How to install a window screen at home

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Window screens have a lot of benefits, from protecting against dirt and other elements to keeping flies and insects away without sacrificing fresh air and light. During a storm, a window screen can act as protection against the possibility of damaged windows from strong winds.

If you’ve got enough time and tools, or you’re wondering if you can install a window screen, we’ve got the answers for you. This guide will walk you through how to install a window screen for that extra protection at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

The materials listed below can easily be found in the hardware stores near you:

  • Hacksaw

  • Convex spline tool

  • Spline

  • Scissors

  • Utility blade

  • Screen 

Installing your window screen won’t take long—usually only a couple of hours.

How to build a window screen frame?

If you’re wondering how to install a window screen without a frame, the solution is to build one.

Step 1: Measure the area

man measuring window screen width

Measure the height and width of your window where the window frame will be installed. Subtract one and a half inches from height and width to allow room for screen corners.


Step 2: Prepare aluminum frame pieces

Mark the measurement to your chosen frame. Using a hacksaw, cut the frame according to your measurement.

Step 3: Install spring frame clips or pull tabs (optional)

There will come the point where you’ll need to clean your window screen. Installing a spring frame clip will make this easier. Spring clips are placed at the top of the frame. It can easily be installed by sliding it at the corner to put them in place. You only need to install them on one side of the frame for easier removal.

To install a pull tab, place them with the channel side u. Pull tabs are usually placed in the middle part of the frame.

drilling screws into window screen frame

Step 4: Install screen corners

Install the four screen corners. Slide them into the aluminum frame pieces to hold them together.

How to install the screen on the frame

Step 1: Position the screen

placing mesh onto the window screen frame

Lay the screen on top of the frame and make sure the screen overlaps at least 1 inch over the frame.

Step 2: Cut the screen

Pull the screen tight and cut using scissors. Don’t worry if you cut it straight or as long as it overlaps the outside of the frame.

Step 3: Push the screen into the frame

pushing the screen onto the frame

Using your convex spline roller, identify the pointy side, which is the convex wheel, and push the screen into the channel from one corner to the next. 

If you have a pull tab, pull the screen when you roll past it to make it thin enough for the spline roller to pass through it.

Step 4: Install the spline

Starting at a corner, press the spline into the channel using the concave side to lock the screen into its place. You may cut the spline, start on another corner, or keep it rolling.

Step 5: Cut excess material

cutting the excess mesh off the window screen frame

Using a utility knife, remove excess materials around the frame.

Placing the screen on the window

Open the window and sit the lower part of the window screen on the bottom track. Push the top of the screen forward, so it sits on the upper track. Release the pressure, so the screen is locked into place. This is done when installing a window screen from the inside.

If installing the window screen from the outside, ensure the windows are closed before placing them.

What are the types of screens?

There are three options when choosing a material for your screen:

  • Aluminum screen. It’s highly durable, doesn’t easily tear, is resistant to high temperatures, and can stand up against UV rays. It is not advisable to use aluminum screens for houses near coastal areas as they oxidize. 

  • Fiberglass screen. Fiberglass is one of the cheaper options for screens. It boasts its flexibility and its ability not to crease. However, the color can change after too much exposure to the sun.

  • Polyester fabric. A more durable option, polyester can be more expensive than aluminum and fiberglass. It is ideal for homes with pets and children as it does not readily tear without a cutting tool.

Tips on taking care of your window screens

person cleaning a window screen

Maintaining your window screen not only prolongs its protecting capability but also saves you some money. Here are a few tips for preserving the quality of your newly installed screens:

  1. Make sure to have your window screens cleaned at least once or twice a year. You may use a vacuum to remove the accumulated dust and dirt. You may also use soap and water to softly brush them off.

  2. Remove your screen during winter. It may trap snow between the screen and the window and cause further damage.

  3. Learn to remove and return the window screen properly to prevent damage to the material.

Get your window screens installed in no time

Installing a window screen requires tons of measurements, marking, and accuracy. If you don’t have the time to do this alone, you can easily hire someone to install your window screens. Find the right person on Airtasker! Post a task on the website or the app, add the details, and wait for an offer.

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Frequently asked questions

Yes! However, it may need more than just fitting the window screen frame in the windows. It will involve drilling and screws that may require you to ask for help from a professional.

Window screens are usually installed from the inside as their quality may easily deteriorate when exposed to the sun. However, there are exterior window screens made specifically for outdoor installation. These are screens that are more durable, especially during different seasons.

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