Here’s a fun little project that every homeowner will run into at some point: fixing a broken screen. This is super easy, cheap, and relatively quick to do. About 30 minutes and $30.
You’ve probably got a screen or two in your house that look like this:
…especially if you have kitties.
Here’s what you need to fix it: new screen material, screen retainer, screen tool, scissors, and maybe a flathead screwdriver.
All of this stuff costs about $15. And it might be more if you need a bigger sheet of screen. I got the pet resistant stuff and fixed another screen a few months ago and the kitties haven’t touched it. Whatever they do to this material seems to work. Make sure you have more than enough to cover your screen frame.
Step 1: remove the old screen. Use the screw driver or part of the scissors to pull the old screen retainer out. If you want to be thrifty you can try to save this and reuse it but most of the time it’s very brittle and will be more of a pain than the $3 to buy the new stuff.
Step 2: place the new screen. So, right after I told you to make sure you have enough new screen to cover, you will see, that I did not….
…so, because gangsta is how I roll sometimes, I’m going to have a seam in mine. But you will not, because you will do it right. =)
The screen tool has one end that is smooth and one end that has a groove in it. Use the smooth side to kink the screen down into the groove of the frame. Make sure your screen is straight and that you have overlap on ALL FOUR SIDES! Start my kinking down one side, then work your way around, making sure you keep the screen taught so you don’t have wrinkles.
Step 3: retain it! Use your new screen retainer (since you splurged and bought it for $3!) and the grooved end of the screen tool to smash the new retainer into the groove you just made. Sometimes a flathead screwdriver works well the get it started and to squeeze it around the sharp corners. I wouldn’t recommend using the screwdriver all the way around though because you will end up cutting your new screen retainer with it. Once you’ve got a little piece smashed in there, hold that spot with your finger and lightly stretch the working end of the retainer while you roll with the grooved end of the screen tool to push it down. This part requires a bit of coordination and maybe three or four hands so you might want to enlist a helper. Also, be careful not to run over your thumb with the screen tool as you’ll be using quite a bit of force to push the retainer in. It won’t cut you, but it will give you a NASTY blood blister. Trust me.
Work your way around until you’ve completely secured the screen. Use the scissors or a razorblade and straight edge to trim the excess of the screen et voilà: your screen repair is complete!
As you can see, mine has a seam, but yours won’t =) I stitched mine shut with black thread and trimmed it closer so the line is not quite as noticeable.