DIY Window Screen Replacement: A Complete Guide

I made a commitment in my home maintenance checklist article to capture more DIY tutorials for home maintenance projects so here is a detailed article on window screen replacement.

If your window screens are old, worn out, or have holes you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about window screen replacement.

Replacing window screens on your own is a very simple process and will cost you less than taking them to a professional.

In this article you’ll learn how to determine if your screens need to be replaced, the different types of screen materials and how to replace your own window screens.

Now that it’s warming up and getting closer to open window weather it was the perfect time to repair our damaged screens. Here is an example of one of the screens that needed repaired. There was a pretty large hole near one of the corners.

Window screen with hole

Signs that your window screens need replaced

Window screens play a crucial role in keeping insects out while allowing fresh air to circulate in your home. However, over time, these screens can become worn out and damaged, compromising their functionality. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to replace your window screens:

  1. Visible damage: Look for holes, tears, or bent frames in your window screens. If you notice any significant damage, it’s a clear indication that replacement is necessary.
  2. Warping or sagging: If your window screens are sagging or warping, they may not fit properly in the window frame, allowing insects to enter your home. This is a sign that replacement is needed to maintain the integrity of your screens.
  3. Fading or discoloration: Over time, window screens can fade or become discolored due to exposure to sunlight and weather conditions. This not only affects the appearance of your screens but also indicates that they may be reaching the end of their lifespan.

Replacing your window screens at the first sign of damage or wear is essential to ensure the continued functionality and aesthetics of your windows. It’s a relatively simple and cost-effective process that can greatly improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency.

Window screen with hole

Types of window Screens

Window screens come in various types, each with its own unique features and benefits. Understanding the different options will help you make an informed decision when it’s time to replace your window screens.

1. Fiberglass Screens

Fiberglass screens are the most common type of window screens due to their affordability and durability. They are made of tightly woven fiberglass mesh that effectively keeps insects out while allowing fresh air to flow through. Fiberglass screens are resistant to rust and corrosion, making them ideal for areas with high humidity. They are also easy to clean and maintain, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.

2. Aluminum Screens

Aluminum screens are another popular choice for window screens. They are made of lightweight aluminum mesh. Aluminum screens are known for their strength and durability, making them resistant to dents and damage. They are also highly resistant to corrosion, making them suitable for coastal areas. However, aluminum screens are less effective at blocking sunlight and may not be the best choice if you want to reduce heat and glare.

3. Solar Screens

Solar screens are a specialized type of window screens designed to block the sun’s heat and harmful UV rays. They are made of a dense mesh material that reflects and absorbs solar energy, reducing heat transfer and keeping your home cooler. Solar screens can significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency by reducing the need for air conditioning. They also provide privacy during the day while maintaining visibility from inside. However, solar screens may darken your view and reduce natural light.

Now that you’re familiar with the different type of window screen materials, let’s get into how to replace your own window screens.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Window Screens

Replacing window screens may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and instructions, it can be a straightforward process. Follow this step-by-step guide to replace your window screens with ease.

Step 1: Measure Your Windows

Before you can replace your window screens, you need to measure them accurately to ensure the new screens fit properly. Measure the width and height of each window opening.

You’ll also want to measure the existing spline diameter to ensure that you purchase the correct spline size for your replacement screen.

Step 2: Gather Window Screen Replacement Supplies

Window screen replacement supplies

Step 3: Remove the Old Screen Spline

First, remove your window screen frame from your window. Then place the window screen frame on a flat surface.

To remove the old screen first start by using the Screen Trimming Tool to lift the corner of the screen spline.

Window screen replacement - removing screen spline

Once the screen spline is lifted up you can grab it with your fingers and pull it out from the screen frame.

Window screen replacement - removing screen spline 1
DIY window screen replacement

Step 4: Remove the Damaged Screen

Now that the screen spline is removed you can lift the damaged screen out of the frame.

DIY window screen replacement - removing screen

Step 5: Prepare the New Screen

Roll the screen material over the frame to completely cover the opening.

DIY window screen replacement

Then trim the width of the screen leaving about 1″ on each side of the opening.

DIY window screen replacement

Step 6: Create Indent with Screen Spline Roller

Now that the new screen is laying on the frame, use a Screen Tool roller to press the screen into the groove along the frame’s edge. Start at one corner and work your way around, applying even pressure to ensure the screen is securely held in place.

DIY window screen replacement installing new screen
DIY window screen replacement installing new screen
DIY window screen replacement installing new screen

Step 7: Install New Screen Spline

Now that you’ve prepared the screen for the screen spline you can move on to installing the new spline.

Start in a corner and align the screen spline with the corner.

DIY window screen replacement installing new screen spline

Use the edge of the Screen Tool to tap the screen spline securely into the groove.

DIY window screen replacement installing new screen spline

Continue installing the screen spline along the first side of the screen frame. Use the roller on the Screen Tool to push the new spline into the groove.

DIY window screen replacement installing new screen spline
DIY Window screen replacement

When you get to the first corner just wrap the new spline around the corner. There is no need to cut the spline.

DIY window screen replacement

Continue rolling the spline into the groove on the second side of the frame. When you get to the next corner that’s when you’ll need to start pulling the screen a bit to make sure it is taut. No need to go hulk on it, just a little bit of pressure will do.

DIY window screen replacement

Continue rolling the new spline in place on the next two sides pulling the screen taut as you go.

When you get to the last corner you can use the screen tool blade to cut the spline.

DIY window screen replacement
DIY window screen replacement

Step 8: Trim Excess Screen

Now that the new spline is in place the last step is to trim the excess screen material. You can use the blade on the Screen Trimming Tool for this.

DIY window screen replacement - Trimming excess screen

There you have it, a nice and taut new screen that will prevent bugs and debris from getting into your home.

DIY window screen replacement

I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant to take on this project because I’ve seen some really crappy looking screens in the many homes that I’ve lived in. I assumed that you must need to have some skills to properly install a new screen that doesn’t sag or have a bunch of excess screen material. That absolutely isn’t the case though. This was our first time replacing screens and it was honestly so simple and easy with the screen replacement tools. Give it a try and save some money. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Tips for Maintaining Window Screens

  1. Regularly clean your window screens using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or excessive force that could damage the screen material.
  2. Inspect your window screens periodically for any signs of damage, such as tears or holes. If you notice any issues, repair them promptly to prevent further damage or the need for complete replacement.
  3. Avoid leaning or pressing against window screens, as this can lead to bending, warping, or detachment from the frame.
  4. During extreme weather conditions, such as storms or high winds, consider removing the window screens temporarily to prevent damage.
  5. If you have pets, trim their nails regularly to minimize the risk of them scratching or damaging the window screens.


Window screen replacement is a task that can improve the functionality and aesthetics of your windows. By understanding the different types of window screens and materials available, you can choose the most suitable option for your needs. Following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can confidently replace your window screens and enjoy the benefits of improved air circulation, insect protection, and energy efficiency.

Remember to regularly maintain your window screens to prolong their lifespan and prevent unnecessary damage. With proper care, your window screens will continue to serve their purpose effectively and enhance your overall home experience. Don’t let outdated and damaged window screens hinder your view and energy efficiency any longer – it’s time to give your windows the upgrade they deserve!

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