9 Steps to Replace a Window Screen

Lead Image for 9 Steps to Replace a Window Screen
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Screen (vinyl or aluminum)
Plastic pull tabs
What You'll Need
Screen (vinyl or aluminum)
Plastic pull tabs

If the window screens in your home are torn, dirty or missing, you’ll have to replace the window screen.

Screens are easily broken when doors and windows are in use and they’re exposed to the elements. Cats and dogs can easily damage them with claws, and children’s games often result in something getting damaged. Screens may just get old and worn. Whatever the case, screens are things that often need to be replaced.

There are many suppliers of screen materials, and it’s worth doing some research before you decide exactly which ones are right for you. Don’t assume that you have to get screens that are the same as the ones you had before, there are many different kinds on the market. Most retailers will be more than happy to demonstrate the relative benefits of different kinds of screens, and you should find that you’re in a position to make an informed choice as to what will work best for you.

Not only do old or broken window screens look bad, they can prevent you from opening windows to allow fresh air into your home. If your window screens are damaged or old, you’ll certainly want to think about replacing them, and since that can often be a challenge, here are 10 steps for you to follow to get that done.


Purchase all the things you’ll need. Choose screen that’s of a good quality so that you don’t need to replace the screens again after just a short time. Decide what your preferences are and get screens that suit your home. Plastic pull-tabs will make for easy removal and replacement of screens in the future.

Removal of Piping

Use an awl or a screwdriver to remove piping from the trench in which the screen is secured. Do this carefully and be sure to complete the task by following it all the way around.


Make sure the trench is free of dust and dirt by using a paint brush to clean it.

Pull Tabs

Install the pull tabs. These should go into the trench. They should be positioned opposite the side of the frame that features metal springs. Be sure that tabs are directed towards the inside of the screen.


Place the cut screen over the area that is to be re-screened.


Using a roller, fit the screen into the cleaned trench, ensuring that it is not punctured. Expect to pass the screen over the trench 4 or 5 times before it slides into place.


Gently lay piping into the trench.


Using the roller again, gently force the piping into the trench. This will typically take 2 or 3 attempts.


If the screen now fits, to your satisfaction, trim off the excess using string scissors suitable to the task.

Enjoy your new screens and check their integrity now and again. By following these 10 steps you should have little difficulty in getting the job done well.