Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mrs Fix-It: Window Screens

Over eleven years, our house has seen a few hail storms. I've been ignoring a few holes in our window screens for the past two or three years, but lately we're looking at our house with new eyes, and having holes in some of our screens large enough to let large wasps in the house is not particularly attractive.
I am a bit of an HGTV addict (though over the past 2-3 years I've watched little or no TV that didn't involve dancing singing vegetables and animals). But I've watched enough home improvement shows to know that fixing window screens is not that hard. So today, we're tackling two of the worst offenders. You know what? It isn't that hard.

We started with the kitchen window, a monstrous 4'x4' window over the sink. My husband had to hand the window out to me on the deck. The old screen is held in to a channel by a thin rubber strip, so removing the screen is a matter of digging one end out and pulling. Once that is done, you cut a new piece of screen fabric a little larger than the frame, and go about cramming a new piece of rubber divider into the channel to hold it in place. Then put the screen back in the window. Et voila.
There is a 2-ended tool that we picked up at Lowes specifically for screens that cost about $7. One end is like a hooked utility knife, and the other is a roller that will push the rubber channel into the groove. The channel itself comes in different sizes. You take apart your window then go shopping with a scrap of the original. I didn't realize about the size thing until we were standing in the store aisle, so I bought a kit that had 3 sizes of channel and compared it to the real window once we got home. We already had the screening material sitting in the basement from an abandoned craft project. My new screens are a bit of an upgrade, as the old screens were a nylon-y fabric mesh and the new screening  is actually metal. Maybe the new metal screen will better withstand the next hail storm.

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