Replacing window screens

A single broken window screen is often all it takes to put an end to a bug free summer. Fortunately, replacing a screen is a quick and easy project.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
2 hours

Freeing the spline

  • 1.1Place the screen face down on your work surface.
  • 1.2Locate the end of the spline in the groove and dislodge one end of the spline with a narrow flat-head screwdriver.

Removing the spline

  • 2.1Hold the edge of the screen to the work surface and carefully pull the spline from the groove.

Top tip

Avoid stretching the spline if you plan to use it with the new screen.

Fitting the new screen

  • 3.1Cut a fibreglass screen with scissors and an aluminum screen with heavy-duty shears.
  • 3.2Measure the frame and cut the new screen so it overlaps the frame by 1 inch on all sides.
  • 3.3Lay the new screen over the screen frame.
  • 3.4Trim ½ inch off the corners of an aluminum screen so they don’t bunch up during installation.

Top tip

Use a spline roller to press the spline and screen back into the groove. If installing aluminum screen, before pressing the spline into place, run the roller over the screen and the groove with a back and forth motion to create a crease.

Installing the spline on one side

  • 4.1Starting in a corner, press the spline into the groove with the edge of the spline-roller blade.
  • 4.2Continue pressing the spline into place using a gentle back and forth motion.
  • 4.3Use a flat-head screwdriver to tuck the spline into the corners.
  • 4.4If necessary, trim the ends of the spline with a utility knife.

Completing the spline

  • 5.1Once the screen is secured at one end of the frame, work on the opposite end the same way, but use one hand to keep the screen taut against the frame.
  • 5.2Repeat 5.1 for the other sides of the frame.

Trimming the excess

  • 6.1Trim away the excess screen with a utility knife by running the blade along the edge of the groove next to the spline. Angle the knife away from the spline to avoid cutting through it. Pull away the excess as you cut.

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