during the install you can remove the spline and start over as the fiberglass screening material does not have a crimp fold memory.

Tip: when installing fiberglass screening ensure that you keep the screen taunt and wrinkle free. Ive accomplished this by using clamps, a helper or adding weight to hold the excess screening hanging off the far end – tight!  don’t install the fiberglass too tight or you can warp the screen.

Aluminum screening is stronger, ore durable and my preference for screen porches. Unlike fiberglass screen, does dent and has a memory once dented, dinged or crimped.  This means yo have one-shot of installing it, if you screw up , you’ll need to start with fresh material.

Pet or Sun Screening has a thicker grid which restricts light, and like fiberglass is flexible to work with.   This is helpful with keeping the sun out and helps reduce fabric and carpet fading.  It is also a stronger material than fiberglass and aluminum screening, which makes it a fantastic screen of use in screen doors and in places often damaged by pets.

Replacing a Window Screen

Replacing a Window Screen Steps

Step 1:

Remove the screen from the window frame and place it on a flat surface.   Use a flat head screw driver to pry loose the rubber spline [roping] in the window screen frame.  Pull this spline out of all four sides /grooves, that line the perimeter of the screen frame.

Discard the damaged screen and evaluate if you can reuse the spline.  Dry battle spline should be replaced.

Tip:  Use a pair of clamps or tape the hold the screen frame flat and secure while working.

Step 2:

Align your new screen over the frame opening.  You can either use scissors to cut your screening material s so the it overlaps 1″ on either side, or simply leave it long and overlap all sides, trimming later.

Step 3:

With the convex roller [pointy] of your spline roller, start in one corner of the screen frame and roll the screen into the grove of the frame.   Go easy and do one side only then move to the next step.

Replacing a Window Screen

Step 4:

Insert and roll spline into the grooved screen and screen frame. Depending on the screen frame you may need to cut the spline into four sections for it to fit lengthwise in the grooves.

Once the spline is installed, repeat Step 3 and 4 on adjoining screen frame groove. Work in this fashion until all four sides are installed.

Remember to hold the screen under pressure to keep the material taut, and prevent wrinkles or folds.

Step 5:

With a flat tip screwdriver, gently push the spline down, into the grooves in all four corners.

Using a sharp utility knife, trim the excess screen by cutting alone the spline. Hold the screen taut as you cut with the knife.

Replacing a Window Screen Cost

If a Pro was going to do this project for you they would charge approximately $75.00 per window in labor and approximately $15.00 in materials.

Once you purchase the spline roller you can plan on doing these repairs yourself for $10.00  per window screen. You can do this project yourself and save some money!

Replacing a Window Screen Video How-To


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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