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How to Repair Broken Window Screens in Your Home

What do you do when you have a hole, rip or tear in your window, door, or patio screen? First, know that a hole in screen doesn’t have to rip into your plans to keep a polished home. In many cases, a screen puncture is a relatively quick fix that you can do on your own.

In fact, taking just a few minutes to do this yourself can help you avoid the window screen repair cost of hiring someone.

First, you’ll need to get your hands on a few simple household tools to get the job done. Here’s your window into quick screen repair.
 
Lets get to work making your windows beautiful again!

Gather Your Tools and Materials

Here’s what you need to gather to replace a mesh window or door screen on your own:

  • A four-in-one screwdriver: This is a multi-bit screwdriver with four tips.
  • Awl: A tool with a thin, pointed tip.
  • A cordless drill.
  • Utility scissors.
  • A screen roller: This is a dual-sided roller that looks like two “pizza slicers” connected with a handle.
  • A utility knife with a sharp blade.
  • Window spline: This is a thin, cordlike material that is sold in rolls.
  • A brick.
  • Two wooden stop blocks.
  • A replacement screen: While options like aluminum and sunshade fabric are available, fiberglass is the easiest option for a DIY screen replacement. Measure your window before you visit the home-improvement store. Lowes and Home Depot conveniently sell rolls of different types of screen material.

 

Begin Dissembling Your Broken Screen

Dissembling a Broken Window ScreenAlways work on a flat surface when you’re doing a DIY screen placement. Trying to keep your frame intact without pulling it down to work on a table or floor is going to create subpar results.

To start, use your awl to gently pull the existing spline from your window screen.
 
Disregard the old spline because it cannot be reused.
 
Next, drill the wooden stop blocks into the inside sides of your frame. The reason you’re doing this is because it will keep your frame from distorting and bowing once your materials are put in place.

Prepare the Frame

Cut the Screen to SizeNext, get your new screen material ready. You’ll want to push it over the frame gently. Make sure that you’re seeing an overlap of up to an inch.

You’ll then want to cut all four corners at a 45-dergee angle where the material overlaps with the little channel created by the spline.
 
These cuts will prevent any binding and bunching once you install your replacement screen.

Install the New Screen Materials

Installing New Screen Material
Very gingerly apply the new spline over the screen starting from a corner. To do this, grab your screen roller to gently work the spline into the groove that you see on the frame.
 
Take your time, you don’t want to rush this part.

You’re going to go all the way around to really set that spline in place. As you press the spline in, you’ll see your new screen taking form!

You have to be a bit of a perfectionist with this step because leaving any wrinkles or lumps could ruin the aesthetic of your new screen. If you see imperfections, go back and start over by removing the spline.
 
Don’t worry, it takes everyone a few tries to get this right.

Tidy the Edges

Trim Edges of the ScreenOnce you’ve set your spline from corner to corner, you may notice that the situation doesn’t look perfectly neat yet.
 
You’re going to want to clean it up a bit and take care of the excess.

This is where we pull out the utility knife. Simply go along the edges with the knife to trim any of the extra material that is overflowing from the sides. Always point the blade outward instead of inward to avoid slicing your new screen.
 
Very smoothly, go around the entire frame trimming the left over screen.

Confirm that the blade on your knife is sharp before you begin because a dull blade can actually pull your material to create a big mess that could cause you to have to start over.

What About the Brick?

Not everyone who does a DIY screen replacement will need to use the brick. However, it comes in really handy if you’re doing a larger window or door.

A big part of getting your replacement screen set securely in place comes down to having the right amount of tension to create a smooth final result. Too little tension means that you’re going to get a loose, sagging fit. Too much tension can actually cause bowing.

As a hack, many people will place a brick in the center of the screen after they roll the screen in part of the way. That means putting a brick down on the screen once you’ve rolled it into just the first two sides. You’ll then use the tension created by the brick to roll the other two sides. You can pull the brick away as soon as you’re done with that!

Are There Any Quick Fixes for a Broken Screen?

If you’re just trying to fix a hole that hasn’t compromised the rest of the screen, you may be able to do a quick fix without replacing the entire thing. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Measuring tape.
  • Scissors.
  • Waterproof glue.
  • Replacement screen/patch kit.

Cut a new shape around the existing hole to create a uniform square. Next, measure the size of your new opening. Cut a patch from your replacement material that’s 1/2 inch larger than the hole you’ve created.

Next, put the custom patch you’ve created over the hole in your screen. Make sure that the edges of the existing hole are slightly bent to make it easier for them to attach to the material of your replacement patch. You will then apply waterproof glue all along the edge of your patch.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Window Screen?

Window screen repair cost is generally very inexpensive. Hence many home owners learn how to repair a broken window screen and do it themselves.

You can purchase rolls of replacement screen at any home-improvement store in your area. Generally, they come in rolls of 36 inches that go for between $30 and $60. However, you’ll find some specialty lengths if you’re replacing a taller window or door.

Final Thoughts on How to Repair a Broken Window Screen

If your screen is already ruined, it never hurts to try a DIY replacement. Replacement mesh is inexpensive enough that you can do some trial and error without wasting money!
 
In the end, it’s a fairly quick and inexpensive project that even the most novice of home owners can tackle.