How to Install an Insect Screen

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Most new models of windows come with built-in screens so homeowners do not have to deal with the process of installing them. However, you may wish to install screens on old windows or face the task of having to replace torn screens. Fortunately this home improvement project requires little time and no prior experience. Your only concern is the material make up of your screen and the type of material used to make your screen frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Cotton swabs
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors or wire snips
  • Utility knife
  • Remove the screen frame from the window. Some models of windows will have a lever for easily pushing the screen frame out of the window but other models require the use of a screwdriver to remove the tabs holding the screen into place.

  • Set the frame onto a flat work surface such as the floor or a table. Place a flat-head screwdriver into the retainer spline or groove where the screen connects to the frame. Lift or twist slightly to pop the frame apart. Continue around the frame until you have the frame in two parts or more parts; wooden screens will have at least four top frame pieces holding the screen into place on each side of the screen.

  • Remove the old screen from the frame and use a cotton swab to clean out the grooves where the parts of the screen attach. This ensures a better installation with the new screen.

  • Measure the width and length of the remaining solid piece of the screen frame. Cut a similar sized piece of screen mesh from aluminum or fiberglass window screen. For fiberglass, use scissors to cut the mesh and for aluminum screens, use wire snips. Set the screen into place over the solid piece of the frame.

  • Replace the other pieces of the frame on top of the screen, clamping the insect screen into place. You may need a screen installation tool to push certain types of screen back into the groove of a metal frame.

  • Trim excess screen with a pair of scissors or a utility knife. Cut towards the outside edge of the screen frame, to prevent accidentally cutting the newly installed insect screen.

  • Replace the window screen frame to the appropriate window. Reconnect the tabs that hold the screen into place or screw the screen back into place.

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  • Photo Credit bug out image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com
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