A Step-by-Step Guide to Picking and Installing the Perfect Window Screen

Window Screen Installation Seattle Handyman

Are you tired of pesky insects entering your home or debris cluttering your window sills? Window screens can be a game-changer, providing an effective barrier to keep unwanted elements out while allowing fresh air to circulate within your living space. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of picking and installing the perfect window screen for your home.

Step 1: Measure Your Window

Before you can choose the right screen, you’ll need accurate measurements of your window. Use a tape measure to determine the width and height of the window frame’s interior. Be sure to measure each side twice for accuracy and jot down the dimensions.

Step 2: Choose the Right Screen Material

Window screens come in a variety of materials, each with its unique benefits. The most common options include:

  1. Fiberglass: A popular choice due to its affordability, durability, and ease of installation. Fiberglass screens are also resistant to corrosion and can be easily cleaned.
  2. Aluminum: Lightweight and sturdy, aluminum screens resist rust and corrosion, making them a long-lasting choice.
  3. Stainless Steel: A premium choice that offers excellent durability and strength. Stainless steel screens are resistant to weather and corrosion, but they can be more expensive.
  4. Solar or Pet Screens: Specially designed to block UV rays and reduce heat transfer, solar screens are ideal for energy efficiency. Pet screens are made from heavy-duty materials to withstand scratches and tears from pets.

Step 3: Choose the Frame Material

Window screen frames are typically made from aluminum or vinyl. Aluminum frames are lightweight and durable, while vinyl frames offer a lower maintenance option that doesn’t require painting. The choice between the two will ultimately come down to your personal preference and budget.

Step 4: Buy Your Screen and Frame

With your measurements and preferred materials in hand, you can now purchase your window screen and frame from a local hardware store or online retailer. Be sure to double-check the dimensions and compatibility before making a purchase.

Step 5: Gather Your Tools

Before beginning the installation, gather the necessary tools:

  1. Screwdriver or drill
  2. Tape measure
  3. Utility knife
  4. Screen spline and spline tool (usually included with the screen)
  5. Rubber mallet (optional)

Step 6: Assemble the Frame

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble your window screen frame. This typically involves connecting the four corners and securing them with screws or corner springs.

Step 7: Install the Screen

  1. Lay the frame on a flat surface and unroll the screen material over it, ensuring it covers the entire frame.
  2. Cut the screen material, leaving a 1-inch overlap on all sides.
  3. Starting at a corner, press the screen spline into the frame’s groove using the spline tool. This will secure the screen material in place. Be careful not to stretch the screen too tight, as this may cause warping.
  4. Work your way around the frame, pressing the spline and screen material into the groove.
  5. Trim any excess screen material using a utility knife.

Step 8: Install the Frame

Place the completed screen frame into your window, ensuring it fits snugly. Secure it in place using the provided hardware or clips. If the frame is loose, you may need to use a rubber mallet to tap it into place gently.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully picked and installed a window screen that will keep your home free from insects and debris while allowing fresh air to flow. With the right materials and a little bit of effort, you can enjoy the benefits of a well-ventilated living space without compromising your comfort or safety.