Your screen door is an important tool to keep those pesky bugs (especially mosquitos) out of your home sweet home. But no matter how well you try to keep the screen in good shape, eventually, there’ll be some wear and tear. For example, you might get a hole near the handle, or your dog might claw at it and make itself a doggie door. But not to worry, as screen door repair is relatively easy even for the newest DIYer.
The most common screen door option is fiberglass because it’s easy on your wallet and easy to install. You can also buy sturdier aluminum screens, though they require more precision to install. There are also pet-friendly screens engineered with dog and kitty claws in mind. These doors are also good for storm doors because they’re stronger and hold up better to the inevitable daily wear.
Keep in mind that if you have the tools already on hand, you only need to buy the screen and spline. Or, you can opt to buy an all-in-one kit with everything you need to get the job done.
4 Steps to Fix a Screen Door
If you’ve been noticing more bugs in your house than usual, a ripped screen door could be to blame. These screen doors are also important for keeping your indoor pets safely inside, so let’s not waste any time getting them back in good working order.
Remove the Screen Door and Handle
To remove the screen door, slide a flathead screwdriver under one corner of the frame, lift it, and pull it outwards. Repeat the step on the other corner.
Once you’ve freed the door, place it on a flat surface. Next, remove the door handle with a screwdriver—you only need to remove one side.
Take Out the Old Spline and Screen
Photo: pairhandmade / Adobe Stock
Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the spline, and pull out the rest with your hands. Once that’s done, you can easily pull off the old screen.
Install the New Spline and Screen
Photo: Piman Khrutmuang / Adobe Stock
Roll out the new screen on top of the door frame and leave an extra 1/2 inch to 1 inch of extra screening on all sides. You can tape one side down (or use lightweight clamps) to make the job easier.
Then, take your spline roller and use the convex wheel (the pointy one) and run it along the spline track. This step will help secure the screen before you install the spline.
When installing the spline, you should start in one corner and work in a circle. Use the concave wheel (the grooved one) to push the spline in. After you finish one side, cut the spline. Repeat for the other three sides.
As you install the spline, make sure to keep the screen taut, but not too much. If you install the screen door mesh too tightly, it can warp the door frame or rip the screen.
Cut the Excess Screen and Reinstall the Door
Photo: Piman Khrutmuang / Adobe Stock
Trim the excess screen down to size with your utility knife, and voila: You’re done rescreening the door.
You can take this opportunity to oil the wheels on your door and clean the tracks with soapy water.
Now, all that’s left to do is to pop the door back into the track. You can use the flathead screwdriver to help you get it back into place.
DIY Fixing a Screen Door vs. Hiring a Pro
Replacing the screen on a sliding door costs $20 on average if you do it yourself, although it can range between $7 and $60 depending on the tools you have at home already.
But let’s face it, sometimes life is much too hectic to do everything yourself. Plus, you might need additional work done, like repairing a bent door frame. Additionally, if there’s a lot of damage to your door, you might consider the costs of a new screen door for a total replacement.
Whatever the case, you can hire a local screen door contractor to take care of it all. It’ll cost $75 to $175 to get the screen fixed, and frame repair will run you $50 to $100.