Monday, May 20, 2013

How to re-screen Anderson window screens

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When we moved into this house two years ago, it was in pretty good shape.  Especially considering that it was a foreclosure!  One of the major problems was that many of the window screens had been torn out along the frame, make it a buggy adventure to open them.  One was helped along by Isaac and Sophie who decided it would be a good idea to make that screen hole a little bigger and throw everything in Sophie's bedroom within their reach out of the window onto the roof and into the back yard.

All of the windows/screens in the house are made by Anderson.  The problem is, they don't make their screens to be repaired - you technically need to buy a replacement screen.  They accomplish this by securing the screen to the frame using a metal U shaped spline.  I tried the "make your own replacement screen" kits, but they wouldn't work in the windows because there was no good way to attach them - the frame casing outside was slanted so the turning clips wouldn't work, and the "pressure" clips were way too weak.  Making a screen frame from a kit isn't too bad, aside from having to saw it to fit.  I was unable to locate the required fixtures to secure the middle support bar to the frame, which made them twist and was even harder to get them in place.

I located a little bit of discussion on the topic online.  Some people were able to very gently lift out the metal spline and hammer it back in.  I wasn't interested in going crazy, so that wasn't going to work for me.  I saw that using a 0.23 spline would possibly work.  The issue is locating it.  An employee at one of the big box stores told me such a size did not exist.  I finally found some at a locally owned hardware store and was able to get my screens done and windows open!  It takes about 10 minutes to do a screen, and it's cheap, since you're already using the existing frame.

Here are pictures with a step-by-step.  Hopefully this will help somebody so they don't have to go through all of the trial and error I did to make this finally work!

What the screen looks like to start with - totally torn out along the frame.
It looked like a previous owner had tried to tape it back together.  

Tools - a splining wheel, something sharp and flat (I used that chisel), an
exacto knife, scissors, screen, and spline.  Screen is available at any big
box store.  Spline is hard to find, at least at the 0.23 size (quite wide).
They sold it to me for 20¢ per foot!  Pretty cheap!

Hardest part - pry up the corner of the metal spline and pull it out.  Don't
bend the frame!  It's hard to get it started but easy to remove it.  

Here's what I took off.  It would be very hard to pull this out gently enough
to reuse it in my opinion.  It just twists and becomes a huge mess.

Measure out a little extra on each end and cut a piece that fits.

Start at the short ends and shove the spline into the channel.  Use something
blunt to push it in a the ends where the roller won't reach.

Roll the spline into place in little increments at a time, and be careful not
to roll off into the middle.  First do the short ends that are parallel, then go
back and do the long sides.  Don't pull too hard but hold it securely.  

Slide the knife along the spline and slice off the excess screen material.

Here's the finished product.  The screen is tight and everything is sealed up
with the new spline.  It looks different than the white metal spline (to my
knowledge white spline is not sold), so if you care about that,
pay for new screens.  Otherwise, this is a great option.

1 comment:

  1. It looks well-done and very neat! Thanks for the step-by-step guide on how to do it yourself. It’ll definitely be useful when I replace my screens at home. It just seems a waste to throw away a good frame when you can just replace the screen.