How to Install Awning Window Screens

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 20-50
What You'll Need
Utility knife or metal shears
Screen roller
Roll of screen

Installing a new screen on an awning window is an easy process that can both make your windows look nicer, and help keep insects from getting into the house.

Step 1 - Choose the Right Type of Screen

There are many different types of screen materials available and each has its own special qualities. Some will offer more privacy, while others have a finer mesh to keep out smaller insects like gnats. The two most common types of screen materials are aluminum and fiberglass. Aluminum screens are strong, won’t sag over time, and have a protective coating to prevent rust. Fiberglass screens, on the other hand, are not quite as strong, but are cheaper and easier to install because they will not crease or dent.

Step 2 - Remove the Existing Screen and Its Frame from the Window

Place the screen in an area that is as flat as possible as it will make the following steps much easier.

    Step 3 - Remove the Old Screen from Its Frame

    Along the edge of the screen there will be a black or gray rubber tubing; this is called a spline. The spline holds the screen against the frame. Again using the screwdriver, gently pry the spline from the groove that it rests in. Once the spline is removed; a little prodding will cause the old screen to fall away from the frame.

    Step 4 - Apply the New Screen to the Frame

    Roll the screen out over the frame. Use the utility knife (or metal shears if you’re using aluminum screen) to cut a piece that is big enough to leave about an inch of excess hanging out over each side of the frame. Using the screwdriver or the back end of your screen roller (a screen roller is a tool that resembles a pizza cutter on one side and often has a flat wedging tool on the bottom of the handle), force the screen into the groove that runs along the frame.

    Next, unspool a bit of the new spline and tuck the end into one of the corners of the groove. Use the screwdriver to make sure it is wedged in this corner fairly tightly. Once the starting edge of the spline is secure, run out more of the spline and use the wheel end of the screen roller to force it down into the groove. This is what will secure the screen to the frame.

    While guiding the screen roller over the spline and groove, make sure that the screen remains reasonably tight, but not so tight that it will tear. Upon reaching a corner, one has the option of either bending the spline and continuing on, or cutting the spline and repeating the same process along the remaining sides of the frame.

    Finally, once the screen is secured on all sides of the frame, cut away the excess.

    Step 5 - Replace the Screen and Frame in the Window

    Place the new screen and frame back in the window, flip the latches, and replace the screws that were removed.