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How to Replace a Torn Fiberglass Screen With Heavy Duty Screen Mesh

Updated: Jan. 28, 2022

Replace torn mesh screening in less than 30 minutes.

FH05SEP_REPSCR_01-2Family Handyman
Replace door and window mesh screening quickly and easily with simple tools. Use pet-proof screening for durability.

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Replace torn screening

Photo 1: Remove the old screening

The first step in screen door screen replacement is to pull out the old spline and remove the old screen. Cut a new piece of screen about 4 in. wider and longer than the old one. Also cut four pieces of new spline, making each a couple of inches longer than the sides of the frame.

Photo 2: Roll in new spline

Clamp the screen to one long side of the frame. On the opposite side, roll the spline into the groove, stretching the screen as you go. Remove the clamps and add spline on the other side. Repeat the process on the short sides.

Photo 3: Spline roller close-up

A spline roller has a concave wheel and a convex wheel. Use the concave end first. When all four splines are in place, roll them again, this time with the convex wheel.

Photo 4: Trim excess screening

Trim off the excess screen with a utility knife. Put a sharp new blade in the knife and pull it carefully along the spline.

Installing heavy-duty screen is a lot easier than training your pet to stop pushing and clawing at the door or window. The toughest screen we know of is PetScreen, which is sold at home centers and online. Keep in mind that heavy screen has one drawback: It blocks sunlight and your view more than standard screen.

Heavy-duty mesh screen is installed just like any other screen. If your screen is in a wooden frame, you’ll have to carefully remove moldings and pry out staples to remove the old screen. Then staple the new screen into place, stretching it tight as you go. Replacing screen in a metal frame may look more complex, but it’s actually faster and easier. All you need are scissors, a utility knife, clamps, a nail set, a spline roller and spline. Spline comes in three sizes; take a piece of the old spline to the home center to match the thickness. These replacement steps take about 15 minutes:

Standard and Heavy-Duty Screening

Heavy-duty screening has more strands and thicker strands. It also blocks more of your view.

Video: How to Replace a Door or Window Screen

If you have a damaged window or door screen, you don’t need to buy a new frame. Rick Muscoplat, an expert at Family Handyman, will show you how to replace a screen with a new screen and simple repair

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Clamps
  • Nail set
  • Utility knife
You’ll also need scissors and a spline roller.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Screening
  • Spline