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How To Replace A Window Screen in 4 Easy Steps

Cameron Bates

Published on March 27, 2023


How To Replace A Window Screen in 4 Easy Steps

Learn how to replace a window screen in four easy steps from our expert guide today.

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we consult a number of sources when producing each article, including licensed contractors and industry experts.

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If you're noticing a few more unwanted visitors, namely flies and mosquitos, buzzing around your home, it might be time to replace your window screens. Window screens can often get ripped or punctured, providing all sorts of uninvited insects easy access to your home. 

Luckily, replacing your window screens is a fast and easy process that any homeowner can do. Our step-by-step process will teach you how to replace your window screens, the tools, and the required equipment.

Let's dive in.

Have a professional to tackle your window screen replacement

Cost of a window screen replacement

If you choose to have your new window screen professionally installed, you should expect to pay between $100 and $400. The price will depend on the size, type of window, and material being used.

Tools and equipment required

While replacing a window screen is a relatively simple task that requires very little preparation, there are some tools and materials that you'll need before you start. You will likely have many of these tools and materials on hand already. The ones you don't can be easily found at your local hardware store. 

Below is everything you'll need for a window screen replacement:



Flat head screwdriver

Replacement screen

Marking pencil


Tape measure




Screen roller


Utility knife


How to replace your window screen: a step-by-step guide

Step one: Pull up the spline and remove the old screen

When looking at your old window screen, you will notice that it is held in place with a plastic cord called a spline, which runs around the edge of the screen. The first step is to ply up the spline and remove the old window screen.

Using a flathead screwdriver, lift each portion of the spline from the window frame. Once the spline is removed, you can remove the old window screen. Be sure to hold on to the old spline, as it will help you purchase the correctly-sized replacement spline.

Step two: Size and cut the new screen

Lay the window frame on a flat surface and roll out the new window screen on top of the frame. Make sure that the whole window frame is covered, plus an extra two to three inches on each side.

Once you're happy with the size of the new screen, you can mark the edges and use scissors to cut out the screen. Make sure to cut the corner of the new window screen at a 45-degree angle, just slightly beyond the spline. This will prevent the new screen from bunching in the corners.

Step three: Secure the new screen

Now, you'll need to use the screen roller to secure both the new spine and window screen in place. Using the convex side of the screen roller, push the new window screen into the groove of the frame's perimeter. Keep the window screen taut to prevent any sagging or bowing.

You will then need to use the concave side of the same screen roller to push the new spline into the channel around the window frame. This will ensure that the window screen is fixed in place.

Step four: Trim the excess screen

Now that you have secured the new screen in place, your next task is to clean up the edges. Using a utility knife, carefully cut away any excess window screen. Cut as close to the spline as possible without cutting any part of the screen frame.

Additional tips when replacing a window screen

Add weight

When securing the new spline and screen onto your window frame, you want to ensure that the screen does not sag or bow in any spot. To help maintain the tension in the screen, try placing a brick or similar heavy object in the middle before installing the last two sides.

While this step is not always required, it can be helpful if you are struggling with maintaining the screen's tension.

Tape down the frame

Before you size and cut the new window screen, place the fiberglass or vinyl window frame on a flat surface. To make things easier and ensure that the frame does not move or slide while you're sizing the frame, tape the edges of the frame to the flat surface. Just make sure that the tape doesn't go over any portion of the spline groove.

Should you DIY a window screen replacement?

Replacing a window screen is a relatively easy home improvement project for even the most inexperienced DIYer. It requires minimal setup, and you will likely already have the tools necessary to complete the project.

Replacing one window screen should take you no longer than an hour, and doing it yourself will mean you can save on labor costs. However, if several window screens of different shapes and sizes need replacing, it might be wise to consider hiring a professional or a handyman.

Don't want to DIY? Hire a window professional near you

Written by

Cameron Bates Content Specialist

Cameron Bates is a Content Specialist at Fixr.com.