Window Screen Replacement

Window screen replacement may be needed for a variety of reasons

Quite often window screens get bent or totally broken and need to be replaced. Or we may move into a new house only to find that half the window screens are missing.

Either way its not a huge issue, you can buy new screens complete from your local glass shop, you can have them installed or you can do it yourself. Window screen replacement is not that hard to do.

Most your missing or broken screens are going to fall into one of the categories I am about to describe.

Heres a window screen replacement video tutorial showing the repair of a typical aluminum window screen frame. I take out the bends and rescreen the frame to make it good for another 10 years !

Replacing Window Screens in
Wooden Windows

Wooden windows come in a variety of forms. The vast majority of builder installed wooden windows are "side sliders".

The screens you need for replacement in these "side sliders" are often made with 7/16" thick aluminum bar, although 3/8" is sometimes used. The thickness is easy to verify with a measuring tape.

The frames sit in vinyl channels that are stapled around the perimeter of the opening side of the window. Usually the frames get left in for a long time without being removed and then when you try to slide them out for cleaning, the frame gets bent or broken.

Or the screens are no longer there, only the vinyl channels are left. Or perhaps the channels are gone too. Many glass shops will stock the channels. And Loews or Home Depot are quite likely to stock 7/16" screen bar, hopefully in the right colour !

Another very popular builder supplied window is the vertical single moving sash style. The style often uses exactly the same vinyl channel and 7/16" thick bar that the side slider window uses. The channel is installed around the perimeter of the lower half of the window and the screen just slides up and out for removal.

When measuring these windows for replacement window screens, measure to the bottom of the vinyl channel on one side to the bottom of the vinyl channel on the other side. Take a couple of measurements in different locations for the width and the height, particularily if its big. Many old windows can be out of square and have warped jambs.

Subtract 1/8" of an inch from the measurements for the height and width and you should have the right size. When I make them myself I like to test fit the frames and trim them back 1/8" at a time until I get a perfect fit.

Make sure you label the frame sizes with each location. Most of the frames in your house should be the same size but labeling the frames makes reinstalling everything much easier.

Replacing Screens in
Aluminum Storm Windows

Another very common situation you are going to run into is window screen replacement in aluminum storm windows. These are usually installed right over top of the existing wooden windows and come in the same vertical and side slider models just discussed.

Aluminum storms can be tricky to take apart. When covered with paint and left in place for years without maintenance, they may seem impossible to take apart.

Once you get used to it though, taking apart aluminum storms is usually easy. One thing to bear in mind is that 90% of the time, they were designed to be taken apart from the inside. You should not have to climb up any ladders to dissasemble the upstairs storms.

There are a few annoying storm designs that do come apart from the outside. These should be obvious when you see the screws and retaining clips that hold the glass in on the outside. These styles are usually on the ground floor only.

I've made a separate page that talks about taking apart Aluminum Storm Windows Come back here after you have reviewed it.

Once you have successfully accessed the screenframe in your aluminum storms you will see that the frames fit in aluminum channels within the storms.

Typically the frames used in aluminum storm windows are 1/4" and 5/16" thick. These are sizes you wont often find at your local building center. These frames are often "staked" together at the factory and are not so easy to repair as the screens on a wooden window.

The 5/16" Thick frames are usually a little easier because they use friction fit corners just like the frames in wooden windows.

The sizes are not uncommon for a glass shop however and so if you need new frames, local glass shops should be on your list of first places to visit.

Circular Arch Shaped Screens

Making an arched window scree


I recently bought a house in Florida. A common thing is screening in your entryway. You can buy the straight aluminum frame pieces at Home Depot or Lowes. My question is how do you handle an archway or curves?
Is there pieces available that are curved or can be curved without expensive tools or ordering via some custom expensive place?

The bars sold at Lowes and Home depot are usually 3/4" x 3/8" bars. To bend them you will need to cut notches in the bar as shown in the picture. You can do this by hand with a miter box and a hacksaw but it will be time consuming.

