How do I replace my window screens?
A minimal investment of time and a few simple tools get your screens in top shape. Work with a friend who can help hold the screen taut while you work, and the job should only take about 20 minutes per screen.
All you need is screening (buy it for a few dollars at a home center); screen spline (a thin, narrow piece of plastic that fits into the edges of the window and holds the screen taut); a screwdriver; a 1 1/4-inch putty knife; a utility knife; a clean paint brush; small clamps; and a screening tool with a convex wheel at one end and a concave wheel at the other.
Clear a flat, firm surface as a workspace and remove the torn screen window. Use a flat-head screwdriver or putty knife to pry out the old spline. Remove the screen and clear the channel with a clean paintbrush. Cut a new piece of screen 2 inches larger than the opening. Use the screening tool's convex wheel to push the screen into the channel all around the window, keeping the screen smooth and taut. Cut a piece of the spline 6 inches longer than the perimeter of the opening. Use the concave wheel on the screening tool to push the spline and the screen into the channel all the way around the window, maintaining tension. Cut any excess screen from outside the spline with a utility knife, and then reinstall the window.
Pour a glass of iced tea -- and enjoy the breeze.
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