How to Replace a Screen Door

If you live in the Southern U.S. or the Southwestern U.S., you probably have at least one screen door—if not an entire screened-off porch—installed in your home, business, or even guesthouse. If you were the one to purchase the screen door, you likely know that a good one isn't cheap; a quality screen door, is therefore worth salvaging.

Let’s say, for example, your child or pets tear a hole in your screen door. Knowing how to replace the screen so you don't have to replace a whole door that matches other doors of your home is a skill worth learning. After reading this article, you’ll know how to replace a screen door without replacing the wood, panes, or glass on that door—and without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a whole new door.


How to Replace a Screen Door Rip on Any Type of Door

For some lucky homeowners, the screens on doors pop off, allowing for quick and simple re-screening of the "pop-out" screen portion of the door. If you're among the larger group of screen door owners, you will probably have to work around things like the plastic door latch and other hardware.

In this instance, your job will be imminently easier if you remove the screen door from the hinges. If you have a sliding screen door that needs to be repaired, the same is true here—the task is more simply done when you remove the screen door frame from the sliding door tracks and frame. This is easily done by gently pulling the screen door frame up and toward you until it pops off of the tracks and out of the doorframe.

1. Once you have popped the screen portion of your door off, removed your screen door from hinges, or popped it off of the tracks of your sliding doorframe, you’re ready to begin. 

2. Lay the screen door pop-out or whole door off its hinges on top of two saw horses (or another equally stable surface).

3. Using a Phillip's head or flat head screwdriver, remove the plastic or metal latch and handle assembly from the door so that what you're left looking at has no encumbrances that keep you from getting to the screen surface neatly and evenly. Make sure you set all hardware aside so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle while you learn how to replace a screen door.

4. Look closely at the screen within its frame (usually the frame is metal) and determine where the screen's spline is. Not sure what a spline on a screen is? The spline is the part of the screen frame that holds it in place within the frame itself. It is usually made of a strong, rigid rubber or plastic so that it maintains some shape.

5. Once you've located the spline, use a flat head screwdriver to create a wedge in the corner where the ends of the spline material meet. In this way, you can easily pull the spline frame up and out of the frame of the door or pane.

6. Once you've pulled the spline out in its entirety you'll have a rather shapeless piece of rubber or plastic in your hands, which you can set apart from the project for the time being.

7. Next, you're going to remove the old, damaged screen material out of the frame of the door or pane. 

*Tip: If you haven't already figured out how you're going to measure the new piece of screen, you can use this worn out old screen to determine the measurements nearly perfectly. It's a great idea to take this old screen to your local hardware store and have them measure and cut the new piece of screen using the old one. 

8. Once you have the newly cut screen in-hand, you're ready to move to the next step. First, you'll simply set the new screen across the whole area where it will be installed. As you determine which side goes where, ensure that the outside edge of the screen frame is in alignment with an edge of the new screen about to be installed. 

9. Now you'll use something called a convex spline tool to apply pressure on the borders of the new screen as you push down, which will press the new screen material into the channel area where the spline came loose from (and where the spline lived until you pulled it out).

10. With one small portion of the screen now in the channel correctly, begin rolling the convex spline tool over the screen until every side of the material is down inside the channel.

11. Next, you're going to place the spline over the screen and again, using the convex spline tool, start rolling and applying pressure until all sides of the screen's frame have the spline back in its channel with the screen now held firmly in place.

12. Use any quality pair of scissors to remove any visible extra screen that may be hanging out over the channel.

13. Now you're ready to reinstall your door into the frame and/or reinstall the screen frame back into the door (or the large screen back into the sliding door track).

14. Last but not least, screw your hardware, including the latch assembly back into place.

Now you know how to replace a screen door quickly and easily and you'll never have to pay anyone else to do it for you!