You will need to calculate the circumference of the the arch to get an idea of how many notches you need to cut.

Copper screen frame

by Christopher F.

Does anyone sell a copper screenframe. I am building a screened porch with removable frames. The only ones I find in my area are the typ. white frames. The house is on the beach and all the flashings are copper.


Window screens, where to buy them ?

I Replaced my windows with Weatherlok series:3201 vinyl doublehung windows. But I cannot find a window screen replacement for them !! Purchased them from Lowes, as usual they are of no help. Any suggestions?

Your local glass shop can make them for you. Most window companies use standard types of screening frames. You can even buy the materials and build them yourself if you know the sizes.

Post a photo showing the location of the screen in one of your windows and I can help you figure out what size of frame you need.

Window screen replacement in Malaysia

by Steve
(Penang, Malaysia)

Hi I have a unique question.

I am a retired American living in Malaysia. Here they have no idea what a screen is. All windows and doors are open, thus allowing insects and dirt into the house. Our entrances have a sliding grill door approximately 5' x 7' with open grill covering the rest of the entrance.

I can buy screencloth here, but my question is how do I attach it to the aluminum door and grill work. Thanks.

Hi Steve, interesting question !
I think the simplest thing to do would to cut strips of screen material 24 inches wide and 84 inches long and attach them overlapping them by about 4 inches across the door opening.

Have a hem stitched at the bottom and some small weights added to keep the material strips hanging straight.

This is how they make those $19 screendoors you can buy on eBay. Come to think of it, its probably easier to buy one on eBay if you have access in Malaysia. You are much closer to the chinese manufacturers anyway !

Hope this helps

Need to buy screening

by Jackie G.
(Seattle, WA, USA)

The duplex we moved into doesn't have screens, and places like Lowes and Home Depot don't sell them without the windows. We looked on the windows and tried to find some identification markings, but weren't successful in finding a brand name of any sort... Just a date sort of looking thing.

The windows are the slide-side-to-side type of storm window. Do you have any idea how to either (a) figure out the manufacturer so we can get screens from them, or (b) a way to just buy the types of screening that we need?

Any help would be appreciated.

Hi Jackie,
Most window manufacturers use common types of screen frames. If you have modern vinyl side sliders, you probably have screens that cover the entire window. These screens are often made of 3/8" x 3/4" bars. Loews and Home Depot usually carry this screen bars in 4 foot lengths.

Older side sliders will often use 7/16" x 3/4" screen bars. Aluminum storm windows and doors use 5/16" x 3/4" and 1/4" x 3/4" screen bar.

These sizes are usually only carried by glass shops. I did a Google search on "window screens seattle washington" and found a few places listed that build screens. Get one of them to come out and give you an estimate.

Windowscreens, where to buy them ?

by Karen H.

I have bought a house with a side door that is a wooden framed door. In that door now is an insert that is glass. It is meant to be taken out and replaced with the screendoor insert. Of course, that insert is not available.

The door insert space is an odd size, 28 3/4 x 57 so I don't think it will be easily found in any stores. Any suggestions?

Would it just be cheaper to buy a new door completely?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Any local glass shop should be able to make you a screen for that door. Try my Screen shop search box to find one in your area. All you have to do is enter your city and state or province.

Condo with window
screen replacement policy

by Sandi

I live in a Condo(high rise) and there is a no screen policy.(meaning permanent screening in the window)

I live in Northern California so the temperatures are moderate. But I like having screening in order to keep moths and flying bugs out.

Up to this time I made a makeshift flyscreen which I'm using duct tape to keep on the window. This makeshift screening covers about 6 inches of the window from the bottom of the window to the height where the window stops.

The problem I have is that the screening I chose is affected by winds and eventually does not have enough weight to keep from sagging.

What I invision for the window is a screening which has velcro holding and the screening material does not easily bend with the wind.

Have you heard of any types of resources for temporary makeshift screening ? Or do you have any ideas for what type of screen can be used and how this can be designed?

thanks so much. I love your website.

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