A few months into the summer, and our sliding screen door looked like this:
We’ve been living with this for longer than I care to admit because I sort of figured I would need to phone a friend, but… turns out all my dreams were answered after a quick spin through YouTube. Duh. Wanna know how? I warn you, this is stupid easy. And… my favorite part of the whole project is that I learned a new ‘technical term’. Spline. Stay tuned for what a spline actually is.
How to Replace a Screen Door
For me, the hardest part was removing the actual &^(%^$(@%$ door! Most doors have rollers on the bottom that sit on tracks along the bottom door frame. Ours was screwed in above the door so things got tricky, but many doors should come off by releasing the tension on the bottom rollers so that the door can lift up and off the tracks. On either end of the bottom edge of your screen, there are 2 tension screws. Unscrew these a bit and you should be able to lift the door just enough to pop the wheels off the tracks and remove it from the door frame. (You might need to use a flat head screw driver to help you push the wheels up enough to get them off the tracks.)
Once your door is free and clear, lay it down flat.
Our door has handles that needed to be unscrewed quickly.
This right here… that’s a spline. Now you too are part of my advanced DIY world of vocabulary.
Find the spot where the two ends of the spline meet and pry one end out… from there, you just pull the whole dang thing out and throw it away. Your screen will come right off now so throw that away too. Or go on Pinterest and find some fun ways to repurpose it… I haven’t had much luck yet.
Here are the tools that you will need: new spline, one of these guys (aptly named a “spline tool”), and new screen. Total cost a little under $20. (Full material list at the end of the post.)
Lay your new screen down on top of your door frame. There are lots of screen options out there, but I just went with a basic one figuring I’d be replacing it again pretty soon down the line given the way my kids like to lean against it all summer.
Take your spline (again.. there are different sizes so be sure to buy the right size spline for your screen door) and start at one corner. Carefully press the spline down into the grooves on the edge of the door thereby pinching the screen into the door frame. Be careful of two things: 1) make sure your screen is square… you don’t want the weaving of the screen to be wobbling all over your door frame. 2) go slowly… the spline tool can slip and it might cut your screen instead of pressing the spline into the door. i.e. a buzz kill.
Work your way around the door frame being careful to keep the screen straight and taught… at the corners you might need a flat edge screw driver to press the spline in since your spline tool may not reach these tight spaces. When you’ve gone all the way around, cut your spline.
Using a sharp edge, carefully cut the excess screen from the frame. When you’re finished, ta da… a new fresh and clean screen!
Place the sliding door back onto the tracks the same way you removed if and laugh at all the bugs that can no longer get free entrée into your home. Incidentally, I had to put about $12 into our cursing jar after reinstalling the screen door.
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