Replacing a Screen - Difficulty and Time
Replacing a screen on a screen door is a simple do-it-yourself job and is inexpensive to complete. If you have a torn screen or your screen is separating from the perimeter of your sliding door, you can make this repair yourself.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being very easy and 10 being very difficult, I would give this job a 2.
From start to finish you can complete this screen repair job in less than one hour.
Tools Needed to Replace a Screen
Before you get started you will want to have a small set of tools ready to go.
- a screen spline roller tool 1
- a small flat screwdriver
- a small phillips screwdriver
- a new spline 2
- some small clamps or tape
2Spline - The spline is a long roll of rubbery material that holds the screen in place. If your door is not very old you may find that your current spline is in fine shape and you can reuse it. The probem is that it's hard to know until you remove it and you also may restretch it at a different rate and run short, so picking up a new spline is a good idea.
Step 1: Remove The Sliding Screen Door For Repair
To get started we need to remove the sliding screen door. The good news is that this is a pretty simple thing to do once you understand how it works.
In the first picture here, the tension screws are highlighted in red. Simply unscrew these most of the way but do leave them in the door so you don't lose them. You won't have to remove them entirely. Once they are loose you can continue to the next step.
Now that you have removed your sliding screen door from the door frame, it is time to get to work on removing the broken screen.
Step 2: Remove a Broken Screen From a Sliding Screen Door
Some handles need a slight twist to get them over the lock assembly. If you have this type, just twist the handle around the locking knob (which will need to stay in place) to remove it. Be careful not to force it.
Now that your handle is out of the way it is time to start removing the spline. That is the rubber cord that is pressed into a groove holding your screen in place. Inspect the perimeter of the screen door until you find the cut ends of the spline which will be together.
Use a flat screwdriver to work one end out until you can get ahold of it with your hands. Once you get to that point you should be able to simply pull the spline out and work your way around the door.
After the spline has been removed you can simply pick the old screen up and throw it away.
Step 3: Install The New Screen to Your Sliding Screen Door
To keep it square while you are installing the screen, use some small clamps or tape to hold it in place. Pull it somewhat tight but not too tight. Having the screen too tight can actually warp your door in the end. You just don't want movement, but a bit of movement is not going to ruin the job. You will see that as you continue to work your way around the door the screen will want to move on you so just keep it in the best alignment you can and it will look fine.
To install the new screen, start a few inches away from a corner and simply press the spline over the screen and into the groove of the door. It is best not to start in a corner. That way you will have a continuous spine over the corner since the corners are stress points. Use your spline roller tool to push the spline down into the track. You can go ahead and push it all the way down as you go.
Step 4: Wrapping Up the Sliding Screen Door Repair Job
When you get to a corner, just cut at a 45 degree angle away from the corner and continue down the next side.
After you have removed all the excess screen you can replace the door handle.
Start by tilting the door into place to get the top into the track. Then move the bottom of the door into place. Get your flat screwdriver and press up on the wheels at the bottom of the door once again until you can slide the door all the way back and onto the track. If you have done it right the door will move back and forth freely.
Once the door is back on the track, tighten the tension screws back to the point where the door wheels are securely on the track and you can't lift the door up and down too freely.
That's it! You're done. I knew you could do it.